The Perils of Down Under…and I Don’t Mean Australia

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

Me to Mr. Kaminski trying to make the best of our journey through Hades: “Look, Flexible Coupling. That describes us!” He was not amused.

Though none of us truly knows what hell is actually like, we are fortunate to have some descriptive points of reference.  I was raised that the Bible is the definitive source when it comes to defining hell.  Growing up with Southern Baptist grandmothers who could quote scripture for any given circumstance, particularly when it came to hell and hellish behavior, I have a somewhat vivid picture of the place.

And of course, Dante’s Inferno does a relatively decent job describing the poet’s journey through purgatory.  Dante even provides a map of the place: “nine concentric circles of torment.”  He names the nine circles to provide us with a more concise point of reference:  Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud and Treachery.  The deeper the circles go, the worse they get.  He paints a vivid picture of his underworld abyss of which I’m infinitely familiar with because I raised Kassidi McKayla Kaminski.  Now not that she is or was a hellish child; it’s simply that her choice in literature has been downright perplexing and inherently complex since the first grade.

Case and point:  While driving to Disney World one Spring Break, I told Bub and Sassy to pack a backpack with things to do on the ride.  Middle school Bub packed video games; ninth grader Sassy packed books.  All was normal in the Kaminski world.  When Mr. Kaminski stopped to get gas, I noticed what my baby girl was reading.  “Sassy, do you have homework?” I queried.  “No Momma.”  “Baby, then why are you reading Dante’s Inferno?”  “It looked interesting.”  Wanting to be a good momma, I googled as much of the tome as I could on the way so I would be prepared to discuss the poet’s journey through hell, the notion of degrees of punishments for different sins and such.  Clearly it was a waste of my time as she definitively explained all to me on the way home in great detail, hence I say raising Kassidi McKayla Kaminski.

But I digress, because in my defense, all in all, I felt I had a firm grasp of what purgatory likely consisted of.  I was wrong. I now definitively know exactly what the infernal region of Hades is exactly like because Mr. Kaminski took me there:  it’s a Lowe’s store in Farmington, New Mexico.

I typically do not cross the thresholds of home improvement establishments.  Field trips of that nature are not in my wheelhouse.  I was the ride along for this particular jaunt as I had never been to Farmington, and I thought, perhaps, it might be akin to Santa Fe – galleries, shopping, art.  I was sorely mistaken.

Mr. Kaminski had a list of accoutrements, appliances and whatnots to purchase.  I had no idea what anything on his list actually was.  To his credit, he did ask if I wanted to wait in the truck; however, it was a bit warm that day, and his list was quite lengthy.  I did contemplate driving away and leaving him in said hell, but the roads were rough and through mountainous terrain, so I opted to take one for the team.

I clearly see how lost souls never find their way out of Lowe’s.  It’s an abyss of aisle after aisle of this and that – items that a normal person has literally no idea of their actual purpose or use.  And there’s a gazillion of them.  It’s torture.  As Mr. Kaminski was zigging and zagging, I promptly excused myself to the ladies’ room never once worrying about how to relocate him in the labyrinth of the underworld.  I figured if he could locate all of those widgets and doo dads on his list, he could easily find me.

I washed my hands, twice, and began wandering – for days.  Literally, my roots grew out.  There was no bar, no concession stand, nothing remotely cute to purchase and everything smelled.  I stumbled across the nine concentric circles of torment – plumbing, appliances, doors, windows, lighting, electric, patio, paint and bathroom.  I ended up in appliances where a man inquired if I needed help purchasing an appliance.  “No, thank you.  I don’t purchase appliances.”  Perplexed, he inquired, “Then how do you get things done at home?”  “Delegation,” I responded and meandered along.

The gentlemen seemed quite intrigued and followed me into the granite section.  In his defense, it was a good hair day – low humidity.  That, and I’m relatively certain I was the only female wandering through the halls of hell.  “Well, how do you feel about granite?”  he just couldn’t help but ask.  “Cold, shiny, beautiful, tough – granite I can support,” I responded.  He grinned.  Now I had a friend.

“Well, if you need anything – to buy some granite, ask any questions, a ride, a drink, anything – just let me know,” he offered up earnestly.  “Appreciate that,” I waved as I saw Mr. Kaminski out of the corner of my eye buying something else that I had no idea what it was or what it did.

Several hours later, we climbed our way out of hell with the back end of the truck full of God knows what.  I went home and prayed.  See y’all next week – on the porch!

Patti Parish-Kaminski

Follow Patti Parish-Kaminski on Facebook at and on Instagram at