Glass Shattering

One of the strangest things that has ever happened occurred tonight.


Bruce and I were enjoying an Asian noodle salad for dinner at the big old wooden table in the kitchen, and we were talking about the power of belief. Bruce was saying how remarkable the mind is and how people can do all sorts of things just by believing and having faith. Things like healing and also like peacefully accepting situations that to the rest of the world seem endlessly bleak. In essence he was remarking on the power of mind.


Later, I was in my office writing an email to friends and family about the menu change for Bruce’s 70th birthday party, which is coming up next week.


I heard glass shatter and hit the floor.


Bruce yelled, “What was that”?


It sounded like it came from the kitchen – to me, but Bruce was in the kitchen doing the dishes.


I yelled back, “Where did that noise come from”?


He said, “Right here.”


I got up, and walked out into the kitchen. A sixteen-ounce glass Pyrex measuring cup had been sitting, a little over five feet up, on an open shelf next to two ceramic mixing bowls. A portion of the cup still stood, but it had ringed striations of broken glass running from bottom to top. It seemed the measuring cup had exploded. Nothing hit it; the cup wasn’t close to a heat source, and there was no visible reason Pyrex should suddenly blow up. But broken glass was on the shelf, the kitchen counter, and lay across the floor twelve feet away; I even found glass in the entrance hall adjacent to the kitchen.


On impulse I said, “What were you thinking about”?


“I was seething over the tree that guy cut down in Alaska. In my head I was writing a letter to him. I am so pissed he cut down a two hundred year old cedar tree to put in a septic tank.”


Bruce was referring to the news we got the night before last. Our house in Alaska just sold, but for the bank to loan on the property they wanted a new septic tank installed, and we agreed. Although Bruce talked with the contractor about the plan to install the tank, Bruce thought he planned to dismantle the duck pen near the house and install the septic tank below the old pen. The contractor surprised us by talking to the buyers and getting them to agree it was okay to cut down one of the largest Cedar trees is the area, so the location for the septic tank could more easily be accessed. The agreement came before the house was sold, and seemingly it was kept secret from us. The contractor told us yesterday what he did, and yesterday we closed on the sale of the Alaska house.


The power of the mind? I have no explanation for why the glass measuring cup exploded while sitting on our shelf. My first thought was a poltergeist.


Bruce joked and said, “This getting old is bringing me some new powers I didn’t know I had. I’m going to be 70 next week; I’d better be careful.”


A few minutes later he began to get angry all over again about the cutting down of the ancient cedar.


I replied, “next thing you know you’ll be ranting about something, and Ouzel will blow up. You’ll go into the room, and bits of Ouzel will be all over the wall.”


Bruce gave me one of “those” looks, and disappeared down the hall. He came back moments later and said, “She’s okay; she’s in the middle of the bed with all four legs up in the air. She looks dead, but I’m pretty sure she’s not.”


Apparently, the power of the mind theory only works some of the time, and I’m pretty sure – that’s a good thing.


How to pick up broken glass. Digital ID: 1643126. New York Public Library


Author’s Note:

I am curious if others have any thoughts about why the Pyrex container broke. Similar experiences maybe?

10 thoughts on “Glass Shattering

  1. Oooh-woo – that sounds bizarre, Sher! I think I’m with you on the ‘power of the mind’ hypothesis. I’d also be seething with outrage at the idiots who thoughtlessly cut down such a beautiful old tree.

  2. What a story. I am just glad that cup broke on the shelf instead of your hand while you were cooking. So god was on your side. Have a great day and every one enjoy Bruce’s birthday. Wish I was going to be there. We called and left message on cell phone. 

  3. Well, my friend. You know what I think about this. A friend of mine had a rock shatter in her hand so…We’ll talk more in my next letter!

  4. A friend just email me these words, and I think they should be reposted here.

    There is a spirit that pervades everything, that is capable of powerful song and radiant movement, and that moves in and out of the mind. The colors of this spirit are multitudinous, a glowing, pulsing rainbow.
    Paula Gunn Allen

  5. This certainly got some chuckles out of me! I think Bruce broke it while he was doing the dishes but didn’t want to fess up and get scolded. Good cover, though! 🙂 Deb

  6. Hard to say but sometimes things just can’t go one for one more minute! I’m sorry to hear about the tree too, I just don’t understand some people.

  7. I tend to agree with the Paula Gunn Allen quote and with Bruce’s powerful (heated temper over the tree) thinking it just got the better of the Pyrex. However, I looked up info on Pyrex. It isn’t made by the same process as the “old” Pyrex and the new kind is susceptible to micro-cracks that can cause it to break more easily. Was the measuring cup used in the dinner preparation or had it been in the hot dish water? Just wondering. Here is a cut & paste of some info: Consumers have been noticing for years that sometimes their Pyrex brand cookware unexpectedly breaks during or shortly after use, often with such shatterings occurring in what seems like rather eruptive form. It is not unheard of for a Pyrex dish to suddenly “explode” (i.e., break apart in conjunction with a loud noise) while sitting in a hot oven or soon after it has been taken from one and is resting on a counter. Such breakage has to do with the nature of glass, which is the material used in the manufacture of this type of bakeware. When glass changes temperature rapidly, it experiences thermal shock, a process wherein different parts of the material expand by different amounts. Sometimes glass vessels are unable to take the stress of that uneven expansion and shatter.

    1. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and comments. We had Bruce’s 70th birthday party last night, and Bruce’s son had read the post. He gave Bruce a nice sized wrapped gift and inside was an 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup! Everyone laughed, and for 3 seconds we all concentrated our minds on it, but I was holding the glass, and so I said — “Stop, Stop.” I am not sure I want another Pyrex measuring cup.

      And, we did hear that Pyrex has some instability– thanks Paula for the link. In this case- it had not been used that evening and was not exposed to heat or cold, so who knows. It is one of those mysteries in life. Sher

  8. You should call “Ghost Busters!” Your house might be on an indian burial ground. Not good…I’d move back to Ketchikan if I were you. Please wish Bruce a very happy 70th! I was at the 60th. Sorry to miss this one!

    1. You should call “Ghost Busters!” Your house might be on an indian burial ground. Not good…I’d move back to Ketchikan if I were you. Please wish Bruce a very happy 70th! I was at the 60th. Sorry to miss this one! Hi Terry- You were missed Heidi flew in and it was great to have her here. A good party, and I know you like those. Thanks, and I will pass on your sentiments. I hope all is well there. 🙂

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