I have been busy reorganizing all my dresser drawers, closet shelves, and file drawers over the last few days, as a way of being productive with my time without A. Heating up the house by cooking or baking something B. Going outside in the heat and humidity and risking a heat stoke C. Spending any money.
The result is a large blue box of paper to bundle for recycling, a husband who is royally tired of left-overs, and a much enhanced appreciation for the people who love me, or at least care enough about me that they took the time to send me a card, or sometimes even a letter. I am about as far removed from a hoarder as Mother Teresa was from Imelda Marcos in their value systems. However, I dare not push it very far with that illustration, as I can be very un-Mother Teresa-like at times. This is something my husband, who is in the kitchen now, doing all the dishes from all the dibs and dabs I somehow assembled for him throughout the day and called meals. Offerings from containers, bowls, bins, and bags. Stuff that was as much about cleaning out the fridge as offering comfort. Some of it appeared, not only at the second, but again at the third meal today, until he practically had to cry “Uncle” to get me to say ” Just Pitch that!” I haven’t got the nerve to actually call them breakfast, lunch and supper, as they were just what happens when I am on one of my reorganizing binges.
Some of you will likely be saying “Why isn’t he cooking his own meals, the lazy lout?” It’s because the man is just a working machine in the summer, and today he had to construct a large fenced in area for the growing ducks, weed a berry patch, and construct a hoop garden. Yesterday he hauled rocks and moved dirt for a drainage project which has totally messed up the back yard near to the house and he is antsy to get that back to normal again, as quickly as possible. He has been a very patient man, especially as he could at times hear me at the kitchen table opening and closing a musical card with a weight- lifting chipmunk in it who was working out to the theme song from Rocky. After that there was the one with an Anniversary couple dancing to Rockin’ Around the Clock, over and over and over, every time I picked it up off my card pile again.
I just can’t help it. I’m a sucker for cards, and if you have ever sent me or given me one it is, in all likelihood, in a blue storage tote in my crawl space, or it has just now now been put with the rest of the stack that I gathered from all the places I reorganized today. These will be placed in yet another tote. Yes, cards are my secret indulgence and always have been. I even have the first one Rolly ever gave me when we were began dating. It is covered with pink lipstick kiss marks. No, he didn’t! I put them there myself to memorialize my first true love, and how I felt about him on the day I got his first romantic card.
I guess that makes me a hoarder then, but just a very tidy one, and in a very limited way. So, to my brother Keith, who used to call me up every time he watched the Hoarders show on TV, to my sibling who callously tormented me by saying he was holding a paper plate on a stick puppet with a picture of my face glued on it, in front of the hoarder’s face on TV every time she spoke: I can no longer deny it. All these cards are definitely becoming a problem! You should be much more compassionate now that you know the truth! Right?… I can hear your laughter now and it is not very nice!
I’m sure that no one will ever deny that cards do have their place; they are a sweet way to let someone know that you are thinking of them. I defy anyone to just leave that pastel envelope with the butterfly sticker on the back of it unopened and just sitting there in there mail box every day for a week. That’s what happens to a lot of those Happy Birthday or Holiday Wishes you email people. Even if Frosty does a little soft shoe shuffle across my screen, he’s not going to smell like the gingerbread cookies you were baking when you sent him to me to wish me a Merry Christmas. Your nice big red envelope with the green holly wreath sticker on it, on the other hand— if I open it ever so slowly and smell it, a little of your house’s naturally occurring aroma therapy will enrich my day— in theory anyway.
Hey did you ever find the kids’ pet mouse yet? You might just want to check your Christmas card boxes.
I decided to add a little poem here just for the fun of it. I hope you enjoy it.
A Little Bit Of Luck
Once I found a four leaf clover—
Where the willow tree hangs over
All the stones that grandpa stacked there—
In the corner of the yard.
I thought that I should save it
So I ran inside and gave it
To my mother, who was writing out
Another get well card.
She said that she would press it
But she just forgot— I guess it
Was the rush of sending off
A card to grandpa on that day.
So the clover leaf was lost— we thought—
Or accidentally tossed— we thought—
Never to ‟bring a bit of luck”
As some folks like to say.
But then a few days after that
My grandpa called us just to chat,
And tell us he was better,
And he got our card that day.
And say “Thanks for sending over
That nice big four-leaf clover!
Whoever picked it for me
Sent a little luck my way!”