Failure To Paint A House Is Beginning To Destroy A City

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Would you like me to get you a refill? It was meant as a thoughtful question. I had just returned from disposing our paper plates in the trash receptacle at The Chicken Express in Dripping Springs. The Honorable General responded, “No, I’ve already gotten a refill.” Then she added, “Didn’t you see me?” Without waiting for me to respond, she mused, “That’s pretty sad”.

Who was I to argue? It was sad! I agreed with her. If she went to get a refill for her drink, why didn’t she offer to get one for me as well? I bet you are proud of me for thinking of that. That’s a really good question! At least I was thoughtful enough to ask her if she’d like a refill. What about the spirit of reciprocity?

I bet you can guess that I didn’t bother to verbally express any of those questions to the Honorary General. Actually, truth-be-known, I didn’t think of them at the time or I would have heard myself methodically and clearly expressing them. I am not intimidated by rank. For the Honorary General to suggest that I was un-thoughtfully preoccupied was a cheap shot.

It is true that I periodically pause to make a mental snapshot throughout the day of topics or thoughts that could potentially be used as a blog idea, but I don’t zone out during the process. Certainly I would have noticed if the Honorary General left the table. It probably would have reminded me of the song, “I bought the shoes that just walked out on me.” Of course, if you play a country song backwards you always get your wife, kids, house, car and money back.

I’m still of mindset that the Honorary General was tinkering with my mind.   I would have noticed if she left the table to refill her drink. When it comes to visually processing information, I’m generally pretty alert.

When I got in from work earlier Thursday evening, I noticed several things that needed attention. They came to mind as I drove through the gate.   They fall under the category of “Failure to paint a house is beginning to destroy a city.”

For one thing, there was a plastic bag lodged in the right corner of the fence near the gate. I should have stopped the car and removed it immediately, but I didn’t. However, as I drove through the gate I made a mental note that it was there. I’ll be sure to place it in the trash receptacle tomorrow.

I also noticed that the Algarita bushes are flourishing. They appear to be everywhere and they have doubled in size this spring. I guess all it took was rain. It is probably well past the optimum time to do something, but something needs to be done. The $64,000 question is what? Do I cut them down? Do I spray them with a chemical? Do I opt to do nothing? The Honorary General will place her money on the final option. It seems to fall into the category of patterned behavior for me.

Just for the record, those are all rhetorical questions. Whatever I opt to do will be a result of outsourcing the task. I really don’t have the time or interest in completing the work with my own hands. Back in the day, I would have taken part of that on, but having the right equipment is part of the key in completing the task. I’m not even smart enough to know what equipment is needed, but I clearly recognize that whatever it is, I am without.

Oh, did I mention we’ve also got oak trees that need to be pruned? Of course, now is not the correct time of the year to have them pruned, but they are going to need attention in the heat of the summer.

Perhaps most disturbing and easily corrected problems is the weeds in the back yard. I had hoped to telephone the landscape people this week to ask for assistance. Do you remember the story of “Jack and the Bean Stalk? Hang on to that visual image. We’ve got weeds in our yard almost as tall as the tree Jack climbed.

I mentioned in passing to my wife that I might resume responsibility for doing the yard work. Never being one to let a good thought go unnoticed, she responded, “If you’ve got time to blog, you’ve got time to take care of the yard.” Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! No wonder I used to refer to her as the General. In a moment of weakness I announced I was letting go of the name. Some folks found it offensive.

Surprisingly, most folks have come to like my reference to the “General”. I do as well. Trust me, the Honorary General doesn’t find it offensive. If she did, I would not have used it more than once. Consequently, I’ve reintroduced the concept and added “Honorary” as a modifier. I figure that will get me out of the doghouse with those of you who thought the stand-alone term “General” was denigrating. At least, I hope so. Honorary General has a nice ring to it.

I don’t disagree with the Honorary General that I’ve let a few things that fall under the purview of my responsibility slide. Earlier in the week she asked if I thought the three bags of mulch I set next to the well-house were going to apply themselves. I knew what she was talking about, but I denied the accusation. Technically I was correct. It was not three bags of mulch. It was three bags of dirt. Did I mention there is no longer the concept of dirt-cheap. The Honorary General had a good point, I had placed those bags there almost a year ago.

It really is true, “Failure to paint a house is beginning to destroy a city.” If we don’t take care of what we’ve been given, it falls into a state of disrepair.

Hopefully this weekend I’ll tear myself away from the computer and attend to some chores. If not, I may find myself in the dog-house.

All My Best!

Don

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