“If You Precede Me In Death, I’m Going To…”

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When I mentioned to Treva on Friday night that Craig thought my blog was hilarious, she responded, “I don’t know. I didn’t read all of it.” Anyway you process that nugget of information, it is less than complimentary. Truthfully, if the article didn’t hold her attention from beginning to end, then I failed to effectively communicate to at least one occasional reader. The General’s causal, “I didn’t read all of it”, was pretty dismissive. Was it her intent to imply, “I’m not worth my salt?” How else could I interpret her comment? I didn’t pout, but she could have expressed it differently.

I wasn’t fishing for a compliment when I mentioned the blog to her on Friday evening. Buried a little over halfway down in the article was a statement I was certain would captivate her interest. Apparently I was wrong or she really didn’t read that far. I wrote: “ Frankly, I was surprised that she only found $200. I thought the stash was larger than that. Maybe there’s more in a different location. That thought ought to keep the General on a perpetual Easter egg hunt, so to speak”.

We drove into Austin mid-to-late morning yesterday to look at paint samples at Sherwin Williams. The General is on a campaign to get the house painted. Trust me, it’s going to happen. Hopefully, the painter who came out on Thursday will follow through with a bid soon. She is ready for the work to get started. This morning she wanted to purchase paint samples so we could paint a sizeable sample on the wall to determine that we really like the color. Of course, the downside is that once you start that process, the die is cast. You have to paint the house.

I was a little startled when she mentioned at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning that she couldn’t sleep and was going to get up and organize the pantry. I was a sleepy head yesterday morning and opted to stay in bed. When I roamed through the house at 8:00 a.m. she was nowhere to be found. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did eventually find her. She was in the garage.

I would like to have seen the look on my face when I saw her sanding one of the wooden slats to a small park bench we bought for our grandchildren years ago. I was both amazed and shocked. For one thing, the General was outside in the garage. It isn’t air-conditioned and the General doesn’t fair well in an environment that isn’t climate controlled. Secondly, the General doesn’t refinish furniture. At some level, it was like, “Who is this stranger living in my house?” She routinely is predictable. I didn’t see this project coming. As the day unfolded, I had that same thought more than once.

Getting up at 3:00 a.m. to organize the pantry is unusual. Disassembling a park bench and sanding the wooden slates is unprecedented. What was going on with her? At one level, I liked it. On another level, I found it a little unsettling.

Later in the morning as we drove into Austin, she surprised me by bringing up the $200 she found in one of my suit pockets. She didn’t think it was very smart to leave cash in a coat pocket. She alleged that I have lost money that way on more than one occasion. I denied the allegation and she provided two examples where that was true. I hate it when she’s right, particularly if her being right makes me wrong. I was busted on that one.

Apparently sometime between 3:00 a.m. and my conversation with her yesterday morning, she read the remainder of my blog from the previous day. She said, “If you have money stashed away in other places, that is not smart.” I neither denied nor confirmed anything. My reference in Friday’s blog to, “Maybe there’s more in a different location” was theoretically speaking, but I knew it would garner her attention.

She went on to say, “If you have money stashed in more than one location, I hope you’ll exercise good judgment and put it all in one place”. I was waiting for her to suggest either one of the two banks we use, but she didn’t go that far. Actually, you’ve got to hand it to her. She is pretty clever. On the outside chance there is a “little here and a little there”, putting it all together makes for a bigger stash. Of course it is also true… “How did we express it as children?” Okay, I remember, “Losers weepers-finders keepers.”

We picked up paint samples and eventually headed back home. I suggested we stop and look an open house we’ve seen once before. I thought I remembered that it was painted a color similar to the one she (I mean we) are wanting. We quickly walked through the open house and as we were exiting, she made reference to a throw rug on the floor. She said, “I really like that.”

Who was this person that looked like my wife? The rug was very modern and wouldn’t coordinate with anything in our home. As we stepped out of the open house onto the front porch she said, “If you precede me in death, you need to know that I’m getting rid of every area rug that we own. I’m going to replace them with rugs that look modern rather than traditional”.

I don’t know what to make of that affirmation? On one hand, if the General’s going to purchase area rugs that look like they were fashioned by Jackson Pollock, I hope I’m no longer here. On the other hand, I hate for her to think she has to wait for me to die to decorate according to her style. Now you know the dilemma I face. She’s smart as a whip.

In other words, she’s beaten me at my own game. I want her to consider the possibility that I have money hidden all over the house. She wants me to think, as long as I’m in the house, she can’t truly embrace the new look she desires.

It is a relational game of questionable checkmate. Who wins? Only time will tell. However, let me go on record to say, “I do plan to precede her in death. Blogging has become my hobby. Without the General, I’d be at a loss for words. With her, I can’t type quite fast enough. She is really good”!

All My Best!

Don

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