Hold Your Horses


The past four or five days have been interesting. The General has been in Odessa visiting her mother. Consequently, I’ve been home alone. A friend at church told me it would probably serve me well to stay in a hotel while the General was away. He naturally assumed that I’m a slovenly pig and that the place would be in shambles when the General returned. Consequently, the only logical approach was for me to vacate the premises. Otherwise, there’d be… (How did he express it? – “A penalty to pay”). That’s pretty close.

I don’t think an obsessive-compulsive disorder is contagious. However, there is enough German in the General’s heritage that she can at times resemble a neat freak. In addition, she also has Cherokee Indian in her DNA. Either way, her coming home to a cluttered house could result in her going on the warpath.

Just the thought reminds me of the Scripture: “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?” Trust me, it is easier for me to keep things tidy than it is to pay the consequences. Besides that, my mother taunted, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. Truth be told, or at least my version of it, I was half grown before I learned that the shortest Scripture was “Jesus wept.” For years, my mother taught us that the shortest Scripture was “Be neat”. Consequently, I fell into the trap of an obsessive-compulsive persona long before the General was on the radar screen. I didn’t catch it from her.

The General came home yesterday, but she didn’t return to squalor. Okay, under the guise of reporting the facts, based on my perception, there is one glitch in my story. However, I’m drawing a line in the sand and I’m not accepting ownership for the problem. For the past five days the glitch has made me a crazy person (symptomology related to my OCD). Okay, I get it. I understand no one can make me anything; I have to choose to let it happen for it to be an issue. I’ll own that. It is an issue.

Last Thursday, a woman’s group from our church met at our home. I’m not sure who came up with the “service project”, but the group apparently busied themselves making artificial corsages for ladies at the nursing homes in Dripping Springs and Blanco. I’m not sure when they are going to be delivered; however, I can tell you where they are stored.

Actually, to say they are “stored” would carry with it the concept that they are neatly put away and placed out of sight. That would not be an accurate reflection of reality. They are scattered (yes, that’s a good word) all over the dinning room hutch on top of several pieces of Waterford crystal. Did I mention, “It is not a good look?” The minute my eyes laid hold of the image, I almost went into coronary arrest. What was the General thinking? When I offered the protest: “That can’t stay there”, the General rolled her eyes and said: “Hold your horses. They will be gone next Thursday.” She left town the next morning.

So the out-of-place artificial flowers on top of the crystal have made me a little crazy. My first thought was that our home now resembles a funeral home. I then had a flashback to a small country church were I served as pastor well over forty years ago. There was a lady in the congregation who routinely found plastic flowers at the cemetery and brought them to church. How convenient! That, too, was not a good look! I’m also fairly certain that the family members, who placed the flowers at different gravesites, had no idea they would eventually wind up in a bouquet at the Baptist Church.

The past two or three nights, I have mostly boycotted going into the room where the ladies’ corsages are on display. Instead, I’ve sat in my office content to hear the sounds of Patsy Cline and Adele coming through the Gramophone from another room. Great music! Monday night as I sat at my computer with the sounds of Patsy Cline in the background, I thought about a neighbor from the first place I lived in Austin.

Actually, it was an efficiency apartment. I rented it until the General and Craig joined me in Austin. It was a month-to-month rental and there was nothing about it that would resonate with an OCD persona. Okay, so I’m cheap. It was certainly nothing fancy, but it was clean. At the time I was working very long hours (so what’s changed). At any rate, there was a much older lady who lived next door. Each evening when I got home from work, she’d be standing on the second floor shared balcony drinking a beer with the sound of Patsy Cline blaring through the open door from inside her apartment. The only variation to Patsy Cline was the blaring sounds of religious music with a guitar accompaniment. Somehow it struck me as strange.

I guess you could say I went cold turkey. I didn’t need a beer to facilitate enjoying the sounds of Patsy Cline. However, the sounds of the music sounded better when I wasn’t looking directly at the collection of corsages scattered (yep- there goes that word again) all over the dining room hutch.

On Sunday morning during announcements at church, I affirmed that the Thursday morning meeting would be at our home again. I also expressed my strong desire not to find a collection of corsages scattered across the hutch when I get home. I guess it all gets back to the General’s expressed mandate that I hold my horses. Maybe she’s right, but it violates my sense of order.

All My Best!



One thought on “Hold Your Horses”

  1. Oh Don, the fear of your wife is showing!! lol
    Besides that, my mother taunted, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”
    taunt, taught, taunted? Your Mom, is a lady I would have loved to known! The General has you obviously “spooked” …….. 🙂


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