I am not a sports enthusiast. Apart from watching my grandkids play ball, I’d just as soon escape any venue offering stadium seating. It’s not that I have the sense that I’m getting too old to safely negotiate climbing to the top of bleachers, because I don’t. I still think of myself as being young enough to do anything I want to do.
Of course, the General will tell you that my problem relates to the magic phrase: “I want to do”. It is her belief that I filter almost every life experience under the auspices of whether or not I want to do it. Maybe she’s right, but I don’t think so.
Last night when I walked out to the garage to toss a water bottle in the trashcan, I looked at the shelving along one wall. It wasn’t neat and it wasn’t organized. In fact, it has become a catchall for almost anything. I can’t blame the General for most of the stuff cluttering the shelving. Actually, that isn’t true. I could blame her, but if I did she’d take a picture and post it on Facebook for all to see. Of course, what you’d see is mostly stuff I temporarily set on the shelf until I had time to properly put it away.
For instance, as I quickly made a mental inventory of the junk piled on the shelf that has primarily become a resting place for clutter, I noticed three pair of shoes. They were my shoes. I wore them when I went outside to clean the water filter in the pond. Obviously when I came back into the house through the garage, the shoes were wet with water from the high-pressure washer I use to clean the filter. I left them there to dry.
I guess you could say the shoes are still drying. I’m sure I have a similar explanation for almost everything that contributes to the stack of squalor that was once neat and organized. The thing about the experience that bothers me most is that it usually doesn’t bother me. I’ve become so used to seeing it that I no longer see it.
A couple of weeks ago, mostly for diversion from our routine, the General and I went to look at open houses in Dripping Springs’ soon-to-be patio home community. I think they refer to the property as a lock and leave venue. It is a gated community for busy people on the go who may be gone for long periods of time.
Actually the floor plans for the model homes are impressively done. They all feature an open floor plan with lots of exterior glass. Consequently, the light adds to the ambience of the housing. In addition, the ceilings are tall with eight-foot interior doors. It is a good look.
Do I want to move after looking at the patio home community? Not on your life. I already live in a home with an open floor plan, lots of exterior glass and high ceilings. Though ours is not billed as a gated community, we probably meet the definition. We have a gate and ours is the only house behind it. What we have that the patio home community doesn’t provide is open spaces, a million dollar view and the tranquility of living in the country.
I failed to mention another important amenity that our home provides and it is one that you can’t find in a patio home community. The concept is privacy. I value that. Apparently a lot of people do. Last week, I set at lunch with a group of staff and former employees. One of the former employees made the statement when asked about how he liked living in the country. He said, “I absolutely love it. I couldn’t live anywhere else. I like living where I can pee off the back porch if I want to. For that matter, I could do the same thing off the front porch.” Like I said, a lot of people enjoy and value privacy.
I’d like to say that another feature of our home is the ability to listen to music as loudly as I want. I could say that, but it wouldn’t be true. It wouldn’t be true because the General values peace and quiet. The two of us are not a match when it comes to agreeing on the desired volume associated with listening to music. Maybe I’m hen pecked, but she is non-negotiable and demanding when it comes to volume. Maybe it’s a matter of picking my battles. I let it go. At some level, I don’t think I have a voice in the matter.
I was very surprised last week when I returned home from an overnight trip. The General looked at me and asked: “Would you like to buy a patio home?” Honestly, I thought she was talking about investment property. Maybe she really did win the Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes. Was this her way of breaking the news to me that “we are in the money?” If so, what a pleasant surprise!
How was I to know that her question was a trick question? I didn’t see it coming. When I answered: “No, I don’t want to move”, she went in for the kill. I don’t remember her exact words, but it was closely akin to: “Everywhere you look around here, there is something to be done. It isn’t getting done. Consequently, we might as well move to where the ‘To-Do-List’ doesn’t include the things you don’t want to do”.
Most of you are thinking I’m a lucky guy. I am a lucky guy, but it is not because of what you’re thinking. Your thinking I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. You are so wrong. Trust me, if the General wants it done, it gets done. Perhaps, she too, picks her battles.
It doesn’t seemingly bother her that I have three pairs of old shoes on a shelf in the garage. Three pairs of shoes on the floor of our closet would get me in harms way of a hanging noose. Okay, I’m overstating the consequences, but like I shared yesterday, she is part Cherokee. I definitely don’t want her on the war path.
More importantly, I need to pay attention to areas of my life where: “I’ve become so used to seeing it, that I don’t see it. That isn’t always in one’s best interest.
All My Best!