Traveling Light

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Yesterday was a day filled with good things. For one thing, we were having the air conditioning and heating unit in our home that covers our master bedroom replaced. Was it absolutely mandatory? I don’t know. It was cooling fine, but for the past couple of years the air conditioning man who services our units has recommended that we might want to consider replacing it.


We have four separate air conditioning units in our home. The other three have been replaced. I’ve procrastinated having that one replaced because of lack of access. The scuttle hole that is accessible through the master bedroom closet wasn’t large enough to get an air conditioner unit through. In fact, the scuttle hole was designed for skinny people. I’d be pushing my limits to go through it. I think I could, but I really don’t know. I’ve never been in that part of the attic. It really is the only flaw I’ve discovered over the past fifteen years about our home. What was the architect or builder thinking? Nothing last forever and that includes air conditioners. Sooner or later they have to be replaced.


The Scripture may say: “Be anxious for nothing”, but I can always manage to find a reason to substantiate the need for an exception on my part. That usually doesn’t serve me well. One of the chinks in my armor is the ability to go immediately to worst possible case scenario. So do air conditioning people really know how to do carpentry work? Secondly, since they were going to have to cut through one of the 2 x 6 joists in the attic in order to enlarge the opening, did they have the skill set to do so?


Okay, so I’ve got an active imagination and I know nothing about carpentry. Was this going to be the catalyst for a crack in the closet ceiling or heaven forbid, the entire house collapsing? I know, I need to give it a rest, but if I didn’t consider all of the possibilities including those that weren’t, who’d do so?


Early afternoon my daughter texted and asked: “Is now was a good time for us to bring the dogs over?” Actually, I had forgotten that we were keeping the dogs. Andrea and Kevin were headed to Cat Spring to spend the weekend with my son’s family. They go often to visit. They like having the opportunity to be involved in the kid’s lives. That has to be a feel-good for the kids and I know it is for them.


Before they got to their destination, my daughter sent another text. This one put a smile on my face. It stated: “The memory came out of nowhere…I was remembering Grandma DeMoss’ house and the many many times we went there. Mine was the most wonderful childhood! Love you much!”


I don’t take it for granted that my children were privileged to share life with my grandparents. Actually, both Andrea and Craig have lots and lots of memories of the love and extended family times shared with my grandparents. I had the thought that one day my grandchildren will look back across the memories of time and be grateful for the doting love and support they received from their only aunt and uncle on their dad’s side.


Like I said, yesterday was a day filled with good things. The General returned home after having been away for the past eight days. I’m not sure how I survived without the structure. Actually, I think I did pretty well. The only thing on the “To Do List” that the General left for me that I didn’t get done was to “fold the laundry” in the dryer. I suspect it is still in the dryer. This is the first time I’ve thought about the laundry since I looked at the list she left from over a week ago.


Following her mother’s doctor appointment on Friday morning, the General headed homeward. I smiled as she recounted for me her week in Odessa. Honestly, the General isn’t content with maintaining the status quo. While she was there, why not eliminate some of the clutter from her mother’s home?


Of course she always asks permission before she starts dismantling the assortment of things too precious to throw away, but not good enough to keep. Before she was done, she had totally filled the dumpster twice and made eight trips to Goodwill to donate items. At some point, her mother said: “This really is fun. At first I didn’t want you to get rid of anything, but now I’m into it. It feels good to have that stuff out of my way.”


Bless my mother-in-law’s heart, at some point toward the end of the week she asked: “I know you’re not Don, but do you think you could rearrange my bedroom furniture?” Hearing that put a smile on my face. Rearranging furniture isn’t one of the General’s inclinations. As it turned out, she managed to get it all done and she was very pleased with the outcome. In the process of moving this and that, she discovered artwork that had been stored behind this and that. Consequently, she also found herself needing to hang pictures. That, too, isn’t a dimension where the General has experience. I’ve always hung the pictures.


So the take away from all of this is that air conditioning men can also possess the skill to do carpentry work and the General can move furniture. Of course, after looking at everything she packed in her car, I think she should apply to go to work for “Two Men and a Truck” in Austin. In fact, I bet she could teach them a thing or two about adding one more thing or organizing it better to travel.


Traveling light is not one of the General’s spiritual gifts. In fact, I was stunned when I saw all the stuff she had packed in her car. Actually, I wondered if her real intent in taking her mother home was to leave and not return? It looked to me like she had taken everything she needed to be gone for a very long time. Are you ready for this? She had her clothing for the week on wooden hangers. Can you help me understand why she needed eighteen different outfits to be gone for only a week?


When I asked, she responded: “I didn’t know what kind of weather we’d be having, so I wanted to be prepared.”   For that matter, why did she have 12 and 10 pound weights in her car? In response to my question, “She thought she needed to work out while she was away, so she bought them?” Of course, she didnt’ use the weights. She didn’t need to because she got a work-out tossing things out of  her mother’s house.


Like I said: “Yesterday was a day filled with good things.” I’m glad the General is home. I’ve also got some things I need her to do after I fold the laundry in the dryer. I figure if our kids haven’t needed it for thirty years, there is no sense for us to continue hanging on to their stuff. Goodwill or the dumpster are the only two acceptable alternatives. While she was away, I worked on organizing the garage. Those blue plastic containers of things to precious to throw away and not good enough to keep have got to go.  I am going to provide her the same encouragement she provided her mother.


All My Best!