Tied Up With A Bow


It has been over a week and the General is still in Odessa providing support for her mother.  I’m very hopeful that by the weekend her mother’s health circumstances are such that the General can return home.  To her credit, the General is upbeat and finding lots to do to fill her day.  Reportedly, her mother sleeps a lot. While her mother is sleeping the General is adding finesse to the concept of de-cluttering her mother’s home.  Wouldn’t you know it?  She is predictably consistent.

I almost think freeing up space energizes her.  The way to free up space is to remove whatever is occupying it.  The General is on a roll.  While she’s tossing things out at her mother’s home, she’s thinking about things that need to be tossed out at ours.  I know what you thinking?  While it may be true that tossing me out would eliminate a perpetual problem, it would also be an unkind thing to do.  That would be out of character for her.

Okay, so I recently invested a couple of hours organizing my side of our closet. I expected to receive kudos from the General.  I even posted a picture of my side of the closet in my blog. I thought she’d say: “Job well done!”  Either that or be elated that I actually did more in the closet than pick up the yellow tags from my cleaning that had fallen on the floor.  I know, I know. Those yellow tags don’t just fall on the floor. They have to have some help from the person buttoning up the shirt. Guilty as charged!  Actually, I think she found my efforts encouraging, but as she would articulate: “I’m not done!”

“What about the box of Winchester shotgun shells that I have stored on the top shelf in my closet?  I had the thought: “Are they still good?”  I don’t know anything about ammunition.  Is there an expiration date affixed to explosives?  I don’t know, but I’d guess probably not.  Somewhere I recently read something about the discovery of an undetonated bomb left over from WWII. Of course, I’d question the efficacy of its viability? If it was dropped out of a plane and didn’t explode, what are the chances the next time?  Of course, all it might take is the kick of my right foot and I’d be blown to smithereens.

For that matter, what about the over-and-under shotgun that I have on the top shelf of my closet?  Actually, the shotgun is safely stored in a metal lock box made specifically for that purpose.  I started to phrase it “made for safe keeping”, but I’m not even sure I remember the combination of the metal case to retrieve the shotgun if I needed it.

Actually, when it comes to closets, the General wants leftover space. Without leftover space, the homeowner obviously doesn’t have enough closet space.  If the closet if filled, then storage is a problem. It’s confusing isn’t it? I’m just repeating what I’ve been told.  If there isn’t a lot of space left over, storage is a problem. 

The General telephoned over the weekend to “suggest” that I de-clutter the front bedroom closet. According to her logic, if any potential homebuyer looked in that closet, they’d quickly ascertain that we don’t have enough closet space.  So what was I supposed to do with the stuff?  She suggested that I put it in the garage.  Are you kidding me?  Our garage is where we have shelves and shelves already filled with things too good to throw away and not good enough to keep.  At least, that’s my take on the stuff we have stored there. 

At the top of her list was my need to remove a metal cabinet from out of the front bedroom closet. Years ago, she acquired it from the law firm where she worked. They had the good sense to get rid of it. She, on the other hand, was the lucky recipient.  She thought it would be a great way to organize and store craft supplies, jewelry making equipment, supplies, reams of paper. The list goes on and on.  Did I mention the metal cabinet is twenty-four inches wide, four feet tall and has a depth of a regular filing cabinet? You spell it “HEAVY”.  I actually used the piano dolly to move it. It was way too big to slide under the bed.  What did she want me to do with it?  Oh yea, she said to put it in the garage.

Never in a million years would it occur to her that we don’t have enough space in the garage?  Sure, both cars fit, but the surrounding storage on three sides is at capacity.  It would take a juggling act of major proportions to find a space for the metal cabinet.  In addition, it was hotter than blue blazes in the garage on Saturday.

It case you are wondering how hot that is, “It is really hot”.  I should know. I did the juggling act to de-clutter the closet.  Like I said, “It was only a suggestion”, but it was a non-negotiable suggestion.  She also wanted my luggage moved from that closet to the garage. Good luck with that!  It isn’t going to happen. I’d pack a bag and leave home before I attempted to fit one more thing into the garage.

Okay, so if our home sells, what is on my “must have” list?  For one thing, I have shared my last closet with the General. It would be good for our marriage if we had separate closet space.  The next house will have two large closets associated with the master bedroom.  The next house will also have a three-car garage.  We actually wanted a three-car garage when we built our current home. The plans were drawn with that in mind, but when the initial bid came back for building the home, the third stall got erased.

Getting back to the General, I have to say that I admire the priority she’s given to being available for her mother’s care.  She never complains about needing to juggle her calendar or lay aside existing plans to be available. She simply assesses the need and instantly her calendar is cleared and she’s on the road.

Hopefully, she’ll soon be on the road back home. If she tarries, I may exercise the initiative to de-clutter another closet half filled (I’m exaggerating) with giftwrapping supplies.  I could argue, based on the evidence I’ve been given, that anyone interested in purchasing our home would take one look in that closet and ascertain that we don’t have enough storage.  I’d hate to lose a sale because of wrapping paper and bows.

All My Best!


Apple Computer, Inc.




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