Musical Chairs



Okay, so I finally figured it out. It works in my best interest when I opt to go with the flow and accommodate the General in her quest for de-cluttering the house. Of course, when I think of clutter, I’m looking at the open spaces that anyone who visits our home can see.


The General was finally agreeable to my decision to strategically move three pieces of heavy furniture in our home. Previously every time I mentioned it, she was opposed because of the effort it would take to play musical chairs with the three pieces of heavy furniture. My grandmother’s hutch is no longer in our primary living area, but now postured against a rock wall on our sun porch adjacent to a round table and four dining chairs. It looks the way it is supposed to look. In addition, the hutch is less intrusive on the sun porch than the oak roll top desk that previously occupied that space.


The piano has been moved from the study and is now located in the primary living area in the space Grandma’s hutch used to occupy. Of course, the roll top desk is now in the study as the finishing touch to the perfect home office. Of course, it is all about staging. I’m really not going to use that space as my home office because the General thinks my middle name is clutter and she’s not going to tolerate the likes of that in a room off of the entry way.


Okay, so with those three pieces moved and everything in its place, I thought we were done. Like I’ve often said, “I don’t always get it right”. I was far from right on this one. Shuffling furniture awakened the sleeping giant. It was now time to take on the closet in the front bedroom. If you could only behold the treasures it held. Like they say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” In this case, it may have been the reverse of that.


It was a close call, but my junior high and high school annuals are still located on shelving in that closet. Much to my surprise, the need to toss them never became a topic of discussion. Of course, the General didn’t like the appearance of the six unopened boxes of my book “More Than Enough.” It was the General’s consensus that my inventory  of books was more than enough. Consequently, she wanted them moved.


I thought I was being cute when I suggested I’d toss them in the dumpster. I thought her response was a little insensitive. She responded: “They would do the same amount of good in the dumpster as they are doing in this closet.” Ouch! I didn’t see that coming. Of course, I can’t argue with her point, but I think the potential is greater from them to be in the closet than in the dumpster.


I thought for sure my high school letter jacket with the blue leather sleeves from band was going to the Goodwill pile, but she said I didn’t have to throw it away. My son and daughter’s high school letter jackets didn’t fare as well. They are out of the closet and in a stack to be returned to their rightful owners. We are not tossing them; we are returning them. If they subsequently, get tossed, well then: “It is what it is.” We are freeing up space in our closet.


The same is true of my 36” waist trousers. They are also no longer in the closet and have already been delivered to Goodwill. I guess that gives me extra incentive not to gain weight.  I had put them in the front bedroom closet just in case.


Actually, before we were done, the closet was almost empty. So what was that bag in the far corner? I had not seen it before. When I turned it toward me, it had handles on the top. “What is this?” I uttered. You could have knocked me over with a feather. It was a bowling ball she had borrowed from her mother to use at Vacation Bible School. I didn’t ask what year? I immediately asked: “So can it go to Goodwill?” The answer was “No”. She had told her mother she would bring it back.  And of course, it must be returned.


So does Grandma bowl? I have no idea. I do know that Grandma is eighty-eight years old and not always as steady on her feet as one might like. I can’t imagine her in a bowling alley, but for now the bowling ball is back in the closet awaiting the General’s next trip to Odessa. Trust me, I won’t forget that she needs to return the bowling ball and bag.  Nuts isn’t it?


Of course, getting out of the closet brought up the topic of our garage. We’ve got lots of stuff stored in the garage. Just for the record, I am a courageous man. If she wants my books to go to the dumpster, what about the Christmas Village that she has stored in the garage? This past year we opted not to put it on top of the kitchen cabinets. It really does require a lot of work and ladder time for the General.


I was cautiously clever in the way I broached the subject. “You know, at our ages we probably shouldn’t be climbing the ladder like we were monkeys to display the Christmas village. It would be bad if either of us fell and broke our hip.” Of course, I had incentive for saying so. Jennifer had called again yesterday for at least the eighth time wanting me to pick up my med-alert bracelet. I can’t remember how many lives are saved through med-alert, because after hearing Jennifer’s spill for the second time, I abruptly said, “Thanks, but no thanks and hung up the phone.”


So would she be willing to free up space in garage by getting rid of the Christmas Village? I wasn’t going to hold my breath. She responded: “I have no difficulty climbing a ladder!”  With that out of the way she added, “It would be easier for me to part with the Christmas Village if one of the kids wanted it.” “Bingo – Strike while the iron is hot!” I immediately dialed Craig’s number. The General had also culled out one of my “Pottery Barn finds” from the closet. She wanted it to go to Goodwill. I had sent Craig a picture. Did they want that?   He had yet to respond.  Why not ask about both.


“Miracle of miracles” they were willing to take both the Pottery Barn find and the Christmas Village set. Wow! This was my lucky day. What about the card table and four folding chairs that had belonged to my parents? They are almost like new. They have been in our garage for ten years, would they want that? They even agreed to take that as well.


If we could somehow now make our garage look as empty as the closet in the front room, I’d be singing the Halleluiah Chorus. We need to get rid of lots of stuff.


All My Best!