Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Little Chocolate Goes a Long Way

I went grocery shopping today.

Naturally the aisles are filled with "holiday cheer" as Christmas is drawing every closer.  Bins of toys and crayons and ties that aren't usually found in grocery stores are now there for the duration, hoping you'll impulse buy.  Sparkly ornaments are hung from the ceiling even as the massive pile of frozen turkeys are waiting to be purchased for the Thanksgiving feast.

I make it a practice to bypass the seasonal aisle because I know that I am weak and mint M&Ms call my name starting the very day of Halloween.  In fact this year I had Christmas music playing while I baked our Jack-O-Lantern pizza.  My husband was ashamed.  I didn't care.  I liked the way the music made me feel, and that particular day I needed the way that Christmas music makes me feel.  All good and warm inside, like all is right with the world.

But back to today.  Saturday.  The Saturday before Thanksgiving with the aisles packed with feast shoppers and people in line anxious to get checked out and on with the day.  Today I saw the display for Sweet's Orange Sticks.

And I cried.

Well I started to and then remembered that I was in public.  That I had to talk to the cashier to let her know that I am fine and then let the bagger know I wanted paper instead of plastic.  No cash back.  Yes I found everything just fine.  No, there are no special plans for today.  Just the box of orange sticks stuck in the cart at the last minute that I'm not even sure I'll eat.

The box of orange sticks that made me weepy.  That reminds me of the holidays because we always had them.  They were special.  They were a treat.  They were Dad's favorite. He always had them during Christmas.  Stashed away in a drawer or on a shelf.  As soon as they hit the shelves dad would get some.  We always knew they would be appreciated as a supplement to his gift.  A gift card to the movies taped to a box of orange sticks.  A box stuffed into his stocking because no one is too old to hang up a Christmas stocking.

A Christmas stocking that won't be hung up this year.  A stocking that won't have a box of orange sticks in it.  Or anything else.

I don't talk about it much but I miss my dad something fierce.  If you ask I'll say I'm doing well.  And usually I am, at the moment.  It's the little things.  The box of chocolates.  The John Deere tractor that has become a favorite toy for Ben.  Sorting photographs and finding one of the last taken of him.  Wishing it were a better one.  Wishing you had tried harder, been a little more insistent that he smile at the camera instead of trying to get one on the sly.  It's the pair of reading glasses that sit in the guest room that belong to him... the ones that I carefully dust around and then put back.  The stupid half roll of Certs that is still in my laundry room because mom washed some of his clothes here while he was recovering from a procedure.

So today I bought a box of orange sticks, set them on my counter, and cried.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

All that schtuff...

I am done.

Done with the clutter.

Done with the stashing of things to get to them later.

Done with the stashing of things and forgetting about them till sometimes months later.


There's no time today.  I have a list of things to do.  People to see.  Groceries to shop for.  I need to get ready for the evening.  I need to get food prepared and stuff ready for Sunday.  I need to ignore the clutter and put my energy into things that need to be done today.  That need to be taken care of for the basic necessities of life.  Ignore the cars everywhere.  Ignore the piles of papers.  Ignore the drawers where things have been shoved because they don't have an actual "spot" in my house.

But I can't.  Today I can't.  While waiting for my husband to get ready to help me with a photo shoot, I took the mail filing system that I carefully crafted two years ago to help organize the madness and I tore it apart.  I ripped the folder out and gutted the black wooden box that housed it all and hung it back up.

I felt better.

The box that had stopped being used for mail and had simply become a place to catch wandering bits of stuff, is empty.  Forever.  I like the way it looks all gaping and open on my wall.  I actually like it again.

I wish that were the only spot.

The thing is, I'm not really all that cluttered.  I mean I have my fair share, but comparatively speaking I'm not bad.  I only have two drawers of chaos.  Only a few surfaces to collect the leftover whatever it is that needs to be looked through, sorted, organized, thrown... processed.  The rest is pretty good.

But still it bugs.  I want everything to have a place and those that don't, I need them to go away.  Forever.  So today I'm ignoring chunks of my official list.  Moving those items to Monday.  Some maybe never.  Today I'm finding things.  Like surfaces and peace of mind.

Wish me luck!