I look all around me. Do I have too much stuff? It is rather difficult to keep 1,000,000 various objects in their place. And yet, this is what I enjoy. Interesting things. At least now I am selling Interesting Things on ebay. I only mention it because of a little story I have to tell.
I was at Goodwill with Sarah over a week ago. We were making this stop amongst other stops. She wasn’t feeling her best so I was being as time efficient as I could be, walking over to the toy section last. She was right by my side when I found a small troll buried in the stuffed animals and dolls. “Mom, put that thing back, its disturbing.” It had wide round eyes, painted on eyebrows, and hair as long as it’s body, hair that was as fine as cotton candy, and even pinker. Somehow I was attracted to the little guy (what this says about me no one knows). It was just weird. Plus it’s hair was soft. I just liked it. I couldn’t put him back, especially when I noticed that he was a dollar. Not only a dollar but also his particular color price tag was half off…..making him a whole two quarters. “If no one wants him on ebay, I’ll keep him,” I argued. “Mom, no, please, I hate it.” “I love him!”
He sold yesterday for 55 dollars. Today I will pack him gently in his box and say goodbye. I’ve had such fun watching his price go up over the week. I told the girls that once I bond to an object, I cannot sell it. This was a close call. But off he goes, to his new and happy home, to a collector with many brothers and sisters for him to stand at attention with. I hope he doesn’t forget me.
I was told recently that I’m not the sort of woman people forget. It pulls out some sort of very uncomfortable feeling inside of me, an unsafe feeling, like “Why? I don’t understand,” followed by tears.
I just came to me that maybe that’s part of the reason.
So I feel safe and cozy in my home full of treasures. I realized that it is not materialistic, but wholesome and good to love our homes…..to tenderly care for our possessions with respect and gratitude. Dusting, rearranging, blessing,…. these beautiful emotions as we handle our things are God-honoring. Our places and belongings are both held loosely, ready to be given up, AND held tightly, rather like a hug, with prayers of thankfulness, to use for good; welcoming friends, serving, having parities, having a “Holy Spirit” house of openness. This is why I absolutely love to cook and clean. I have my favorite window cleaner, a multitude of cleaning products (thank you Family Dollar), brushes and scrubbers, and many stories I could tell just about my vacuum cleaner.
For instance, we have mice. Mice live here. Or rather, are lost here. Our cats have taken to bringing their LIVE catches INTO the house. This is different from years past when they would LEAVE their DEAD catches outside on the DOOR MAT. THAT’S the rule for cats. But NO. Now they bring them in, put them down, and off they run. Mice and chipmunks. No birds yet. So anyway, I realized that once a mouse has been chased around and scared half to death, it is in the perfect physical condition to be vacuumed. Its tired of running. Its defenses are down. What’s a tube of air-suction compared to a cat? Basically an amusement park ride! So yes, the vacuum cleaner is also a mouse trap. I can take the whole canister outside and let the mouse go. It doesn’t go very fast, but it does go. Hopefully far far away.
It’s a frosty morning. Rich is taking a call in the living room before driving in to work. I’ve had a cold all week, and also how is it only Wednesday? The sun is shining brightly and quite distractingly. I made an apple pie yesterday for dinner, along with goulash (baked with lots of mozzarella cheese and pepperoni on top), and fruit salad.
I had to take Seth to practice after I made the dinner. David wanted to come along. David has had some struggles lately and has found himself bored with no phone or playstation, so has been rereading some of his favorite childhood books (the Percy Jackson series) which we own but have proven hard to locate on the many many shelves of this house (I love having so many books). He couldn’t find number four, or five (or was it three and four?) and actually wanted to go to the library. All his idea, so yes I was thrilled. …. David leaving his room to go with his mom to the library? Awesome. The angels were singing. I was singing. Off we went. Dropped off Seth, dropped of Sarah (at cheer), and went to the library. We had a good half hour before Caleb was done with football practice (we had to pick him up) so we both found some books and let the library soothe our nervous systems (late afternoons tend to slightly rattle us all). Since we had time, we sat and read our books until Caleb called, then we went to the desk to check out and !!!!!!!!!! why is this always and forever happening to me?! “Your card is blocked.” the nice lady said. “Four books were checked out in March and never returned. They need to be returned or the fine is seventy dollars.” She searches the shelves just to be sure. I didn’t even REMEMBER the books (they were Sarah’s). We asked to see if David still had a card to use. The nice lady helpfully looked him up. “This card is flagging a family fine of 120 dollars.” I start to get the giggles (I can’t help it, life is so weird, so ludicrous). “But,” she continued, “David’s card only has a three dollar fine, so I’ll let him use it just this once. We have to renew it though. Is he over 18? “Yes,” I say proudly, “he’s right here, and he’s twenty.” “Do you have your license with you?” “No” “Any piece of mail with our name on it?” “No”. “You’re going to hate me………”
Turns out if you’re over 18 you have to have proof of address to renew your library card. He had no such proof so we hung our heads and left the library ……..without any books.
Caleb and three friends bouncing down the road toward the library, so stopped to pick them up. They had all been in football practice and were loud and very very smelly. They had to cram tightly into the backseat (four HUGE teenage boys) with their backpacks on their laps. The outside boy had to try shutting his door three times. “Move your knee! It’s your KNEE!” My car instantly smelled of cow-barn with all these dirty sweaty boys.
I drove home after a disappointing library experience, plugging my nose and listening to Caleb and his friends talk about the most random of subjects, laughing a little and thinking, “This is so weird. Is this really me? Is this my life?”
They lifted weights in the home gym and then came inside and ate all the food, (with my blessing) but not the pie, the pie was for my husband.
Speaking of my husband, his call is up. He just came to me to say, “Just so you know. There’s a chipmunk in the living room. It came out and looked at me during my call and then ran off.” “Was it lively?” I asked. “I’ve seen more lively.” He replied. “You might want to shut a couple cats in there with it.”
With that, he gave me a kiss and left the house.