By Emily Lundy
My heroes have always been “you,” the people who are organized, have their lives in some semblance of order, like beds made, morning dishes washed before noon, and some sweeping concluded where it is mostly needed, this before noon also. I usually tell myself I’ll do one of these later, much later.
Every drawer in your house is neatly arranged with you knowing exactly what is in which drawer. If someone asks me where something is, and I reply it is in the kitchen, and he complains he can’t find it. I say, “If you can’t find it, you don’t need it anyway.”
I’m not a complete loss. I have a drawer for eating utensils. The drinking glasses are behind one door, dishes to eat on behind another. There is one junk drawer and one drawer for plastic, foil, wax paper, so forth. But under the cabinet I’m still trying to get like articles behind the same door.
I love spontaneity, but it’s been conquered here. Experts say a restaurant’s cleanliness in the kitchen can be judged by the bathrooms. Walking to our door for entrance is our dead giveaway. And I work on it. But we’ve always had a house that needs fixing. We say we’ll make a certain improvements then act as though we are in our fifties and have years of time.
You, there, smiling, my hero, drive in a car cleaner than ICU in a hospital whereas I might could live in mine happily a week if I were covered in a snow landslide. Every time I depart the auto, I dispose of all I can. I can’t keep up, never could, never will.
And if grandchildren and grown children know I am not Miss Tidy and probably will only decline, these I love encourage the problem to grow. Some have clothing left here for years, but if it is in the school’s colors, I cannot discard it. Sentimental me.
Please don’t think of me as a hoarder; even my husband believes our items multiply in the night. But speaking of husbands, in the area of clutter, we are alike. Only I think like items go together; he sees no sense in my rule. He collects little things on the side of a road, busy or not, saying I bet I can find a use for that some day. Red gas cans, all sizes, are at any clearing in the yard. I pretend they are rosebushes, just late bloomers. On trash day, I place one can a week in the bottom of the biggest trash hauler and cover it with more trash. He would throw away my favorite dress if he knew.
You probably can have guests over for a meal, get the table cleared and the dishes washed before anyone knows it, and then sit to chat.
Since no kin helps me, I always say, “Leave every thing as it is. I have all week to clean it up. Let’s talk. I love to talk.”
Yes, you’ve always been my hero, and in the marriage of men and women, I suppose my husband and I were put together as no one else could have stood us.
When I worked, some other workers complimented me on being a multi-tasker, students working on different items; I saw it as saving my week, my job. Days just went that way sometimes then. Now I can’t talk and look at something at the same time. One topic at a time please and could you speak up?
And white is a color you wear well. No spots on the front of your blouse even at the end of your day. A miracle. Then an updated calender hangs somewhere appropriately with your events and appointments on it. You always write something down, anything slightly important, AND YOU CAN FIND IT THE NEXT DAY!
My husband, when employed, had secretaries who handed him what he needed, had his briefcase ready for his next meeting of the week, and he was ready to go. Had I been going to a smaller meeting, my important papers would still be on my desk or in my car. I had to depend on students for information.
The only good part of me is having you come by, asking me if I have time to ride with you to the next town for something and maybe a cola. At any time I ‘m ready. Whatever I was working on takes second importance, and I like that quality.
Remember Gary Morris’ version of “Did you ever know you’re my hero” of the eighties. Our family has used it in weddings, celebrations, etc. But never as I have used it today. Maybe it’s my theme song because I depend on others so much. Remember, it takes all kinds. Surely, I’m not the only “One of a kind.” I certainly don’t want to be around anyone like me. Oh, the trips back to some place to retrieve my purse.