Friday, June 26, 2015

Inch Sixty-Nine: This House

This house—our house—is a mess.

There is no other way to put it. Between the music festival this week (concerts or rehearsals every night), my health, Warren's schedule without the music festival, and other family (the larger family) matters, there is no time, no energy, no bigger picture, no anything to spare.

Monday night we decamped to a spare bedroom. It is the same bedroom in which I have my writing desk and which was already in a state of—ummmm—disarray before we moved in.

It was in a state of chaos before because I have been purging again: eight bags to Goodwill, personal papers to recycling or shredding. There were still those piles of "do I send this out to Ben (or Sam) now or wait?" and "well, what about that?" Those stacks got hastily shifted to the perimeter of the room when I cleared and made up the bed at 11:00 p.m. Monday night.

Our sudden late night exit was due to the invasion of bedbugs from one of our travels or one of our activities. It was the dermatologist examining Warren who said "have you looked for bedbugs?" We did that night. The good news is that we caught them early; the great news is that the mattress in our bedroom was long overdue for replacement.

The bad news is that we are now strung across two bedrooms since we are sleeping in the spare room but our clothes are in our bedroom.

Well, for that matter, we are also strung across two bathrooms right now too. Warren and his son yanked out the toilet from the little bathroom adjoining our bedroom (it is too small to call a "master bath;" a "master bath closet" is more accurate) because it had been leaking and the floor needs replacing. We might as well paint our bathroom while we are at it. Our toiletries and the shower we use are in the bath closet; the working toilet on the second floor is in the other bathroom, which is conveniently located next to our current bedroom.

The toilet, incidentally, is in the other spare bedroom, along with all the art work from the first floor which came off  the walls last May when we repainted and had new carpet installed before Ben and Alise and Ramona came to visit.

The first floor has its own issues. The whole floor is the staging area for the Symphony's Executive Director and timpanist (i.e., Warren) and last night we filled the living room with the remains of the percussion ensemble's performance. Did I also mention that there are more crotales in this house right now than most major percussion manufacturers keep in warehouses at any given time? And there are Zildjian hats of different colors scattered around as well, courtesy of last night, including the checkered flag one perched on the kitchen table right now.

And let's not forget the bedding which I washed and dried on HOT post bedbug search just in case they had any bright ideas of migrating. It occupies three-quarters of the couch right now.

I am writing this longhand outside on the back deck in the early morning. I like to start my mornings out here when I can, listening to the birds bringing up on the day. From where I sit, I can glance to the right and see the garden. This year's garden is a riot of flowers...and grass and weeds. The flowers are perennials—some wintered over, some established by me in past years—none of which got moved to new beds because of schedules and travels and illness and the fact that Boger's son never brought back his dad's most excellent rototiller and so we did not get the new garden beds dug.  The garden is beautiful if you don't look too closely, but if I don't get some of it cleaned up, the grass and weeds will choke the pathetic tomato plants.

The other beds are hardly any better, although I did finally get the suckers around the ornamental cherry cut back after the robins fledged.

You must also appreciate that to get to the garden from the deck, although it is a short distance, you must navigate past the bagged soil that never got opened and used, the spare cargo trailer that occupies that bulk of the weedy brick patio and that I want Warren to give to his son because I cannot easily reach the garden with it in the way, and the small heap of wood (ends of old boards) that came up from the shed in the backyard and never got used this winter.

E. B. White wrote an essay, "Memorandum," in October 1941 in which he listed all the miscellaneous chores he really needed to do that day, ranging from bringing in the pumpkins to writing a long overdue letter to replacing a broken light in the workshop. White rolls through a lengthy to-do list, then concludes "I've been spending a lot of time here typing, and I see it is four o'clock already and almost dark, so I had better get going. Specially since I ought to get a haircut while I am at it."

I know just how White felt. It is already 6:30 a.m., I need to get showered and dressed, fix breakfast, and get to a half day training session. And I really should take another bag of stuff to Goodwill while I am at it.


Laurie said...

I can so relate, April! With so many projects and interests, life sure can get messy. At dinner last night, J mentioned that he couldn't imagine that people get bored from lack of things to do. I've got to agree with that. It's all about our choices, I suppose. I'll opt for a full life any day.

see you there! said...

Sometimes the messes just pile up. Don't you wish you had a fairy godmother to come along? Or a plumber? Or a good all around handyman? Hope it all gets done sooner than you expect.