Saturday, September 1, 2012

Now Where Did I Put That Pool Table?

No going back.  That's what the proverbial "they" say.  I cannot look in regret to the past and opine for the things that should have been.  To wallow in opportunities misspent is to waste the opportunities that lie ahead.  To announce boldly that I simply cannot remember all of the silly conversations, the humorous happenings, and the incongruous occurrences since I last wrote, is to embrace a new beginning.

There, I said it.  I haven't even thought about writing in a long time and I wanted my first venture back to have a beginning that was worthy of the great works of Larry, Moe, and Curly.

We had a busy summer.  We were shedding off a lot of the things that hold us back.  Both literally and figuratively.  We have begun an effort to de-clutter the house and make it "ready for people to see if they just happen to come by."  We have had similar efforts in the past.  Our most famous and most successful was the battle of the garage two short years ago.  No longer have we had to open the garage door to walk on the body-width path to the outside to go to the different body-width path to the back of the garage off to the other side.  All the while wondering if the precariously piled objects would shift and cover the intrepid explorer in an avalanche worthy of the ten o'clock news.  I believe, at that time, we donated about 40 boxes to charity...and parked the van in the garage! (for about a week, and then Jake bought a drum set.  What're ya gonna do?)

The garage has been in varying states of tidy ever since and we have never been back to the "YOU DIDN'T LET THEM SEE THE GARAGE, DID YOU!?!" state since the big clean, but other places in the house compensated.  We have a screened room with a pool table in it that we cleverly call "The Pool Room."  It isn't the room that leads to the pool, since we have none. (Stop sending us your brochure Fremont Pool Supply!!)  It's a bit of a misnomer since only people with a good memory could tell that there actually was a pool table out there.  I have to admit, it is a seriously messy room when you misplace an entire pool table.  The room that holds the pool table also holds, a ping pong table (on the pool table), a foosball table, a couch, about a thousand VHS tapes, an artificial Christmas tree, a dresser, a TV, a five DVD player, a dormant treadmill, a keyboard, a filing cabinet, a doll house, souvenir bull horns, an old computer, several boxes that were packed up when Sylvia lost her teaching position due to budget cuts, even more boxes from the kids who decided to empty their rooms to paint and never re-filled them, and finally, enough dog hair to create another whole dog.  As you can imagine, this was now the un-seeable room.  When anyone came over, we closed the drapes over the sliding glass door and hoped that we wouldn't need to go outside for anything.

Anyone with kids, even teenagers, can tell you that trying to clean while they are present and living their lives is like trying to catch the rain in a cup.  You can get some of it, but you'll never get it all.  I know, I know...there are some people who can maintain a home worthy of a Beautiful Homes Digest photo shoot at any given time of the day, any day of the year, even when everyone in the house has the flu and has just gotten back from vacation.  Let me just say, in all seriousness, we hate them.  Well, that's not entirely true...but let's be honest, when you go into someone's house that looks like a model home has been continually cleaned by an obsessive compulsive germophobe, and that person says, "Excuse the mess" ... you want to smear peanut butter on their couch, right?

As it turned out, both of our kids were away for two weeks this summer and, romantic couple that we are, we attacked the pool room.  Not exclusively, but it was a major endeavor.  The first domino that tilted the others into action was my Uncle.  No, he didn't come over and say something about the clutter that embarrassed us into action...he came over from where he is living in Thailand and took all forty of the boxes that we have been storing for him in our garage.  (Can anyone else hear the Hallelujah chorus?)  With that free space in the garage we were able to organize enough to locate the pool table, put away the Christmas tree, donate about twenty five more boxes, and generally open up a room that is now not an embarrassment to be seen.  Our two dogs still produce enough extra hair to fill a cargo ship every other day, but at least we can play ping pong where did we put those paddles?

It feels good to write again.  If I can keep at least one of our computers in functioning order, I may write again...but that is another story.