MERRY CHRISTMAS ------------- 1998
Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. I used to start 'over' decorating the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas 1998 my 6'8" man friend went out to my 6' storage shed and started pulling out the Christmas boxes. Generally Jim enjoyed this holiday task that we did together because he loved the beauty of the decorated house. Years past I would be able to empty the boxes almost as fast as he could set them in front of me. We would get this system of opening, emptying, and re-hauling the empty boxes back to the shed; heavy in, light out. 1998 was the beginning of the decline of the strength in my arms and shoulders so my ability to keep pace with him was sadly diminished and it was soon apparent that our efficient system was going to have to be altered. It was decided that I would check each box and decide if I was going to use it's contents. This new system was a huge change. I had always used all the boxes. Now I would have to decide which boxes would be rejected. I decided he would carry in a box, I would evaluate it's necessity, accept or reject it, empty the accepted ones, re-close the rejected ones, and put the rejected boxes in a special place to be taken back out later. Now, it was obvious that this new system meant that the Christmas boxes couldn't all be IN and OUTed in one day like we used to be able to accomplish. That was fine; it worked for me. I just wouldn't be able to get the decorations up quite as early as I usually did. That wasn't exactly the way Jim felt about this new system. He was used to carrying heavy in/light out. This switching to heavy in/heavy or light out confused his sense of the rightness of this yearly task. He got so upset with this new in/out business he started grabbing any box that was in his path of sight and ended up carrying out heavy boxes that hadn't been opened and evaluated. That meant that he had to re-carry in heavy boxes that had already been carried in (and out) once and re-carry them out after they had been looked into. It become such a confusing mix of in and out that I finally told him to just leave ALL boxes IN. Heavy or light, empty or full, the boxes were to be left where they landed until we designated an OUT DAY.
The problem with that solution was that there were 30 boxes that had to be left in the house until designated OUT DAY and the house became very similar to a warehouse; boxes stacked everywhere with aisles made for humans to get from one door to the next. That was fine; it worked for me. I could live with a warehouse look for a day or two. It worked for Jim too; his 6'8" back ached from bending over in a 6' storage shed. He stopped carrying in and out's and got a day or two of rest. The designated OUT DAY was chosen for the end of the week. Everything was looking like it might work out efficiently until I got up early the next morning and looked out my living room window .............................My mother and father were exiting their car. They had come to spend the night!!!!!!
"Continued in Next Entry"