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Another Day in the Country

Living through a ‘time out’

© Another Day in the Country

These last few weeks we’ve been like children put in “time out.”

Many of us are sitting in a corner or a chair, inactive, when we really want to be out and about… on with our business.

I can remember saying to my children, when they were little, “Time out! Go to your room (or sit on that chair) and think about how you’ve been acting.”

We needed this! In fact, I’m not sure but what we could use a little longer of a time out to figure out how we’re all going to survive in the future. Should we go back to business as usual?

I hear reports of how Mother Nature has loved this time out. It’s been very beneficial for her.

If she could talk out loud on the television, spreading her message, I think she’d say, “Time out! You go sit in a corner a little longer and think about what a mess you are making on my planet!” 

I imagine her getting pretty heated up!

“Who do you think you are having more children than you can support,” she’d say. “This planet’s population cannot expand indefinitely. Think about it. You are responsible for what you create.”

I’ve been thinking about that last sentence all this past week as we tackled the job of cleaning up what I euphemistically call “art stuff.”

It’s a combination of supplies that are lovely to have around, like all kinds of paper, all kinds of paints, from chalk pastels to tubes of acrylic, all kinds of tools, all kinds of “scrap,” which is a fancy name for pages torn from magazines which are used for ideas and collage, all kinds of treasures from found objects in nature, beads, clay baubles I’ve made — you’re beginning to get the picture — all kinds of frames, as well as leftover frames from projects my young art students did, all kinds of “pictures” I’ve painted, all kinds of donations from artists who were down-sizing and said, “Can you use this?” from paint sets to fabric swatches.

If you think that sentence was long, you can only imagine how long the process has been of cleaning up the mess I created.

There was a house full of similar things, and then we decided to empty it out and put it up for sale. All that stuff had to be gone and the place it was going — after days of throwing away, giving away and downsizing — was my garage, which was not ready for this influx.

So I began the same process, sorting through all kinds of decorations for every season of the year in all kinds of boxes stacked to the ceiling. There were all kinds of tools, from my Dad’s pitchfork from the farm and the first saw he bought for himself, to hay hooks from when I had horses in California and gidge-gadgets I’d hoped would solve some dilemma or another, which was over my head that I needed to solve. There were all kinds of doors that (believe it or not) came out of or off of something or other in the house and might be useful again, and all kinds of supplies for projects that didn’t get done, like 20 boxes of tile I thought we’d use on the back porch, but then decided it wasn’t a good idea, and a generator used once 15 years ago.

Is your back hurting just from the idea of all this work? Mine is, but I had created this hodgepodge of semi-useful stuff and I need to take care of it — whatever that means! I’d created it, one way or another, and I was responsible!

Believe me, there were many cautionary, incriminating messages from all sorts of unseen Possibilities (with a capital P) whispering in my ear, as I worked in the garage, put together shelving, and sorted boxes. Thankfully, a few of the voices in my head were encouraging, and my much more organized sister was cheering me on as I cleaned up messes I’d made.

Quite distinctly I heard Mother Nature say, “Good start,” as we shredded paper and recycled. But she was still grumbling, “You think you had it bad this week, you should see some of the things I have to worry about — people should know better — it takes a long, long time for me to clean up some things you bury, some of it NEVER.” 

“You should know better!” (That one I heard from my mother over and over — and it helped.)

Depending on your belief system, any number of parental godlike figures should be talking to you right about now, admonishing you to take care of your miraculous body!

“Would you try and run your car on soda pop?” they’d say. “Of course you wouldn’t. You do know what sugar would do in your gas tank? For Pete’s sake, what do you think it does to your body? You don’t know? FIND OUT!

“You’ll surely buy several cars in your lifetime, but there’s no trade-in on the ONE body you get — so take care of it! It doesn’t run on junk food!”

I’m over the hump now, cleaning wise. Tony’s house is almost cleared, and I can see the finish line in the garage. I’m exhausted but it’s the good kind of tired, on another day in the country.

Last modified May 13, 2020

 

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