Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Routines

I like to keep things organized around here. As much as I love excitement and live prepared to embrace the extraordinary at the drop of a hat, I am still very much a person who enjoys predictable routines. I love that I can count on spring coming after winter and that I know pretty much how my time will unfold. This is based mostly on how events unfolded in the past. (For instance, I know I will always need a jacket the morning I go to the state fair in October but it will be too hot to wear it when the afternoon arrives.) That was probably why I enjoyed being an accountant so much; at the end of a cycle, whether it was a month or a year, you could draw a line at the bottom of the page and the totals for the two columns of numbers were the same if you did your job right. You always did the same thing every time and the numbers always told you if you had done your job correctly, as opposed to motherhood where the jury is still out almost 40 years into the project. I’ve given up trying to figure that one out.

Every Tuesday Beaven goes into Dallas to have lunch with his old buddies from the TV station. He’s been doing this every Tuesday since he retired in 1999. At the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1999, to be specific. I loved the fact that the company had put him in charge of their Y2K conversion. What were they going to do to him if he screwed up the whole thing? Fire him?

So Tuesday is the day I get to spend catching up on household duties like laundry. Every Tuesday for the past ten years, more or less, Beaven has come home to clean clothes in his closet and drawers; I sometimes wonder if he thinks a magic fairy has been doing the laundry all these years. With no outside distractions, laundry can end up being kind of fun. I separate the clothes just as my mother taught me: whites, coloreds, jeans and towels. I wash them in the same order every time so the clothes that need to be hung up right away get finished first. That way if something more exciting than laundry comes along it won’t hurt to leave the towels or whites in the dryer and go off on an adventure.

Because adventures do happen, even in the midst of laundry. Especially when I’m home alone. There’s no one to tell me I shouldn’t do dumb things like start a fire in the field and leave it unattended because it could spread and burn the whole place down. Things like that can make you forget to take the perma-press out and hang it up; you get so distracted serving huge glasses of iced tea to the volunteer firemen and all.

I usually start my Tuesdays with a visit to Walmart as soon as Beaven leaves. I love to just walk around in an un-crowded Walmart and this is generally only possible early in the morning. We’re in between seasons right now and the front aisles are deserted without Christmas or Easter decorations. It had a kind of Ghost Town feel to it. Today they were setting out the plants and gardening supplies. I wanted to buy compost for the garden but the ground is still saturated from so much rain and every step leaves a squishy footprint behind that quickly fills up like a mini-swimming pool. Not gardening weather just yet.

We’re between visits from the grands this week so there’s no real purpose in cleaning after their visit last weekend. They’ll be here next week for spring break. Anytime the four of us get together, no matter what season it is, we call it Grand Camp. They wouldn’t tell their mother what plans they have for next week when she asked. “It’s confidential,” they told her. Only grands are allowed to know these things and you have to be either a granddaughter, grandmother or grandfather to access that information.

It might be warm enough to put up the tent next week for their visit. There are a couple of glorious months in the spring and again in the autumn when it’s comfortable to sleep outside at night. I can’t think of anything on earth I enjoy more than sleeping in a tent with my granddaughters. We have the most wonderful conversations laying there listening to the night sounds and waiting for sleep. Around dusk the birds begin to tell each other goodnight then the frogs and the crickets. Then the coyotes howl, the feral dogs answer and finally the domestic dogs announce to both that they are on duty at their humans’ house. Then all goes silent until morning and the birds wake us.

Today God has presented me a gorgeous day and I feel guilty staying inside to write this. I shouldn’t waste the weather after God went to the effort to provide it so I think I'll close and go for a walk. I know there’s a bird out there somewhere waiting to sing for me.

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