Anyone who has traveled away from home knows the story. You get home, where Everests of clutter await you--no matter how long you've been gone. A couple of days. A week. Ten years.
As followers here know, we returned from a week in Stratford, Ontario, late Sunday night, Everest glistening in the moonlight. (I don't know if there was moonlight, but I like the image.)
Here are a few of the things that greeted us:
- A pile of newspapers, delivery of which I'd stopped online before we left. Someone didn't get the memo. (A kind neighbor had sort of hidden them on the porch for us so that housebreakers would not see the open invitation the papers' presence issued.)
- Some email I had not been able to answer in Canada because I was away from the material I needed to reply.
- An empty refrigerator. (Meaning: We needed to take a trip to the store. See below.)
- US mail. Yes, we had to go to the Post Office to get it, the Post Office where we stood in a line that moved with glacial "speed." Most mail we get these Internet days is junk, but not this week: A pile of things requiring reply.
- Laundry. (Okay, I'll confess: Joyce does the laundry--I have other household jobs, so don't go getting all Male Chauvinist Pig on me. I still have to dump it all in the hamper, you know? That can be stressful!)
- Voice-mails glowing redly on our phone. True, we get only a few of these nowadays. But there were some. And they required fairly immediate attention.
- Unpacking. Putting unused clothes back in the appropriate drawers. Returning personal hygiene products to their homes in the bathroom (or, as the Canadians call it, the washroom).
- Dealing with things we'd purchased for ourselves, for gifts. Where to put them? How about the dining room table? (Where most of them still lie.)
- Grocery store trip (see above). At the local Acme we zipped our cart into a short check-out line, then, too late, discovered why it was short: A trainee was on the register. Glacier again. Since we were both teachers, we waited (and waited) with perfect pedagogical patience. (Not.)
- And here's a surprise: The clutter in my study, and on my desk, had somehow multiplied in my absence. As if God, disturbed by the clutter on His own desk, had looked around, seen mine, figured I couldn't possibly notice some extra. (I did. But I can't really complain, you know? Considering Where It came from.)
There's more--but I'm getting depressed, thinking about all of what I must do this morning. So I'm stopping. Here and now.