Last week I took a much needed break from work and went to Seattle to be with two of my grandchildren while their parents were out of town. The kids are 18 and 15, so as you can imagine, I saw very little of them. They were out of the house by 7:30 (they go to the same high school) and home by 3:00, so I had seven and a half glorious hours every day with Lou, a four-year-old golden lab, and Sid & See, two pound cats (not in weight, just rescued from “the pound”). The four of us got along peachy as soon as I figured out the rules of their games.
Before I tell you about their games, I want you to know I'm a dog person and I love Lou and he loves me! I'm not ashamed to say we slept together the whole week. In fact, on our last night together, I took these selfies (my first ever).
(You'll notice in this first one, Lou got a little carried away with his affection for me.)
Lou’s games involved a toy box filled with toys only the canine privileged get. His owners signed him up for some kind of Toy-of-the Month for bored and entitled dogs and Lou knows the box when UPS brings it. I swear he can smell his new, recreational victim from all the other UPS deliveries that come daily!
His game rules kicked in if you sat on the sofa in the family room for more than five minutes at which time he'd choose two mutilated objects, dropping one in your lap. If you didn’t throw it, he'd drop the one he kept in his mouth and BARK LOUDLY! Once you picked up the gross object in your lap, that was usually wet from dog slobber, he'd pick up the toy he'd dropped and run after the thrown toy. This could go on for hours if the thrower was inclined to do it. The only way that game stopped was if you got up and went to your room.
The cats’ game revolved around trying to get outside. They’re not allowed, but would have killed to get to, and on that first day they tried to take advantage of my substitute teacher situation, positioning themselves to sneak out the patio slider when the dog wanted out (which was about every ten minutes to chase the squirrels that taunted him mercilessly through the window).
See is a pitch black cat, and he planned his escape that first day by making himself almost invisible and as still as the two-drawer, black filing cabinet he was sitting on right by the slider. A big squirrel swished his huge, fluffy tail like a Can Canner with her skirts, only this squirrel was shameless in showing off its butt as he swished Lou into an insane frame of mind ready to explode out the slider like a broncing bull at a rodeo. See was ready too and it was only because the back of my hand brushed his fur that I didn’t slide open the door letting Lou charge the dancing rodent and See find his long-desired freedom.
Sid is a long-haired, mostly gray calico who chose her fantasy escape by trying to blend into the gray of the wood stove which is also very close to the slider. After that first day, I was able to go into TSA mode and when my week was up I was proudly able to account for one dog and two cats.
While I was in Seattle, I celebrated my 74th birthday and with a lot of time to think, I’ve come to an interesting conclusion. I no longer want to write specifically about getting organized. I’m tired of it and if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you probably are too. Instead, I want to write about the sheer fun of being alive, without always trying to fit it into the context of being organized. Taking a break did that for me.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t lost my passion for keeping clutter at bay, continuing a routine that includes exercise, entertainment, good sleep, cooking good food, spiritual nurture and keeping my house clean and cozy, it just means I’m going to write more outside the box of “getting organized,” and this is my first entry.
Oh, and if you want to get organized just enough to please you, my book The Joy of Being Disorganized is a must read!
Have a wonderful day!