Monday, January 24, 2005

Catching the Loose End

For four years, we lived in northern Michigan. One year, we didn't see the green of grass for six whole months. As a transplanted Pacific Northwesterner, I thought I might die of frozen white boredom, but that's not what this is about.

Just tonight, while I was transcribing a tape from my private investigator boss, I thought of the time I broke the window treatment in the mint-green parsonage bedroom where we used to live.

Living in a parsonage was fantastic in so many ways. For instance, when the preschool-aged twins flushed twelve toothbrushes down the toilet, a plumber came and fished them all out and billed the church. Or maybe he didn't even bill the church. I don't know, but I do know that it cost me nothing, other than my pride. We had access to a big old blue dumpster, which was a delight to me, for I could hurl gigantic things into that trash receptacle often. We've always generated a lot of debris, for reasons I don't quite understand, but let's go ahead and blame disposable diapers. And I like to purge my house, so off I'd go, trudging across the parking lot, with a burden of stuff I couldn't wait to discard.

But the drawbacks of living in parsonage included inhabiting walls painted in dreadful colors. And what really bugged me was the window treatment in the master bedroom which hung crookedly on the large window which overlooked the rolling landscape and the rotting old farmhouse on the next hill.

One day, I took scissors to the cord I figured was responsible for the crookedness. I intended to cut the cords and tie them evenly and then, in a flash, the too-long cord whipped right through the stiff canvas, up through the hole in the metal along the top and in that blink of a moment, the window treatment broke.

I couldn't retrieve the string and so for the rest of our years in that parsonage, the mint-green bedroom was shrouded by the broken shade, which hung limply over the window. I hated that.

Some days, I feel like I'm a fingertip away from grabbing an errant cord and then with a swoosh, it flies out of my grasp and all I can do is watch it whip up into an unreachable place. My days are like an inflated balloon that I haven't quite tied and then just as I'm about to wrap it around my fingers and knot the end, it flaps out of my hand and burbles through the air in a crazy, curly path. The hours are soap that slips from my hand and into the tub, where it skitters away just as I think I have a grasp on it.

Just today, I walked into the house and encountered YoungestBoy who seemed to have grown a few inches since this morning. I grabbed his blond head and said, "Quit growing! You have gotten taller since I saw you last!"

My days are getting away from me. The rollercoaster is about to crest and then I know the second I hit forty (on Friday, don't forget!), time will zip by even faster and I will never ever get a tight grasp on my life again. All I can hear is the zing of the string whirring away, just when I thought I had a grip on it.

3 Comments:

Blogger Ozfemme said...

Hey, forty's not bad. Forty two, however, well....

3:25 AM  
Blogger WordsRock said...

Time actually slowed down just a tiny bit when I hit forty. Could have been an illusion, I guess. Contrary to Oz's opinion, however, it didn't change again at 42.

Grab it when you can, though. Time is fleeting.

5:35 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Well...here I sit in my parsonage in Michigan dying of frozen white boredom.

I, too, love having a dumpster.

I also like it cold, so that helps.

And, I actually haven't been bored in at least two decades.

But, tonight, as I was walking home from work (which is only about 30 steps) the sun was setting. The entire sky was pink. All that white snow, the black silohuettes of trees and a pink sky. It was truly beautiful.

Although my husband came home from work and told me I had missed the most gorgeous moon rise. We are never looking in the same direction. Ever.

Just had to put in a plug for Michigan.

6:22 PM  

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