Monthly Archives: August 2015

Summer nostalgia…

I’m sitting in Marquette, Michigan as I write this.  RC has business here and I came along for the ride.

Marquette - on the BIG lake.
Marquette – on the BIG lake.

Yesterday, we made a stop in Marinette, Wisconsin on our drive here so RC could work with a distributor to demo some equipment to a customer.  Not being a part of that work, of course, I sat in the car and waited throughout the hour and a half appointment.  (Fortunately, it was a lovely summer day – I would not agree to wait in the car in the winter!)

I was armed with things to keep me busy during my wait – crossword puzzle, ipad – so Facebook, internet, email, etc., novel, magazine and of course, red licorice!

But, the most enjoyable entertainment was sitting in quiet and just listening to the sounds of summer.  I had the windows down in the car and spent some time just being still.  Here’s what I heard…

  • a dog barking
  • children calling to one another; laughing; playing
  • a lawn mower
  • an ice cream pedal cart playing some funny melody (It would drive me crazy if I was the peddler and had to listen to that song over and over all afternoon.)
  • a motorcycle
  • traffic noise on the street
  • construction noise – a pounding hammer, power tools as perhaps being used in building a house

For some reason listening to these sounds was very nostalgic for me – remembering summers in my youth. (I cannot figure out if I am using the word, nostalgic, correctly [noun, verb, adverb ???]; but, hopefully, you can figure out what I mean, even if I have erred.)  Maybe as a young person with fewer responsibilities and concerns I was more aware of insignificant things going on around me, and thus, more in tune with the noise of my surroundings.  I must admit, now, in my usual hurried state to accomplish something, I don’t take much time to just be still and listen.  Whatever…at any rate,  hearing these things yesterday, reminded me of summers long ago, and that created a warm, fuzzy feeling for me.

I happen to love summer, that may have aided in providing good feelings for me in my non-busy time yesterday just enjoying the sounds.  During Minnesota winters, many of us – myself, included – do not venture outside much other than to get to work, take care of shopping, appointments, etc.   And, even if we do take walks or exercise in some way outdoors, we won’t hear some of the sounds I listed above; or may not be aware of them as we just hurry to get out of the cold.  Winter is time to enjoy the lack of noise when we are outside – that silence can add to the enjoyment (or be the only enjoyment?) of the nature of that season.

I pulled out my notebook after realizing I was hearing summer, and listed many more summer sounds, impressed by how many I could think of –  thunder, rain, the breeze rustling the leaves in the trees (remember, I don’t like wind,  so it has to be a breeze for me to enjoy the sound), birds chirping, squirrels scolding, mosquitoes buzzing (yuck to this one!), sheets on the clothesline flapping in the wind, and my favorite of all – crickets chirping in the evening.

I would highly recommend and encourage you to take some time on a nice summer day to go outdoors and just be still and listen.  Maybe all the wonderful sounds will affect you the same way they do for me and provide you with a warm fuzzy or even nostalgic feeling.



Lightening the load…

I’ll preface this post by saying organizing and striving for efficiencies in both my personal and work life are the things that make me tick and give me satisfaction. And, if I do say so myself, I’m, pretty darn good at keeping things under control!

But, then again, maybe not…read on.

On a recent Sunday morning drive through our neighborhood on the way home from church , we noticed a For Sale sign posted at the entrance of a twin home complex.  To my surprise, RC said, “let’s drive in and see what’s for sale.”

Now, I’m not sure I’ve even expressed it out loud, but recently, I’ve fantasized about moving into a twin home/townhouse type of dwelling, and leaving the work of maintaining a single-family home behind…in particular, leaving behind the maintenance of the exterior of the premises and taking care of the yard/gardens.  We do love our back yard and during suitable weather, spend a good amount of time on our patio enjoying the gardens and grass.  However, as I like to say, we have created a monster – it takes a lot of hard work (manual labor) to keep everything looking nice.  My back, for one, often rebels when I’ve spent time planting, weeding, pruning, etc.

So, my fantasy is to move into a place where I have just a nice patio or deck suitable for growing my favorite flowers in a couple of pots – low maintenance!

Flower pots on a patio
Flower pots on a patio

Also, it would be nice to have someone else be responsible for the exterior of the home and mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow.  (RC claims he does still enjoy doing those things.)

As I said, moving is my fantasy and not one, I think, my husband shares.  So, I was surprised he wanted to do a drive-by of this twin home that was for sale.  Turns out, it was a lovely-looking unit – single story, relatively new structure in a small complex of similar homes.

Well, conveniently, our son and daughter-in-law, Pete and Karen, are in the real estate business.  I seized the opportunity to have Karen get me the specific details about the unit being sold.  She found it has a couple of bedrooms and bathrooms, a family area, nice kitchen and patio.  It would be perfect except for one thing – it has no basement!  Not for me so much, but for RC that could be a deal-breaker.

I’m married to a salesman – one who keeps “samples” of his wares and “demo equipment” on hand in his basement, garage and, I might add, his car.  A good friend teases me about the fact I won’t allow anyone other than family to see our basement.  It is full of stuff and not the tidy, organized basement I assume most other people have.

Some of the STUFF in our basement!
Some of the stuff in our basement!

How will we ever be able to move into a home without a basement?!

This brings me to what I considered to be the topic of this post when I started writing today – lightening the load

I’m speculating we won’t live in our current home for the rest of our lives, however long that might be – 20-25 years if we are really lucky – realistically, probably a shorter time period.  I think we should start cleaning out unwanted, un-needed stuff now while we’re able so a move someday can be a much easier process.

I fear I’m in this cleaning out mode by myself.  I don’t think RC agrees with my idea of moving someday and he has a hard time parting with things.  I will say, since he is still working, there are many items in our basement we can’t get rid of yet.

But, back to my opening paragraph, though I have maybe let things get a little out of control as far as accumulating things, given my personality, I’m having a very satisfying time now, ridding the house of things not needed or useful anymore.  Driving by the twin home and checking out its features has given me the impetus to start preparing in the event I ever realize my moving fantasy.  Our garbage can and recycling bin were full to the top this week.  I have a few boxes ready to go to the Good Will also.

I’ll continue to whittle away at de-cluttering.  It entertains me for now; and, perhaps someday we’ll be glad I did lighten our load!