Good Morning

feet by fireUpon waking, I sip my coffee either upstairs or downstairs, depending on which living space is less messy.  Today was a toss up.   These are my slippered feet and my PJ’s; that is my cat, and this is what my view usually does NOT look like in the morning.

Warning:  this may sound like complaining.  It’s not.  I really like the destruction.  Just ask my husband.  He’ll tell you how incredulous he finds the fact that I don’t even get mad anymore when the box-spring frame cracks under the weight of someone who MUST have been jumping on it or at my discovery of  firewood splinters all over the carpet (the least of possible evils when it comes to my dog’s chewing habits).  I’m just recording the moment.  In 10 years I may forget how the mornings went.  I won’t remember a time when things I place somewhere don’t stay there.

So I’ll start with the piano.  It’s dusty.  The floor is an ocean dotted with  Lego buoys and their large shallow boxes that remind me of  abandoned barges of perfectly recyclable trash floating along forever (a most deeply branded image on my subconscious, all I’ve retained of my public schooling).  Cups, bowls of cereal cement, an unwanted bowl of spicy black beans, a lemon half, and a frat party’s worth of cups greet me from the kitchen counter.  The cat meows that he wants his good-milk (2%, NOT skim, NOT whole– 2%).  Even the goldfish wiggles excitedly when I come close to brew my coffee.   He always seems to say the same thing.

Someone (I know who) was searching for a cough drop last night before bed, so the first aid box is on the living room dresser, and all its contents remain perched on said dresser, as if the reciprocal of taking stuff out of a container can’t possibly be to place them back in.   Inconceivable.    And this one’s mine:  Katae’s puzzle from Christmas break is still rolled up under the glass coffee table, its refugee pieces in sorted piles.  My defense is I’m leaving it until spring break, when I’m sure she’ll finish it.

Books are everywhere.

I like that kind of a mess because, really, it’s strategic.  Convenient books.  Anywhere you look you can see one… or ten.   I even take the piles apart so a roving eye can get curious about what excitement lies between the different covers.  (That was an unintentional double entendre.)  Not that I encourage judging a book solely by its cover, of course.  Just pick one up.

Where does my Lord fit into this?  I was supposed to be reading the Bible; instead I’m penning this record of state of our home.  All I know is that– before I knew Him, my house was spotless because aesthetics were all I had on which to stand.  Now I know that, more important than a tidy home is a happy heart, lots of them in fact.  They are happy making havoc.  I can’t keep up with their joy, is all.  And I’m too busy having fun myself.  So when I survey the jobs-like-stars awaiting my organizational hand and military bearing, I am not overwhelmed.

And I didn’t even bother to describe the room I DIDN’T sit in this morning. 🙂

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We didn’t like that anyway.

Abbott w-me“We didn’t like that couch anyway,” my son said with the glazed look of a soldier recently returned from a violent front.  In our family that sentence is code.  It means:  The dog just ate x.

I was in bed reading.  I didn’t believe him at first.  Mostly because my son is joking  90% of the time, but also because I didn’t want to believe him.  Ever since we adopted Abbott we’ve had various casualties.  Initially his tastes ran toward media:  books, games, magazines,  DVD’s, and spiral notebooks (essentially, the homework).  He also likes pens and seems to strongly prefer the taste of Bibles.  At least he has good taste.  Candles, purses, socks, and the usual– shoes, are also on the menu.

Last night was his first foray into something soft and foamy– and expensive.    I lay in my bed, too cowardly even to survey the damage (but also because I thought seeing it would make sleep even less of a possibility).   To prove he wasn’t crying wolf, my son brought me a very asymmetric piece of yellow foam; he held it out to me like a gift.

Fine.  Abbott ate the couch.   But I still wasn’t going to go down there until I had a night of sleep.  There are two kinds of people when it comes to sleep:  some think they need more sleep when they’re overwhelmed, and some think an overwhelming  sortie is best faced with less rest and more prep.  I am definitely the former.  And did I mention I love sleep?   I also want to love my handsome new German Shepherd, my protection from would-be rapists and burglars, so I considered it prudent and proactive not to see him while wanting to kill him.

Visions of my once-cozy, book-lined family room as the ground zero of a foam explosion bullied through my troubled mind.  I saw in my future  a spartan room, all my precious stuff evicted by Abbott and his pile of abandoned dog bones and chew toys.  Eventually I fell asleep.  But not before my son came to me and asked, “Aren’t you going to say it?”

“What?”  I growled (no pun intended).

“You know.  That you didn’t like that couch anyway.”

He was fishing for a sign that Abbott wouldn’t be served for lunch tomorrow or be taken to the taxidermist (a threat I often made with our cat).

“No.  I’m not going to say it.”  I was firm.  Abbott had gone too far.

Luke made a petulant little grunt and retreated to his bed.   I considered how  fragile and transitory my stuff became the instant we brought Abbott home from the pound.  Rescuing Abbott put our possessions in danger.   But it was always like that with stuff.    My winking at the kids’ use of the couch for a trampoline or my pride at their nimbleness in climbing the hallway walls underscores my lukewarm relationship with my stuff.   I just got a pop quiz from Abbott, that’s all.

I didn’t really like that couch anyway.

Abbott & his couch

Abbott & his couch