So, it’s been a long summer, into fall, and approaching winter, and we still are in a bit of transition in our family. The death of Cheri’s mother in August pretty much slowed and then stopped normal life for the family. I felt that similar experience after my mom died in May of 2019. The only real difference was that the center of activity was in Fort Worth, and that meant my taking a couple of extended trips to help clean out the house, and figure out where all the “stuff” was going to go. Fortunately, I only had a Mazda CX-5 to haul things back, so my “cut” of the stuff of our family home’s things had to be a bit smaller than others. This is good, because frankly, there wasn’t a lot of room in our home anyway to bring stuff in and find a comfortable place for it to find its new home.
With Cheri’s mom, it was only 2 hours away, and so it was/is possible to make a number of trips back and forth, bringing cherished items into our home that is already fully furnished. This last trip included hauling lots of furniture, courtesy of Cheri’s brother-in-law and a bit trailer. Into a nice, fully-furnished abode, we unloaded a tall dresser, two dresser/bookshelf combinations, a large bookshelf, a bench, an antique trunk, and an old pie safe with square nails. We already had cleared room for another antique pie safe (this family must have loved pies!) and loads of other knickknacks and more-than-you-can-imagine “stuff” that was moved on to the premises. The majority of the furniture is presently taking over 1/3 of the garage, but we really need to move it out of there, so we can at least park Cheri’s car inside before the winds and snows of winter come pounding down on us. It is the middle of October, after all…
So that’s our job today – short hauling furniture, most of it downstairs. I always love moving heavy wooden furniture down flights of stairs, don’t you? I mean, that thrill of slowly lowering the piece, while making sure you don’t miss a step, or drop it, or damage the walls or whatever. What fun. Still, I think we can get most of it moved, which is probably why we kept both adult sons around – for such a time as this…
However, it’s important to clarify that the items moving into our home are not what you would call “pristine.” Granted, they look very nice, and are made of nice Ethan Allen construction from the 1970s. However, after the lemon oil treatment is given to each of them, we still have a couple of issues needing correcting. You see, whether it happened over the years that the dressers were in the girls’ room, or whether it happened in the move out to the farm garage, or from the garage to the trailer, or from the trailer to the Cross garage – somewhere in that time line, the little brass pulls from a couple of the drawers ended up sheared off. They were little and fragile to begin with, but it just happened that they went through that unfortunate alteration.
No problem, I said to my adoring wife, with the ease of believing I had a great solution to the challenge. I’ll just go online, and simply order some replacement knobs for the furniture. They should be easily available, right?
Well, not so much. First of all, when you do a search online, the words you select have to match what someone else in the universe decided was the best word to describe what it is they have, that you need. For instance, to search for “little brass knobs,” is a flight of fantasy. I know what they look like, but there are thousands of variations on the theme, to be sure…
So, I entered, “little brass knobs for Ethan Allen furniture.” Nope – still pretty vague. How about “Little brass knobs for Ethan Allen Heritage furniture from the 1970s…” Close, but not cigar. I tried “little brass pulls” and “brass round small pulls…” I actually saw a couple of pictures, but when I clicked on the page to see what I could order, all I pulled up were tons of picture of the products Ethan Allen has made over the last forty years. Not helpful.
I guess it just goes to show that very few things we search for in life come perfectly ready to be put in place. We actually live in our lives with way more variations on the theme, than being able to zero in on exactly what we need. What that means, of course, is that we will move everything in to where we think they should go, and then spend the next while trying to locate, secure and replace what should be a five-minute process.
So – today is a great lesson in both patience and adaptability. It’s not unlike everyone of us and our challenge to make our world a bit better, or a bit more perfect. Truth be told, it’s not a national crisis if I can’t find the drawer knobs, I guess. I remember a great saying Cheri found and calligraphed one time: What we pay attention to grows in importance in our lives. What that tells me is a word of great caution. I need to be careful and discerning about what indeed I am going to let fill up the empty spots of my attention, because indeed, even if it is the most trivial and unnecessary of things, but can grown to become the most important thing on my plate to get done, and that could become the center of my thoughts and preoccupation, instead of focusing on something that indeed is truly worth thinking about, and worth taking my time.
So – today we move the furniture in, and when I get around to it, I’ll do some hunting for brass whatevers. Perhaps more important is for me to focus my attention on offering my love and my support to my family and others in their careful work of living their lives in abundance. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday, eh?
Word for the day: skerrick. Pronounced SKER-ick. Actually this word is fairly new in our world vocabulary – probably from the early 1930s. It’s a slang word of the Australians or New Zealanders, but slang words are always kind of fun to keep in the ready as you try to describe something in a new way. The word actually stands for a very small piece of something, or just a little bit or iota of an item left. It’s often used in a negative context, like, “I looked all over the kitchen, but I couldn’t find even a skerrick of bread for a sandwich…”
It’s a slang word, but when not well known, it’ll make you sound oh, so intelligent.
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.