Well, it’s been a fun weekend so far here at the Crosses. The boys have been gone since Friday morning, having taken their annual trip to Las Vegas. Cheri had Friday off, so for the past couple of days, we’ve just done what we please. The only ones who have had a bit of a fit about the weekend have been the cats. You perhaps have read how during the whole pandemic months, the animals in many zoos around the world became very lethargic and almost depressed, because the normal activity of interacting with folks visiting was taken away from them. I can tell you that when half the household, which stays home almost all the time, suddenly is gone for two days – and for two nights – cats just don’t know what to do. At 3am this morning, Hermes stood in the stairway, which is a perfect echo chamber, and howled for about 15 minutes straight, trying to wake the boys up. Of course, they were hundreds of miles away, so THEY never heard him. However, the ones who stayed home were privileged to hear the feline middle of the night concert. What a little knucklehead. Even this morning, after getting their pats and scratches from Cheri and me, they still went up and down the stairs, looking for their “boys.” It’ll be a good reunion when they get back on Tuesday, although I wouldn’t doubt but that there will be some pouting and stand-offish-ness from the four leggers.
Anyway, we have had lots of fun heading to all sorts of places in town, especially now that the mask mandate is pretty well over. Yesterday, Cheri stopped at a favorite store, and found three pair of shoes, size 6, on sale, so it was a banner purchase for her. We then headed over to the mall. I haven’t been in our mall for more than a year, to tell the truth, but it’s wide open again, and one of the jewelers is having a liquidation sale as they prepare to move to a new location. We had a good discussion a couple of weeks ago, and decided that we most likely were not going to take a trip anywhere for our 40th anniversary, coming up next month. We do have a few things planned, but the idea of jetting somewhere and spending a few days exploring, when we really don’t know what’s still safe or not made that idea a bit iffy. Therefore, instead of a trip, we decided that we would celebrate by giving each other rings for that special day. The jeweler was a perfect spot, and with pretty good discounts, we now have two rings, nestled away in the closet until June 13th.
We then made our way to Olive Garden, where we finally made use of the gift cards we had received for Christmas, and ended up spending $5 for the tip for the meal, leaving us full and happy.
When we got home, Cheri began to talk about a rug that we had seen in a thrift store the day before, and wondered if it might fit in the uncarpeted large/little room off our family room downstairs. She has been wanting something to make it cozier and more comfortable to walk on, so back we went over to the store, which really carries some very nice upscale things for sale, many donated from estates to raise money for hospice. We had the measurement of the room in hand, and sure enough, the rug was a pretty close fit. I even suggested cutting off about four inches on one end. In looking at the rug, however, it seemed to be very well made, and unlike what you might find in a usual economy store. The price was right, so we purchased it, and began to haul it to the car.
For some reason that I can’t figure out, the rug seemed as though it continued to grow as we moved closer to the car. Usually, I’m pretty good at figuring out space needed for things, but I was way off on this one. We put down half the back seat, pushed the rug in, and it fit, if you didn’t count the three feet hanging out the back. I then pushed the front seat up as far as it could go, and with Cheri then sitting behind me, we shoved the rug up another foot or so, but there was no way it was going to fit into the back with the back door closed. No problem, I thought – it can hang out a little ways, since it was a nice sunny day, and we could take the back streets home to our house.
One of the features of our car that I had never experienced before yesterday is that when you drive with the back hatch not completely closed, it lets you know that by emitting a constant beeping sound, so long as the car is moving. It’s a particularly loud beeping sound, just so you won’t mistake it for being something like not wearing your seatbelt. It’s also amazing that the beeping sound is constant, and never goes off. Ever. Unless you come to a complete stop, the beeping surrounds you, and it also has the ability to announce to everyone within hearing distance that “this car is driving with the hatch unsecured…”
I took as many back streets as I could, listening to the beeping as I made our way home. Small children playing in their front yards all came to a stop, stood and stared at the red beeping car as it drove by. People stopped raking their yards, or working on their cars – I expect they probably were just jealous, wishing they also had a constant beeping car, as it drove down their street.
Finally, after too long, we made it home to the driveway, and I shut off the car, and brought silence once again to our world. The good thing was that the rug was/is so heavy that there was no way it would have slid out of the back of the car. The not-so-good thing is that the rug was/is pretty heavy. As we stumbling carried the rug through the front door way, it felt like we were wrestling a giant anaconda, that suddenly went stiff as a rolled up rug. Making it into the front entryway, we both decided that “tomorrow” would be a good day to carry it downstairs, clean out half the room and unroll it. Tomorrow is always a great day to do something you don’t want to do today.
Still curious about the value of the rug, since it seemed to be so well made, we looked up the manufacturer, and the size and the particular name of the rug (apparently at some point, if rugs are big enough, they get their own names). Heading to the computer, I punched in the information for search, and immediately the information popped up.
Apparently, we got a steal. Indeed, this was not simply some common rug that you might find at Walmart or Target. As we found the brand, then the name, then the color and then finally the size, it turns out the rug that we bought for not much money at all is worth close to $1000! Cheri’s first words were, “Well, I’d never buy a $1000 rug!” I told her, “Well, you just did – you just paid less than 10% of what it is worth…” I must say she was feeling pretty smart for picking out such a great rug. Today is now yesterday’s tomorrow, so sometime today we will give it its new home in the basement.
It’s beyond fun when you try to be intentional about something, and while you are accomplishing that, you end up getting surprised when you realize something you had never seen before! An accident that opens your eyes to something unexpected is always a “good accident” so long as the unexpected is good itself, and not a huge mistake. We’ll take this one, and try to avoid the bad ones, still attempting to be intentional in most everything we do.
We will have to wait a little bit before putting the rug in place. You see, there is at least one cat, with others waiting, who insists on sleeping on Cheri’s lap for now. First things first…
Word for the day: skeuomorph. Pronounced SKEW-oh-morf. As we move more and more into the digital age, we are inundated with “skeuomorphs.” The word is Greek, from two other Greek words, skeuos, “container” and morph “shape.” A skeuomorph is something that is designed to look as though it does the job it’s supposed to do. Not a very helpful definition. Better to offer examples. On your computer, or your phone, you may have an application that functions as a calculator. The digital picture looks like a calculator and as you “punch” buttons, it may even make a clicking sound. Or the camera on your phone, when you “shoot” the picture, clicks the shutter – or when your phone “rings,” or you “push” the buttons to make a call, and we call that “dialing” someone, it’s all a skeuomorph. Even the copper coating on a penny is a skeuomorph, used to make it look like what we expect it should look like. In truth, a penny make today is 97.5% zinc, and only has a copper coating, since it is so expensive. Actually the last time pennies were completely copper-made was from 1793-1837. After that there was always a blend, though not to the extent of today’s skeuomorph.
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.