Sunday, September 13, 2015

What Really Matters

Today was going to be a productive day. I was finally going to get a jump on all those crafting projects I had collected in my mind (and on Pinterest). Of course I first had to do laundry. (I didn't want to completely lose the procrastination skills I had spent years honing, so I decided to blow off cleaning my bathroom.)

As usual, the girls had presented their laundry baskets late and in sloppy condition. Instead of getting better at preparing their dirty laundry, they now seem to take for granted that Nana will unknot their clothes and turn them right-side-out. 

And I did.

I've been suffering symptoms that lead me to believe my blood pressure is much higher than is safe, so I'm trying to pick my battles. This wasn't going to be one of them. It was too early in the day.

So I calmly reminded them that I expected them to do better next week or I would not wash their clothes, nor would I allow them to do their own laundry unless they paid for the use of excess water and electricity. (This was because I knew they wouldn't wash full loads, but would instead wash only what they wanted that day. I've lived long enough to know how most kids operate.)

The Princess decided to apprise me of The Law. "I'm pretty sure that isn't legal", she informed me. "You can't make us wear dirty clothes". She's 17, knows everything, and feels it's her job to share her vast wealth of knowledge with her grandpa and me.

I kept calm and carried on.

Later, inspiration struck. Instead of neatly folding her clean clothes as I always do, I haphazardly tossed them into her laundry basket. They were clean, and I'm pretty sure that's the extent of my legal obligation.

In the evening she returned home from picking up her boyfriend for a visit, and seeing her laundry basket heaped with rumpled clothes she asked if I was indeed not going to wash them. "They're clean", I said, "I just didn't fold them. I'm pretty sure that's legal". She wasn't amused.  Actually, she proceeded to act like a two-year-old. And I'm fresh off a visit with one, so I know exactly what a toddler meltdown looks like.

But it gets better.

It was now dinner time and I had just washed a sink full of dirty dishes that had appeared out of thin air, just like magic. My hands were still a little wet when I pulled out a baking sheet and started to set it on the stove. It slipped and dropped a few inches onto the edge of the glass cooktop. 

Crunch. 

Yeah, I broke the stovetop.  And no, it isn't in my budget to buy a new one.

Through my tears (and some profanities) I reached into the refrigerator to get a few things. After all, the show must go on.

For the past few days, I've noticed the vegetable and fruit drawers had been making a grinding sound when I opened them. I figured now was the time to get at least one of my appliances in good working order, so I removed the first drawer completely and found the problem...

There was a giant sheet of ice covering the bottom of the refrigerator.

When it rains it pours. And then it freezes up.

I was feeling pretty despondent at that point. Then my phone rang.

The details of the call aren't important to the story, but suffice it to say I was facing a real potential tragedy. And it scared me straight. 

There is nothing material on this earth that matters in the grand scheme of things. God blesses us with people to love and, if we're really lucky, people who love us back. If we're fortunate enough to have them in our lives for many years, and they are healthy and safe and hopefully also happy, that's really the only thing that matters.

Thank you, God, for blessing me today.


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