I love the little coincidences in life that draw me, for a reflective moment, out of the dizziness of the daily grind and clarify my perspective. I had one of those moments this week when I happened upon the missing piece of Henry's puzzle in the refrigerator. At 20 months, he isn't confined by the formalities of organiztion and logical sequence--the puzzle was forgotten in the instant he discovered the brawny sense of satisfaction derived from shutting the refrigerator door! But there was good humor and clarity for me, as I was shoving aside bottles of mayonnaise and jars of pickles, searching for the cream cheese (that "just had to be in there somewhere") and found, instead, a little green pentagon, moist with condensation--I may as well have found a smile--I couldn't help it. For a moment, as I returned the little token of happy-go-lucky-ness to its proper place in the shape puzzle, I appreciated the disorder that Henry adds to the order I spend so much time and energy trying to maintain.
In an effort to make order of the study this week, I unpacked our books and organized them on the shelf. I also unpacked a piece of art that I ordered just after we got married. It's been sitting in its box, wrapped in plastic, floating on a cloud of packing peanuts ever since it was delivered. (Because of the "no holes in the wall" policy that was in effect at the apartment we lived in at BYU, we never could hang it up.) Now that we're in our house and can put holes in the wall at will, I decided it was time to unpack the painting. After I emptied all of the boxes, I broke them down and took them out to the recycling can in the alley behind the house. I decided I'd better not try to recycle the box that the picture had been in because I didn't know whether the packing peanuts were recyclable--so I just propped it up against the regular garbage can to be taken with the rest of the trash. A day or two later, a blustery wind storm blew in, tipped the box over and scattered packing peanuts all down the alley. I am embarrassed to admit that I didn't get up first thing the next morning to clean up the mess that I was responsible for--no, instead, I let the peanuts sit, and blow, and scatter for 3 whole days, never admitting that I was the knuckle bucket who left an open box of packing peanuts outside during a windstorm (though I always intended to clean them up.) So one day as Nate and I were pulling out of the driveway, I said, "you know all those packing peanuts that are all over everyones yards?" And he said, "yeah, I've been wondering who did that--it's really inconsiderate to just leave them laying around like that--what an eyesore for the neighbors!" and then he got this look of disbelieving realization on his face and I sheepishly confirmed his suspicions -- "yeah, those are our packing peanuts." I told him what I had done, explaining that I never imagined that they would end up strewn all over the neighbors' yards like that. But I had some tremendous laughs Saturday afternoon when we were cleaning them up. I was using a rake and Nate was just walking around with a grocery baggie picking them up by hand--we looked like a couple of inmates doing community service. Those little peanuts are like hummingbird feathers--when the slightest little hint of a breeze came up, our piles of raked peanuts went sailing! It was so hilarious, even now, I am giggling like a thirteen year-old at a slumber party just writing about it. Nate just asked from the other room, "What are you laughing so hard at?" I told him I was laughing about the packing peanuts--he doesn't really think it's that funny, but I hope you do--isn't it just the most perfectly ridiculous thing to imagine two adults plucking and raking up packing peanuts out of their neighbors' yards? I will say, though, that raking up peanuts doesn't have quite the same charm that raking autumn leaves does--the peanuts just lack that hearty, organic crunch that makes raking leaves so invigorating and festive. All this is to say that in an attempt to make order of my study this week, I really disturbed the orderliness of the neighborhood.
We are already getting very excited for the Holidays. In true
Nate takes the last section of the CPA exam in a week and a half. If the joy of that moment of completion could be compared to a moment in film, it would have to be the moment in the National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold plugs in his Christmas lights and the unseen celestial choir starts singing the Hallelujah Chorus. We will be SO glad to have that monkey off our backs--Nate's the one who's had to do the actual studying, but Henry and I have laid plenty of family fun time on the altar to help Nate give a valiant preparation effort. We feel like it's been a family sacrifice to prepare and there will be a family celebration if he passes.
Hoping that life surrouns you with much to love and much to laugh about...