Saturday, July 02, 2005

"What'd you do over the weekend?"

"Oh, I got the snow tires swapped off my car."

I had to empty the trunk to hold the regular tires. I took out the pair of drapes with hardware that are supposed to get dumped at a Goodwill somewhere, the cardboard box holding my snowmobile boots, my hip waders and my irrigation boots, the three-legged stool that's broken, the "reacher-grabber" I take to the grocery store so I can get at things on the top shelves, the soft old Indian-print blanket, the half-jug of windshield wiper fluid and the dirty rag I use to check the oil, and put them in the garage. My emergency overnight duffel bag I brought into the house suspecting it needed refreshing and updating.

I went through the back porch and got the key to the padlock on the toolshed. I went out to the toolshed and got out the wheelbarrow, loaded the regular tires onto it, and hauled them out to the driveway and shoved them into the trunk. I left the wheelbarrow in the garage, and went back and locked up the toolshed. We took the car to the tires place and ordered an oil change and a tire swap.

Back home, I went down to the basement to start the laundry. The cat box needed cleaning, so I did that, and took the bag of dirty litter out to the garbage cans. I loaded and started the washer. I went back upstairs and brought the duffel bag up to the bedroom. I wanted to lay out its contents on the bed, but the linens are overdue for a change. So, I stripped the bed, tossed the linens down the chute, and put clean sheets & pillowcases on the bed.

I opened up the bag. A couple of books; a dirty toothbrush, a dried-up miniature tube of toothpaste; a hotel shampoo bottle whose contents looked like old amber; old contact lens solutions and cases, a box of granola bars and a sealed packet of beef jerky; a pair of underpants; a sweater so small for me now that I couldn't get it on if my life depended on it - ditto for a tee shirt; the two halves of a little plastic case I gleaned from the research lab I worked in years ago, and one of two cheap faux-pearl earrings I'd kept in it. I searched and searched for its mate, but it wasn't in the bag. I turned to the big jewelry box my father-in-law made me years ago. It broke recently; the lid's back rim stayed with the box's hinge and the top, with its mirror inside now loose, had come off. I laid all that lid stuff on the bed and started looking for the faux-pearl earring.

My jewelry box was a disaster. It looked like I'd thrown everything into the air and plopped random wads of earrings, buttons, belts, dead watches and God knows what else, back into its nine little velvet-lined compartments. It had been bugging me for months. No time like the present.

I pulled out all the buttons and put them in a pile. I emptied one compartment's contents into another, and put all the watches into the empty one. I went through every compartment and put all the "singleton" earrings into the center compartment, and all the earrings that were broken - with their mates, if they had them - into another one. All the loose earring-backs have their own "room." At the same time I matched up all the pairs and put them into the other four rooms.

Then I went through the mated pairs and put the cheap tacky ones into one compartment, and sorted the really good ones - which make up most of my collection, actually, my hubby has great taste - into the remaining four compartments. Voila! A long-needed task complete. I put the box lid, mirror and hardware in a place where hubby will be reminded he needs to fix it.

But no faux-pearl earring. I picked out a couple of cheap pairs I don't use much, and put them in the little plastic box. I tossed all the old toiletries and replenished them from my (recently-organized!) Travel Supplies box. The contact lens stuff I tossed; I only wear them at rock concerts any more. I re-packed the duffle with a new tee shirt that fits and a pair of socks. It's ready to go back into my trunk.

It's 1 p.m. So I went down and made three sandwiches and two glasses of Crystal Lite lemonade, and we're each eating lunch at our computers. When we're done, we'll go get my car.

And I can cross one To Do item off today's list.