Picking Up Dog Poop

The Lie (OK, this one is comic relief): Someday you’ll outgrow having to do your chores!

Picking up dog poop.  We used to have to go around our large fenced backyard with a pair of scoopers that opened and shut their jaws like giant scissors.  My sisters and I fought over who had to do it this time.  The smelly job involved picking up each stinky mess and putting it into an old paper grocery bag.  The thank-less job preceded the lawn mower.

 

At first that was my parents’ job.  They traipsed along behind the green, push mower, collecting shredded grass in the catcher.  Then they dumped the clippings into a garbage bag.  As I grew that became my job, and how I loathed it.  What a treat when that chore became obsolete.  My husband and I bought a town-home when the Army moved us to Washington.  I gloated happily from my window above each time I watched the guys from “Soundview Landscaping” buzz their blades around my yard.

 

I do miss one chore from history.  Leaves – the delightful, crunchy, colorful remains of summer.  Every fall they dove to the ground, plucked from their branches by Oklahoma winds. My sisters and I fought again, but this time for the joy of who could wield the rake.  Piles of dusty oak leaves grew in each corner of the yard.  Pictures show us bouncing in the trash cans, smashing leaves lower and lower to make room for one more handful.  Other snapshots prove that it wasn’t all work and no play.  We took running starts and slid into piles of leaves like Babe Ruth sliding into home plate.

Time Warp

I used to think it was just my husband.  Then, I thought it was only me.  Now, I’m convinced it’s nearly everyone.  It’s a talent really: we not so much cross timezones when we travel – we time warp.

Recently, while I was home in Kansas visiting my family, my alter-personality, “Sister” emerged.  I didn’t have my own schedule or set of friends in Kansas, so I clung to Rachelle’s shirt tales.  I had so much fun going to see the play, “The Little Mermaid” with her.  We lost ourselves in the characters of a crime show called, Without a Trace.  We painted our toe nails, ate frozen yogurt, walked her dog, and drank exorbitant amounts of coffee.

“Daughter” also appeared.  I voluntarily washed the dishes and helped with laundry.  Like a cat getting its back scratched I thrilled to my father’s compliments or gratitude.  I put my head in my mother’s lap and let her play with my hair.  For two weeks I wasn’t concerned with groceries, laundry, litter pans, dirty floors or mowed lawns.  When I did chores, it was simply because I wanted to help and it hardly felt like work.

Then, POOF, suddenly I came home.  I mean to my real home, in Virginia, where the adult Abby lives.  Wake up!  The lawn desperately needed to be mowed, the litter pan was lending its fragrance to the entire house, the dishes I had left drying on the counter were still there.  Suddenly I remembered that I need to fix the rusts spots on my car’s trunk, Patrick’s car needs new tires and I had a meeting at the church the very next day.

The stark contrast between these two or three me’s, easily makes one pine for the good ol’ days.  We admire, wistfully, the carelessness of a child.  The truth is: we don’t have to lose it.  I’m no expert, in fact, I rarely get it right, but I firmly believe that we adults have no more reason to worry than a child.  After all, doesn’t God say He is our Father?  I am relieved to still be His child.

I recently visited another blog called, Not Bob.  He wrote this poem that I find mesmerizing and I think it fits here as well.  I hope you enjoy:

I think the world is a pin cushion

There’s a space between everyday matters
that makes someone feel every day matters,
a breath or sigh in the darkness. We surround
our time with excuses and distractions, bind
those we love with commitments when we should be
splashing around in dark puddles while the rain
covers us in nothing more than what it is.

– Robert Lee Brewer, author of Not Bob