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More Than a Ball of Yarn

I am subscribed to the True Woman ’08 blog.  If you’ve never visited, I encourage you to do so.  It is dedicated to educating women about their proper, Biblical roles as wives, mothers, and daughters of the King.

Today’s post really hit home with me.  If you’re into fiber arts, you’ll especially appreciate it.  Even if you’re not, please go read it.  You won’t be disappointed.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

My closet-cleaning chore led to an unexpected trip down memory lane when I discovered a VHS tape in one of the boxes.

At first, I gave it a cursory glance and started to close up the box.  However, I decided to take a closer look and discovered writing on the sleeve…”Graduation.”

Ok.  Think now.

VHS tape.

Graduation.

Could we be talking my graduation?  Especially when I was looking at the spines of my high school yearbooks, which were packed in the same box.

I almost ran to the living room, where our VCR is located.

I called the kids in and told them that I thought we were in for a treat.

We were.

It WAS the video from my high school graduation!

Folks…you don’t know how big this was.

You see, just last week, my sister had pulled out a video from when our children were toddlers.  She called me, and we laughed as she told me how twangy her voice was.

We grew up in the Heart of Dixie…LA.  No, not Los Angeles but Lower Alabama where twangy is the only speak you speak, so to speak.

What strange timing that I would find this video shortly after her own last week.

The kids knew that I was Salutatorian of my class…hence Your’s Truly had given a speech.

We sat in anticipation.

The first chuckle came when the kids saw me begin the short walk to the football field.  My hair was almost the same as it is now…a lot blonder (naturally) but just as curly and long.

I watched the camera pan out to my classmates.

Oh gosh…I got a little emotional here.

Chicky commented that it was weird to see me at that age.  I reminded her that I was only six months older, on that tape, than she is now.

Weird.

We skipped to my speech, and that is where the fun began.

Folks, the sound of my voice came as a shock.

Oh sure, nobody likes to hear themselves talk, but this was something else altogether.

My voice sounded like a cross between Scarlett O’Hara and Melanie Wilkes (from the movie Gone With the Wind, if you’re not familiar with these names).  It was higher pitched and syrupy.  My words flowed in the gentle southern drawl that melts like butter.

The kids and I spent a few minutes laughing hysterically.  I actually had to pause the tape.  When I started it again, I sat, mesmerized, by…well…me!  Although I remember giving that speech, it just didn’t seem like me.

The speech seemed to go on forever.  Bet you’re not surprised about that.  Go ahead and laugh.  I know you want to.

Some things never change.

I watched the rest of the graduation.  It didn’t take long because there were only 18 of us. Eleven of my classmates went to school together from first through twelfth grade.  Small schools=small classes.  It’s hard to believe that graduation was the last night we were all together.

We were a close bunch that laughed together and fought together.  We cried together when one of our own shot herself (we like to believe it was an accident) when we were in the eighth grade.  She lived across the street from the school, and we heard the gunshot.  It was a sad memory that was recalled when, during the graduation ceremony, we paid tribute to her.  We were blessed to have her parents attend that night.  Seeing their faces as they accepted a plaque from us really touched my heart today.  I still visit her grave when I’m in town.
As the tape ended, I felt a sense of melancholy.  I wasn’t ready for the reminiscing to end just quite yet.

I began to thumb  through the yearbook from my senior year.  I recalled the heartbreak and joy that were a part of that year.

It was the year I grew in confidence.  I played an active role in many clubs…editor of the yearbook, president of the Pep Club, and Vice President of the Beta Club.  I saw the picture of the girls basketball team.  I was a member of the team benchwarmer.

The Senior Who’s Who was fun…I got Most Studious (no surprise) and Most School Spirit.   I was pleasantly surprised to see myself holding the first place trophy I won during the State Typing Division 2 Tournament.  I won it typing on a dinosaur…an old manual typewriter!  My right arm was strong with the hours I spent throwing that carriage return.

My trip down Memory Lane was wonderful…especially since nobody in my class arranged a 20-year reunion.  It gave me time to reflect on my classmates and the affect they had on my life.  I fought with some, “liked” others (wink), and confided in a few.

These were long-ago memories brought out from the closet of my mind.  It was a welcome respite from my day of work.

Time to Organize!

Spring cleaning came late to the AuburnChick house.  With the new method of shopping comes an interesting dilemma…where to put everything!

As you know…tasks like this inevitably grow in complexity.  Read on.

My pantry was sorely in need of an overhaul…

It may not look too bad from the picture but trust me – it was.

I’ve discovered that the kids are like cows…constantly grazing.  If they see something, they’ll eat it.

So, not only did I need to reorganize my foodstuff, but I also needed to get the extra stuff out of sight.   And I had just the place.

My laundry room.

It’s right across from the kitchen, so it will be convenient to have extra food items stored there.

Those are the shelves in one half of the room.  There are two shelves above the washer and dryer just across from these.  As you can see, although things are somewhat organized, they still needed a new home.

Where to relocate this stuff?  I had the perfect place…

The hall closet.

The empty shelf had been full of books.  I moved them before remembering to take a picture.

Personally, I think that a pantry should be fully cleaned out every six months or so.  We had half-eaten boxes of cereal, three boxes of pizza sauce with one packet left in each (I condensed these to one box), and a host of other things that needed to be thrown away.

Something else I never do is wash the square of flooring in the pantry…a minor task that got taken care of.

Now, organizing is something I actually kind-of enjoy.  It’s like putting a puzzle together.  I have this strange ability to see where things fit best before actually moving things.  This might be a result of the practice I’ve gotten while traveling to tournaments.

The task was made easier because I didn’t have any distractions.  Chicky was babysitting, and Rooster was doing a service project with the youth group.

The results…

First of all, the hall closet, which now houses office-supply stuff (folders, paper, crayons, etc.).

Notice the package of toilet paper?  That’s for the kids since this closet is located beside their bathroom and between their bedrooms.

With the above items relocated, I had space in my laundry room for the overflow from the pantry…


Notice how I left room for more goodies?!  I expect bountiful shopping trips in the future.

And now, the pantry!

I kept out a max of two items and put all of the extras in the newly-cleaned-off laundry room shelves…

Hopefully we’ll be able to make more efficient use of this space now, and we won’t let items go to waste.

With this big chore out of the way, I decided to reorganize the closet in the master bedroom.  No small task, I assure you, so I saved the job for today.

This was the view (pre-cleaning) as you approach the closet…

This is the Mr.’s side…

And this is mine…

Oh yeah…it’s pretty bad, eh?

This was challenging and overwhelming as I pulled out one  item after another and set everything on the bed.

It didn’t take me long to realize the the main contributor of the mess was the Mr.

His hanging clothes hid a myriad of black holes.  Every time I stuck my hand in one, it emerged with some random item…a bag of unopened Matchbox cars…a stack of baseball cards…a knife (sheathed, of course)…and decks of cards.  These are all items he collects.  I wish he’d get in the habit of collecting them into neatly packed boxes!!

I couldn’t help but wonder what this man had been doing while my attention was focused elsewhere?  Apparently he’d been shopping.

I condensed many items and threw away a lot of random ones.  I am not a pack rat, so getting rid of things does not bother me.

My overall goal was to get as much stuff off the floor as possible.  Why spend all of that money on shelving if you’re not going to use it?

The result after all of my hard work?

The Mr.’s side…

And my side…

What a busy couple of days!

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