Archive for December, 2014

Cutting edge

Tonight marks the start of the traditional pre-Christmas “Where did I put the scissors?” season.

It starts each year just a few days after I buy enough Christmas presents to decide it’s a good time to start wrapping some. It ends with my next visit to Dollar General.

There was a time when scissors played an important role in my life.

One of my biggest memories of Hurricane Betsy, aside from peeing in the back yard during the eye of the hurricane (a tradition that I have upheld over the decades), was the destruction of my third-grade classroom along with my school box, and special dispensation from the principal that we could have pointed scissors.

Pointed scissors made me feel almost grown up. That is until I grew up and found I rarely had need for scissors.

I remember carefully wielding scissors when I was 13 so I could put a “Home Is Where the Miller Is” beer ad from a magazine onto the homemade waste paper basket I made at Vacation Bible School.

Who knew that just a few years later, scissors would be so unimportant to me that I’d end up buying a new pair almost every year, especially these last few years.

I’m sure they’re around here somewhere, but they’re not where I think I would usually put them. I checked all the drawers, and looked under the piles of paper on my desk and dresser.

I’ll look again in the morning. But at $1 a pair at Dollar General, my time is better spent on just buying a new pair than trying to find the old ones. They’ll resurface at some point during the next year. And I’ll make a mental note to put them in  a place where I will find them later on. But I rarely find them again.

With new scissors, I’ll be able to sit on the floor and wrap presents tomorrow night. And when I’m done, I’ll put the scissors where I think they belong. And over the next week, I’ll go to that spot whenever I need to wrap more gifts. But as the Christmas season fades, so does my recollection of where I put the scissors.

One of these years, I’ll put them in the same place as the tape, which I usually find three rolls of when I’m looking for the scissors.

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Cabin in the woods

“What’s in a name,” Mr. Shakespeare once asked. “Good question,” I reply.

I’ve been calling the building on my property a shed or a barn interchangeably since I bought the land in June. As of Friday night, it’s a cabin.

I slept there Friday night.

A shed is a place to store things. A barn has much the same role. But a cabin is a dwelling, where people eat, drink and sleep. And I have done all three there.

It’s my cabin. In the woods.

It’s not pretty. And it’s pretty drafty and got too cold for me to comfortably stay there Saturday night, but that’s all fixable. It will be replaced over the next year. But for now, I have a place of my own once again. I could stay there if I had to.

I’ll never forget the feeling in 1993, when, at the age of 35, I bought my first house. Mine. Not the landlord’s. That’s when I discovered that cutting grass isn’t as much a chore when it’s your own grass.

That feeling is back now.  It only gets better from here.

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