Remain calm


I don’t know how you find a needle in a haystack, but I do know how you find one in a carpet. You walk around in stockinged feet for a while — that’s how. 

We just painted and put in new carpet in our home office and by we, I mean my husband, who did the painting and the carpet guy, who laid the carpet. My job was to help pick colors. I voted for light blue walls and darker blue carpet, and my husband didn’t argue. He’d read somewhere that blue is a calming color, and I guess he thought I needed that.

The other part of my job was helping to haul everything that was once in the office to temporary storage in the dining room. That’s when I found the needle. Too bad my office wasn’t blue yet; I could have used calming about then. 

I found a lot of other things, too, and if I’m wise, I won’t put them all back into the office — or anywhere else in our home either. Finding things you forgot you had can be fun though, unless it’s bills you forgot to pay or needles on the lam from your sewing box. 

Among the more interesting things we unearthed were two scrapbooks from my college days, and I didn’t just go to college yesterday.  

We also found an autographed black and white photo of Chuck Norris. I’m not making that up. It says, “To Dorothy, Good luck from Chuck Norris.” For the life of me, I cannot recall meeting Chuck Norris and I doubt he remembers meeting me either.

The whole painting process was a bit disruptive. We moved the computer into the cold basement so I had to write my last column wearing my winter coat. I would have worn my mittens too, but it’s so hard to type in them.

I couldn’t locate my sewing box until we moved back into the office, so I stuck the needle in a wad of sticky tack and I haven’t seen it since. 

Our shredder got tired and quit working. Fortunately it lasted long enough to shred piles of documents we no longer need. At least, we hope we no longer need them. 

The canary was forced to leave the only home he’s ever known by the bay window in the office. I’m sure this was very upsetting to him, though he never actually said so. 

Somehow the cat wound up with a blue tail. He sleeps a lot though, so it’s hard to tell if it’s made him any calmer.  

And to top it all off, after we’d cleared and painted the room and pulled up the old carpet, we learned that our new carpet would be delayed because of the weather. I went and stood in my blue office for a long time, but I still l didn’t feel very calm about that news. That’s because we were expecting three rounds of overnight guests before the new carpet arrived. Thankfully, if any of them noticed our home was in more disarray than usual, they didn’t mention it. 

Now that I’m back in my now blue office, I can’t say I’m any calmer, but maybe I will be when I get everything put away in a couple of months. 

In the meantime, we still have to paint and re-carpet our bedrooms blue, too, because it would be nice to be calm no matter where we are in the house. 

Before that happens, though, we’ll have to move everything out of those rooms. And in an effort to stay calm and safe, I plan to wear shoes this time.

Dorothy Rosby is the author of the humor book, “I Didn’t Know You Could Make Birthday Cake from Scratch: Parenting Blunders from Cradle to Empty Nest.” Contact [email protected]hmore.com.

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