SYBAL’S FRONT DOOR WEEK 11 2021

Housebound for a year? I can deal with it. Harry and Meghan feuding with the royal family? I can deal with it. Car overheating in the middle of nowhere? I can deal with it. Cats upchucking on the carpet just after I steam-cleaned it? I can deal with it.

Finding a quarter-inch screw on the floor that I know belongs to something important, but not knowing where to put it so I could find when I need it. Stress level? Hits the summit of Mt. Everest. Small electronic gadgets and whizbangs rattling around in my desk drawer: my brain freezes, and I sit like a block of ice for an hour trying to figure out where to store them because I WILL need them someday. Stress level? out of the stratosphere.

It don’t sleep well; my dreams reflect my anxiety There so many daily little things in life. But that was then.

Now I am calm. I am serene. I have my little tin boxes. They are about 4 inches long with hinged lids that snap shut firmly. They came twenty in a pack and cost around $20 and they are just the right size to hold multitudes of little things.

  • Unidentified small parts that are important to something? Put it the tin box labeled “What is This For.”
  • Tiny screwdrivers to fix Christmas gadgets? Put in the box labeled “Tiny Tools.”
  • Extra buttons for the new blouse? Put it in the box labeled “Extra Buttons.”

And wonder of wonder, all these little tin boxes fit neatly into a bigger box that fits in special space in the laundry room.

When life is filled with little problems, box ’em, label ’em, and store ’em.

SYBAL’S FRONT DOOR 2021 WEEK 9

Remanences of David Long Past

Since the alarm went off, I have been lying in bed musing on the people who have influenced my life. This morning I thought about David.  Hands down, he was the most important amour of my early years. Nevertheless, it has been decades since thoughts of him drifted past.

Our first date was an afternoon spent “stained glass viewing.” We visited all the churches in town to inspect and evaluate the quality of the windows. The the Episcopalian church was hands-down winner with windows filled with fifty shades of blue glass. We sat in a pew, bathed in blue light eating cheese sandwiches with pickles for lunch.

Edith Piaf, singing “La Vian Rose”triggered the memories.  Before I met David, I had never heard of Edith Piaf, much less heard her sing. I was introduce to the “song bird of Paris” on a dim November afternoon, with rain streaking the windows, and a fire burning in the living room fireplace. It was perfect Piaf weather. The whole afternoon we listened to Piaf records and imagined Paris. We should have been drinking wine, instead it was beer and tomato juice.

David also introduced me to the artist’s world: not by a painting or sculpture, but by a novel “The Horse’s Mouth” by Joyce Cary.  Gulley Jimpson is an aging reprobate who lives in a houseboat on the Thames. Rogue he may be, yet a painter to the core of his being. The descriptions of the world viewed through his painter’s eyes are indelible-I hope. Actually, I need to read that book again, too much time has passed. ( Note: a film was made in the 50’s with Alec Guiness playing Gulley.)

Then there were the letters. David was a great correspondent as good as the great letter-writers of the 19th century. For almost a year, we exchanged lively letters. Then one day we stopped. I don’t have a single one of those letters. I never had a photograph. If I ran into him in the street I doubt I would recognize him. Yet his influence remains. 

A toast in tomato juice and beer to David, whose memory is dim but whose echoes remain.