As with all things, one (as in this one, aka me) should not get frustrated when there is a detour in the road. It might lead to something beautiful.
Yesterday, i had several important tasks, administrative and physical to get done at home. The first one was to get our home phone line and wireless remote sets working correctly. i went to the corner of my office bookcase next to the window. One of our indoor cats (we are pretty sure it was the male, Bruce Willis) had peed in the corner, a repeat performance).
So, instead of working on the telephone problem, i began to clean up the mess, including the telephone and electrical cords hidden in that corner, and Maureen and i began planning a strategy to stop Brucie (Maureen’s loving title for the boy) from repeatiing this foul deed again…forever (i know a cure, but PETA would hang me from the yardarm, and i couldn’t do it anyway).
Then, i wondered what damage had been done back of the bookcase.
Now, this bookcase with the storage areas on the bottom rises to my office ceiling and runs almost the length of the wall. i’m not going to just slide it out. Oh no. i must take out the books to move it.
i take out the books and pile them on a folding table and the dining room table, each pile rising to about three feet. i slide the bookcase from the wall, clean up the mess, and spray cat pee repellent for a temporary fix. i go to Home Depot — i cannot think of a home task i’ve done in the last twenty years or more that didn’t require a trip to Home Depot, Lowe’s, Office Depot, the drug store, or the liquor store — to get a new telephone wire. i move the bookcase back even though when i moved it out, i found several other tasks that should be done, like replacing two baseboards and painting the wall, which would lead to painting all of the walls and baseboards, which would create the need to move pictures and wall hangings to new places, to sorting through a lot of memorabilia, keeping a few out and adding the others to boxes of memorabilia, which would lead to reorganizing all of Maureen’s and my memorabilia, which includes her father’s, my parent’s, aunt’s, grandmother’s, and other family member’s stuff…ad infinitum.
So i decided i would just put the bookshelf back and reload it with the books so Maureen would not be upset with a pile of books spoiling her beautiful dining room’s appearance.
By that time, it was time to watch a baseball game. Fittingly, the Padres lost both games in the double header to the Cardinals.
This morning, i began returning the books. i found a few that needed a new home. Then i came upon one that puzzled me. It was a 8 1/2 x 11 inches bound book entitled Uncovered Dreams from “The International Library of Poetry.” There was no handwritten inscription inside. The copyright year was 2002. i remained puzzled when i spotted a 3×5 index card inserted almost completely in between pages 62 and 63, with one end barely sticking out, a bookmark.
Scanning the 16 poems there, i finally saw the reason i had for keeping this book. “Lost Hope” was there, the sixth poem on page 62. It was written by Sarah May Jewell. There had been a promotional appearing to be a poetry competition for middle school students. We entered Sarah’s poem. i had forgotten.
Then i read the poem, again although it had been over 15 years since i had read it before. i have always claimed my sister-in-law, Carla Neggers; my brother, Joe; and my two daughters, Blythe and Sarah could write rings around me. Carla, Joe, and Blythe are published. You can read their stuff, Carla’s new book, Keeper’s Reach, will be out next Tuesday. Joe’s book, The Elements of Prayer: Learning to Pray in Real LIfe, is a spiritual guide for me. Blythe’s book, Something Smells Like Pee, is a funny, poignant book of poems you can enjoy.
And Sarah, i remembered is published too.
Writings on the wall
Show there are so many to fall
For that lost hope in the world,
The kind that makes you cringe.
The time will come when the world will end,
Fear is not supposed to descend
Upon our hope,
Thinking it’s all a joke.
For it will come at odd times,
Times when you are in sublime,
Times when you are depressed,
And times when you are in deep rest.
Frozen tears roll down their cheeks,
Losing their hope
— Sarah May Jewell
She wrote this when she was 13.
i have proved my point about those four writing better than me.
It is time to complete refilling the bookcase.