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JANICE WELLS: Fall cleaning and other best intentions

Why have an ordinary tool box when you can have one that supports the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation? — Janice Wells photo
Why have an ordinary tool box when you can have one that supports the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation? — Janice Wells photo - Janice Wells

How many of you got all kinds of organizing done during the snowdown and lockdown?

Newman and I have only just started organizing.

Now that I think of it though I do know why we didn’t do it before now; we’re nesting. I do it every fall. There is something fundamentally wrong with nesting in the spring. It goes against nature and even a pandemic can’t change that.

I remember writing back in March that if we didn’t get the furnace room sorted out over the next few months I would accept the fact that we never would. As most of our basement is finished our furnace room is the place for all things basement. There have been times when a cow would have had trouble finding her calf in there.

“We should get at the basement” was a regular observation for me all winter. Maybe that was the problem.

I haven’t said it since summer started and last week Newman disappeared into the basement one day and began gutting the furnace room and organizing a work shop. Maybe he was just waiting for me to stop saying “we.”

I can carry togetherness too far.

In hindsight it makes perfect sense that he preferred to do it without out my help/interference.

Do I want him helping me organize closets, drawers, cupboards, anything?

And lest you are thinking that we are too stuck in traditional roles, I have this to say; a) we are in our 70s after all, and b) we have four sheds between us and two of them are mine and have nothing to do with him. Also I have my own toolbox and the she-shed in Heart’s Content on my cleaning out and organizing list.

So there.

Two-year-old Miles (aka Spiderman) helping organize a cupboard. - Janice Wells photo
Two-year-old Miles (aka Spiderman) helping organize a cupboard. - Janice Wells photo

But I, too, have started organizing at home.

I am a hobby painter. I like watercolour but switch to acrylics when I get too frustrated with watercolour not doing what I want it to do. I have painted in the sunroom but that’s a socializing place. I have painted on the dining room table but the light is not good and I just don’t like it. I have painted in the living room with a couple of folding tables arranged around me. I have painted on my lap with a bed tray.

I have painted so many places that I feel like a Dr. Seuss character and I have painting supplies tucked away all over the house.

The basement is too dark altogether. I could set up in the upstairs bedroom but that’s the sleepover and laundry room plus I like being on the main floor. Where all the action is. Ha ha.

The only place left with any potential was my computer desk, in a perfect spot, adjacent to a big window with an eighteen inch ledge and space around it for the two small tables with shelves that have served many different functions over the years.

It’s also next to Newman’s desk so how sweet is that?

My desk has a narrow raised shelf in the back and a pull out shelf for the key board, one drawer and two adjustable shelves. I have decided that it is a shame to waste the computer desk on computer paraphernalia.

The screen has been delegated to the back shelf and the hard drive to the floor. I rarely need the speakers so one is disconnected and one takes up a small corner of one of the table tops.

I want this dedicated painting space so I can stop and start without having to put everything all away and get it all out again. I can just lift the screen down when I want to write. Things would have to be pretty cluttered for me not to be able to make room for the screen base.

She said hopefully.

I am mindful that there such a thing as calling your own bluff.

Will Newman now start puttering in the basement, fixing or even making stuff? Will I put in the practise and paint for a while every day with my watercolours

A wise woman once said “Buying craft supplies doesn’t mean you’ll make crafts.”

Janice Wells lives in St. John’s. Email: janicew@nf.sympatico.ca or jwelloeo@hotmail.com.

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