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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Boxed

After we had wiped away the tears that resulted from our uncontrollable fits of laughter and giggles, Trent pointed a finger at me and said, "And no, you're not going to write about this!" I answered that there are moments in life that are too fun, and too funny, not to be shared. So this all means that if you are reading this, I have read it to him first in order to get his approval. And that he said that he was fine with it being published.

Our apartment isn't tiny, but it isn't huge either. It is a lovely floor plan that has a kitchen, dining area, living room with fireplace, study/den, bedroom, and a bathroom with a delightful huge Roman bathtub. There are even built-in bookshelves in the den and between the living room and bedroom. We fell in love with it at first sight, and still love it after nearly four years of living here. 

Like many people, we find ourselves using our "extra" room for more than one thing, including as a storage room. We are in the mindset these days of downsizing or minimizing or whatever you'd like to call it. We have both acquired many things over our lifetimes and have come to realize that we have a lot of things that we don't need. Every few days, one or both of us will go into the spare room and go through a box to figure out what gets to continue living with us and what needs to find a new family to make happy.

It's very liberating to let go of things. If something other than a book or a seasonal item hasn't been used or even looked at in more than a year, it's a pretty safe bet that it is not necessary to keep. There are also bits and pieces of memorabilia that may seem important to us, but that would definitely not be a treasure to others. Since we have no children, it seems unlikely that there are others who would love them in the way that we do. So we find ourselves asking how important things are to our life, or if they are important at all. If we find that there is something we would like to pass along to another family that we think will get some joy from it, we do so with the happiness of seeing our former belonging treasured and loved by others while we are still here. If something is serviceable but no longer needed, we put it in the bag or box slated for donation. And as far as trash-not-treasure - well, you can guess where that goes.

A few evenings ago, Trent was in the spare room (I keep wanting to call it "Spare Oom," like in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) sorting through a few things. I told him I was going to do something else, but that he shouldn't keep at it too long and wear himself out. It's a cruel trick of Nature that the more that you need to accomplish, the less energy you have to do so. I went about my business, reminding Trent every few minutes not to overdo. A few minutes went by and I heard Trent say in an odd tone of voice, "Could you come here and help me, please?" The sightly higher register of his voice made me realize that it wasn't a simple request to help move something. He was calling for Help-with-a-capital-H. 

When I went into the room, Trent was partly on his back in the midst of some of our stored items. He was very calm, so I knew that he wasn't hurt. He told me that as he reached for something he "kinda fell down in slow motion." He just needed a hand getting up again. We both commented that just because he had a talent for falling didn't mean that he had to use it. I took a moment to assess the situation and try to figure out the best way to help get him upright again. One of my great gifts is my composure in emergencies. I get very calm and take care of whatever needs to be done. After everything is back to normal, the adrenaline rush or tears or shakes will kick in, just to prove that I am really human after all.

We tried one or two things to get him on his feet, to no avail. I even brought a dining chair into the room to see if he could use it to help balance himself and at least get onto his knees and stand up again. He asked me to help him roll over sideways so that he could get up, but there was no way it was going to happen. I moved the chair back into the living room, and we both came to the same conclusion. There was something that was, shall we say, impeding his progress. You see, my very talented husband had fallen tushy-first into a cardboard box. It was folding him into a letter V, and it was not letting go.

Now, I am not a cruel person. I generally don't find slapstick humor to be funny, and I am not the person who will joke about someone slipping and falling. But the fact that my husband's tushy was wedged into this flimsy box that had formerly contained veggie chips just began tickling my funny bone. "Don't laugh," I thought as I tried not to giggle. Then my dearest husband broke into laughter at the utter absurdity of his situation. Before long we were both in the throes of hysterical giggles. I know someone who might say that our giggle boxes were turned plum inside-out.

Giggles can be a good thing. When you can get a laugh out of a situation, you know things will probably be all right. "Honey," I said, "I've heard of having your behind in a sling, but this is a bit ridiculous!" I fetched some scissors and cut out the side of the box. Within moments, Trent was up on his feet and still laughing. He gave his directive not to write about this, which I knew even then I would ignore, and I told him to leave the spare room since I was turning off the light and shutting the door. Aside from a small bruise on his hand, he was unhurt, and had a good laugh, to boot. And there's an empty box that we'll be getting rid of very soon, too!