Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Coming Clean

                                                     Excuse me, might I offer one suggestion
                                                     And don’t consider this as an objection
                                                     But, the picture is not straight, even though the subject’s great
                                                     And that happens to be one of my obsessions.

“Hello, my name is Joe and I am a cleaner.” Sometimes I picture myself standing in a room confessing my addiction to maybe a dozen other brave souls. We are sitting in a circle for a reason. No chair is more ornate than another and that alone makes people feel at ease. No one person is considered any more important than the next
The circle is perfect, of course. The chairs have to be positioned in a certain spot to make this work. Not for others, but for me. I once saw a spot on the wall in my apartment that would not wash out. The spot was small and probably undetectable to 99% of any visitors I might have. So, I did what any other normal sixty year old single male would do…I repainted the wall.

I’m not saying that my home is spotless. I know that places like my “clutter drawer” are always going to be a part of me. I want things to be right, but I also need somewhere to store my sanity. I am saying that when I see a “flaw” I can’t let it go. I refuse to attempt to hang pictures at the same level in my home. I would always look for one to be higher than the other.

Jane gave me two photographs of our hometown in West Virginia that she had taken.  They were both a birthday and a house warming gift from her. She had them framed and was thoughtful enough to sign them for me. I’m sure the signature was strategically positioned since this “condition” might be common among siblings. Gifts from my family are treasures and my walls only hold memories. You will find nothing that is displayed in my home that is not directly connected to someone I love.

I started writing this blog after I had finished shampooing my carpet this morning. I had moved the ottoman in order to clean that area. Now, the indentations from its legs are gone and I’m not sure where I want to put it. I did not  want the marks on the carpet to show. “Hi, my name is Joe and…”.

Sometimes I drive myself crazy because I worry about things not many people would even notice. Did cleaning for a living make me like this, or did being like this make me clean for a living. I don’t have the answer to that. I realize this does not make me a menace to society, but I can’t change at this stage of my life either.

Maybe,  at some future date you might pass me on the street. I will be the older gentleman wearing the placard stating “Will clean for fun”. Different strokes for different folks!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Stretching the Truth

                                                  I remember when they advertized expanding
                                                  I’m speaking of the waistband in men’s slacks
                                                  “One size fits all” was what we were demanding
                                                  In case our diets would get all out of whack.

Sansabelt is a brand of slacks invented by Silver Manufacturer, located in East Chicago, Indiana. These slacks became available in 1959. That is my entire knowledge of this product; however, this relationship might “grow”, if you get my drift. 
This subject was of no interest to me for the first six decades of my life. In the three years since my retirement I have thought about it more times than I might choose to admit. There comes a time when we all have to tuck in our shirts and my time has arrived. I realize that we can’t stay young forever and I also applaud the aging process. I happen to find older women the most attractive. (Sally Fields, if you are reading this… call me!)

I’m not saying that we don’t change as we grow older. I’m just saying that I am starting to see changes in myself that might be unnecessary. I have dealt with enough health issues that I want to do the best I can for me. I want to exercise and eat right because I see the importance of taking care of myself. Heck, I quit smoking after over forty years so I am trying.

I was very active before I retired. I walked more before my lunch than some people walk in a week. One of the funniest things I have ever heard from a comedian came from Redd Fox. He said that when he was young, he was so poor that he had to wear his high-top Keds down to the ball on the ankle before he got a new pair. Those of you who are reading this and are my age will appreciate the humor in what he said. That story might not exactly fit here, but it has always made me smile.

Jane and I have a book signing for Mr. Joe: Tales of a Haunted Life in Morgantown, West Virginia this coming Saturday. I have a nice pair of slacks that I would like to wear to the signing. I could take them to be altered and be assured of the fit or I can stay off of the couch, walk, and do it the hard way. Not very long ago I had spinal surgery to prevent me from being paralyzed from the neck down. Being able to walk on a treadmill will always be a blessing to me!



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thinking Outloud

                                                        I thought that I would offer you a smile
                                                        I know that you don’t recognize my face
                                                        I’m sorry, but it might have been a while
                                                        Since someone’s  known the problems you embrace

I don’t seem to get “prettier”, taller, or more athletic as I grow older. I do, however, like to think that I have grown wiser. I have learned that it costs nothing to make someone smile and that smile might even change their entire day. I have learned not to judge people by  what is only apparent to my eyes.

I have had a few health issues in my day and some of them would have entitled me to a much better parking place at the mall. I might have been closer to the dry cleaners where I was dropping off shirts for an important upcoming event. I did not choose to go that route, but I can’t blame others who have. Judging others is a very poor choice for a pastime.

This blog may seem to be going in all directions, but it really isn’t. I guess what I am trying to say is that we only know about the joys and sorrows that we have experienced. Our personal trials and tribulations are all too familiar to us. We have no clue as to what the person you passed on the street is dealing with. Maybe the lady behind you in the checkout line seems to be having a meltdown. Just possibly the child beside her has special needs that no one else in this store is aware of. Maybe a smile just might give her that extra boost that she needs to continue.

I have learned that the best gifts you can give are the ones that are given back to you. A smile that is returned can be priceless and love returned is precious. There is an old saying that the best things in life are free. Every day I am here I believe that more and more.