Over the river and under the fridge


So, youíre in the kitchen, perhaps slicing some carrots. A piece rolls a bit, reaches the end of the cutting board, and tumbles. Off the board, off the counter, down to the floor. You finish up with the chopping and then go to retrieve that piece.

But you canít find it.

Itís not on the floor near you. Not on the floor at all that you can see.

Down on your hands and knees, extensive search being performed, but nothing to show for the efforts.

Of course, thereís a catch. There are options for blame in this what happened disappearing act. Maybe itís the stove. Maybe the fridge. But thereís something just close enough that the piece of carrot could have bounced and rolled and made its way underneath and out of sight. After all, you know a piece fell. No doubt about it. It fell. The issue isnít if it fell, itís where it landed.

Which leads us to this: Did you pull the stove out to pick up that piece of carrot?

Weíre all friends here. You donít even need to answer. You know the truth.

(Actually, we know the truth as well. Thereís a small piece of carrot under your stove.)

Sometimes I wonder about the little things around the house that get shrugged off. Making the bed is a good one. Itís kind of an automatic reset there, since you donít make it and by going back to bed the next night you wipe the slate clean. (But youíre not making it tomorrow, so back where you started with that. Vicious cycle.)

For me, it becomes more obvious an issue with things like a counter or kitchen table. At first, itís a spot to place that piece of mail you canít read right now but need to look over in the next few days. Then itís the stuff from the shopping trip that get stored in the hallway closet, but youíre not headed that way. Soon a sweatshirt has been placed over a chair, the magazines youíre giving to a friend take up a corner, and within a week or two the table has become a disorganized catch all of assorted stuff.

Today I went to do the dishes. And I actually paused because there were clean dishes in the rack next to the sink. I mean, I was all set to wash some pots and a few utensils. But put clean stuff away first? That seemed like a lot of effort. I debated putting it off. Then I put the dishes away, cleaned the dirty, and took satisfaction from a four-minute job well-done. (But I was really close to heading along a different path. Really close.)

Back to the carrot.

(And the kitchen table.)

Often though, it seems like itís not that easy. You put aside one piece of junk mailÖ just oneÖ intending to flip through it and shred whatever needs to be shredded from it. While maybe it takes a week or two, it really feels like overnight that piece of mail has turned into a stack of unwanted stuff. Itís gone from taking a few seconds to a sit-down project. And none of us want to invest time in that.

Seasons are beginning to flop. I know there are actually four, but the reality is that dealing with snow means there are two. First is when you need the lawn mower. Second is when you need the shovels. Summer and winter, those are the seasons. Fall and spring are nice enoughóand October is actually a favorite month of mineóbut letís face it, both of them are transitional more than functional.

Itís time to get ready for one or two more laps with the ride on mower. A last clearing of grass, more the dealing with leaves. Time to check the shed for things like the snow blower that have been stored and need to be moved to the garage.

And yet, I wait. Eventually, if I donít get to it, a threat of snow will have me checking things out and moving stuff around. But like a carrot under the fridge, itís not like itís hurting anybody.

I think.

But then again, Iíve got a pile of junk mail to sort and some shredding to do that have me wondering otherwise.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com