It’s early in the morning and I did my best to sleep in. It didn’t work. Last night I took an Ambien sleeping pill because for a week I’d been waking up every two hours and having trouble falling back to sleep. I felt sleep deprived because---duh!---I was. The pill helped in the sense that I only woke up once during the night but by 7:00 the sounds of birds chirping and far-away dogs barking in their back yards woke me up and try as I might I couldn’t will myself to ignore them. Getting up with the birds is happening often enough that I’ve thought about digging out the ear plugs I used when my husband was alive to block out his snoring but if I did that I won't be able to hear if an axe murderer sneaks into the house. Levi likes company so all he’d do is smell his boots, wag his tail and Jedi-mind message the guy to follow him into the room where I sleep.
My husband was a sound sleeper so I don’t know why I trusted him to wake up during a ‘Here’s Johnny,’ Jack Nicholson moment, but I did. He wouldn’t start a fight in a million years but he wouldn’t have backed down from one either if he couldn’t man-to-man talk his way out of one. I swear he was good enough with his mouth that he could have left the axe maniac in The Shinning laughing instead of chasing people around. God I miss that man. He worked hard and played hard and although he wasn’t much for sweet-talking he had a deep, country-song-singer's voice that could get the job done better than any of my romance book boyfriends. I miss his voice, too. I heard it on tape recently and once again decided that downsizing sucks the stuffings out of all your best memories.
Getting up that early makes me feel old. I’ve never been a morning person but by this time next year, I’ll need to change my mind-set whether I want to or not. Once I’ve moved to the continuum care campus were I’ve put money down on a unit being built I’ll need do get up early because my unit is just off the lobby and across from the gym and all those old people I’ll be living near will be coming and going to get their yoga-at-dawn workouts in. Shoot me if I ever talk about signing up for that class. I don't do sunrises or wear pants that look like they've been spray-painted on. These are the details that wake up in the middle of the night and I get obsessed with questions like when will I be taking my showers? Now I do it around 11:00 after spending time on the computer and having my breakfast at 10-ish. But now I can just let Levi out the back door to his dog pen to take care of his morning needs. I’ll have to get dressed and walk him. The idea of taking a shower early in the morning or late at night makes me gag like a cat with a hairball…makes me wake up in the middle of the night vacillating between 'I'll hate doing that' and 'I’ll cowgirl up, make it happen even if I have to give myself a new secret agent name of Mary-F-Morningstar!' And the 'F' won't stand for Frannie if you get my meaning.
And that brings up another downsizing
decision that has caused my eyes to pop wide open in the middle of the night.
Do I sell Don’s favorite Stetson cowboy hat or keep it? I sold his other
Stetson earlier this year but the hat he’s wearing in the photo above, I’m having
trouble letting it go. Even used they’re not cheap but am I willing to exchange it
for money I don't really need? And don't suggest I gift it to someone. I live in Michigan. Aside from migrant farm workers no one here wears cowboy hats. Dressing in Western attire was Don's happy place, the equivalent of wearing a Kris Bryant jersey and hat to show support for the Chicago Cubs. The song, I Should have Been a Cowboy easily could have been written with Don in mind. Me in mind, too, if truth were told. I recently sent my framed postcards of Gene Autry off to the auction house. That star of old black and white westerns was my first love.
But I am excited about another downsizing project I accomplished this week (see the photo below). Even before the son-I-wish-I-had moved one of my oak bookshelf units out of the library and into the laundry room I started plotting what would go on it. I thought it was silly to sell a good oak piece and buy a cheap metal or plastic utility shelf that I’ll need in my future laundry room for everything from pantry items to shoes to mittens to appliances to medical stuff. I unloaded the wall cabinets in my present laundry room, a shelf in the garage and a few things from other places to fill up my now ready-to-move organized shelf. I’ve got some small chalkboard label tags coming from Amazon that will attach to the baskets, then I’ll be finished. Not all of those gray baskets have stuff in them in, one row is earmarked for pantry goods that won’t fit in new, limited kitchen cabinets. My future unit doesn’t have a closet near the main door, but the laundry room is near-by so another row of the gray boxes holds hats, gloves, scarves and Levi’s walking gear.
The hard-to-get-into white boxes on the third row up from the bottom hold medicines, vitamins, and stuff like a blood pressure monitor, cold/hot packs and other health related junk no one needs to see. I’ve never kept prescription medications in a bathroom or out on the countertops because I’ve known a few people who pilferaged meds from family and friends to abuse or sell on the street, and with a housekeeper and other service people in the house, I’d rather not make it easy for someone to lock themselves in a bathroom and rummage through my medicine cabinet. That being said, here’s my parting Public Service Announcement which might make me sound paranoid but drug addiction is a serious problem in this country and we all need be aware of how we might unknowingly be feeding into it: When you’ve had surgery don’t leave your pain pills out in the open. Don’t hold on to unused pain pills once you’re recovered. And don't flush them! Take them to a prescription pill collection box. Here, they’re in the lobbies of police stations. Call around to find out where to drop them off. You might save another family a whole lot of grief. ©