It’s October already. Cider and donuts. Cooler nights. Birds in flight, the south calling them to their winter homes. I see their flocks swooping in the sky above the river and it makes me sad. Sad that summer is ending. I hate fall. I know that’s almost sacrilegious to say and I do get the whole attraction to the colorful display of Mother Nature changing her dress from a palette of greens to a palette of rusts, oranges and yellows. But then she makes us work to get ready for winter. Those leaves that were so pretty while still attached to the trees have to be raked up. Those cool nights bringing frost to the pumpkins and killing the last of the perennials means our flower beds need to be worked to prepare them for winter. And while I no longer have to take window screens down and put up storm windows here or at the houses of the elderly people we helped in our journey through life, the idea that fall brings too much work is imprinted deeply within me.
It occurred to me this week that I’ve got too many irons in the pot, so to speak, but as a bi-product of being too busy I haven’t had time to feel that illusive loneliness and discontent that plagues me from time to time. If you could see my calendar you’d discover every day filled in. The Handyman Connection guy filled up a couple of hours this week, here to put new seals around two exhaust vents on the roof. Now I have two ceilings that need repainting because those vents were leaking although not long enough to do any serious damage. But painting those ceilings will have to wait because: 1) I want to make sure the repairs solved the issue and those ceiling stains don’t grow over the next few months, and 2) I’m thinking of changing the wall color in my master bedroom and bath since I’ll have to hire a painter and I doubt he'll be able to match what's on my bathroom walls. In my rush to purge stuff over the past few months I got rid of the paint I could have used to touch up my bathroom and porch ceilings. Isn’t that always the way. The minute you let go of something, you need it.
Another afternoon this past week was spent at my car’s service department because of a recall that “has to be done sooner rather than later” but no one could tell me what the recall fixed except for it involved a computer update that took an hour. Great. Computer updates at home mean changes that aren’t always welcome. Now we have to do the same with our vehicles? I like to pretend computers aren’t controlling what goes on underneath the hood of my Chevy Trax. Recalls like this give me visions of the car freezing up and the screen on the dashboard flashing a warning telling me to call a (scam) phone number. “Don’t turn off your car!”---let it sit there in traffic until you can wire us some money.
My husband collected Mickey Mouse watches. I got them out this week to get them ready to put on e-Bay. Sounds simple but it’s not. We’re talking a dozen watches that have to have the stainless steel break-away bands removed (he worked around too many machines and heavy equipment to safely wear regular watchbands or rings) and the original bands and boxes needed to be matched up plus they’ll have to be tested to make sure the watches still work. His oldest Mickey Mouse watch is from the ‘40s but most are from the ‘70s and ‘80s. They were not the cheap, gift shop variety watches but only three will be well worth the effort to sell. Anyone who says selling on e-Bay is easy has never sold collectibles. The process goes like this: Clean an item, research it, photograph it, pack and weigh it, write up a description, list it and answer emails from people who don’t believe it when you write in the listings, “No Buy-it-Now Option!” When the auction ends you wait for payment then print a label and take the package to the post office.
I took two of the watches to a jewelry store today to get the backs off because I didn’t have the finger dexterity to do it. The closest place is a high-end store that sells Rolex’s and diamonds and they used to get robbed on a regular basis. Now, they trap you in between two doors for a photo opt before they buzz you into the store. So I put on what I call my ‘understated rich girl outfit’ because I was afraid they wouldn’t buzz me in if I was wearing my normal Kmart grade clothing. I’d been to the place a few years ago to sell some gold and before I got out of the place I spent the money they paid me on a pair of diamond studs. Those earrings were part of my rich girl outfit along with a brand-new coat I’ve dubbed my Steve Bannon hunting jacket paired with my only cashmere sweater. (Old but not much of it showed under the coat.) They let me in. They charged three times more than the local box store would have to put in new batteries, but I didn’t have to worry about some snot-nosed clerk messing up the watches by prying when they should have been twisting. While I was there I spotted a pair of white gold and pearl earrings, asked the price---nothing in the place is marked---and I made a mental note to come back and buy them after a couple of watches sell. In the meantime, Mickey Mouse and I will be spending time together this October. ©