Monday, March 31, 2014

Over and Over.....Again and Again

One move, two move, three move four....

Lord, I hope there won't be any more!

It's been a way of life. Before I could walk - and maybe talk - it was off by military sea transport to Hawaii. It went on and on - moving eight times up to high school graduation. It went on after I left home on my own and has continued up to now. I guess it will end only on my one way trip from a funeral home someday.
I presume my first clue about the Air Force life was when I was assigned to the 3499th Mobile Training Wing. I should have known what I was heading into when I saw the word Mobile. After an ill-fated move by military air that took me to almost a dozen bases in a week, put me on record of AWOL (absent without leave, a definite Air Force no-no), and I complete my move by train. I became convinced that I needed a car.  It became even more of a challenge when I got married and the car became transport AND storage.  We loaded the trunk and back seat with most everything we owned, including a seven inch black and white bare-bones Teletone television set. By bare bones, I mean just that - it was a chassis and picture tube but no cabinet. That's the way lived until our
mobile home era.
In the trailers we began to amass things and when we moved everything went into the trailer, often including concrete blocks used to support the trailer when we got to our destination
Next came the house decades. That meant more souvenirs and possessions and they moved us (or we moved them) even as we entered the ministry years. We've completed 60 years together and that meant more and more stuff and now, here we are moving out of our home of 13 years (that includes two or three moves in and out of this house.
The picture tells my story. We know that our next domicile will have very living space - or better said, limited space for stuff. This has produced a major challenge: How does one decide what can go and what has to stay? Beyond that, what do we do with stuff headed for treasure heaven. 
I guess I am the problem. There's always the tension involved in making a choice what goes with us and what is otherwise disposed on. It is commonly described as sorting treasure from trash and more specifically, What IS treasure amd what is trash. Making that worse, one person's treasure is apt to be another's trash. I guess I have been the one to keep stuff.  You know what I mean - I keep stuff sometimes like forever.  Old electrical and electronic cables. Coffee cans of unsorted screws and hardware. Newspaper articles I wrote forty-five years ago. Pictures almost that old. And old magazines.
How does one overcome this problem?  I find that a wife, in many ways, knows how to handle this dilemma. She can select more freely. And when it comes to my stuff, there is always 'her look'.  She wisely will pronounce the truth statement: "there's not going to be room for everything" and give 'that look."
The husband responds, "But I need that - I've got some projects in mind." 
Silence. More silence - and then -----the look. It's taken me a lot of years but I have learned to listen to her - and be aware of the 'look'
I'll let you know in June how we (and our stuff) have survived the move.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Disagreeable Stinky Time (DST)

I used to smile a lot. Unfortunately my facial expression has changed by degrees as we've gone deeper and deeper into a wild Michigan winter. It has not helped that a daughter in Virginia keeps
talking about 60 degree temperatures and possible flowers making their way into sunlight.  Especially when we still have snow drifts up to the windows.  I know, this kind of stuff is not unusual in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, but, hey, we're not the Upper Peninsula.

To add to everything we contend with Daylight Savings Time.

Or, maybe, it's just contending with time.  A clock in the living room indicates one time. The two in the kitchen say something else. The bedroom clock seems to be on time, but the clock in the car is
not.  And maybe it even gets to my having to ask what day of the week it is.  And the response is,
Just another cloudy, snowy, chilly day in the north side of the lower peninsula of Michigan.

Then life comes up with another thought: how does one calculate time in another part of the country?
We have relatives all over the place - at least three. Arlington, Washington, near Seattle for instance.
We know we can't get in touch with him much earlier than eleven in the morning. How about Lake Tahoe? Or Yuma, Arizona. Are they on Pacific, or are they on Mountain time?

I'm reminded of the time we made a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii. I tried calling the home office at six at night and all I got was a familiar voice on an answering machine. Okay, what time is it in Florida when it is six or eight in the evening?  Or the times I was  in Italy or Holland  trying to contact my wife who was in Detroit and having to wait an hour so even to get an overseas phone line to begin with?  No satellites in those days and one had to cough up lira by the gross load just to make the call.

In the latest Saturday Evening Post there is a tongue-in-cheek story about Indiana's love/hate relationship with Daylight Savings Time.  Indiana was one of the last Daylight Savings Time holdouts, sticking for a long time with year-round Eastern Standard Time.  Well, that was most of Indiana - there are a few corners up in the northwest corner that relate to Chicago (Central Standard Time).  It became a bit challenging for us since I was serving a four-church parish at the time. Three of the churches were on Chicago time; one was on Indianapolis time. There was one time I showed up at a church a bit late to find the congregation on the front steps and one of the leaders proclaiming that they were about to begin the service without me.  I'll  admit- country folk are pretty self- sufficient and I have no doubt they could, or would, have done a fine job of winging a service.

So, I'm not going to dwell on long distance time constraints - I've got enough challenges just figuring
out what time it is, right here in our comfy-cozy home on the shores of Lake Huron.