(don't let the dangling prepositions scare you!)
I think I've already started that thing older people do -
you know -
they tell you stories about that shopping trip six months ago on a Saturday morning:
It was in the spring. Yeah, because I drove the new car and they had bulbs for sale out front, Pepsi was on special and so was that Dial soap, you know the yellow bars? Not the liquid, no way, that's such a waste, it's the bar soap for me! And I ran into Buddy, you know from the shop? Remember him? That reminds me did I tell you about the phone call I got while I was in Arizona? Don told me that George had gotten hit by a car and died. You know George walks along the road looking for cans so he can turn them at the store for a nickel and anyway he was out walking after a snowstorm. A snowstorm! Yeah, I think it was the one that hit the day after we left. That's why we left early, you know. It was all icy and he didn't really get hit by a car and die, he fell on the ice and broke his hip. I found that out from my brother after we got back. Thought George was dead for oh, about two months. Or was it three? Guess he won't be walking along the road getting free cans anymore, heh heh heh. Oh and Buddy, well he just had a hip replacement last week, but that doesn't have anything to do with it. Buddy told me to come into the shop because that part I'd been waiting for was finally in. And I didn't even have that car anymore, I had just gotten the new one...
So, do I have a point to my story? I think so, but maybe it's just a point in my running narrative that will get missed in all the details. It doesn't matter to me what you think though, because like the older people I know, I'll just tell the story and it'll be up to you to follow it or roll your eyes and say you've heard it all before.
When we moved here eleven years ago, some new friends allowed us to stay in their house for a week while they were on vacation and while we waited for August 1st, the closing date on our home.
We were getting ready to leave because they were getting ready to return, so we tried to be good house guests and cleaned up after ourselves. I like to clean my way out of places, so when upstairs was done I worked through the living room and the kitchen was the last room. I needed to mop the floor, so I found the mop and the bucket and the cleanser, and just as I was about to start running some water into the bucket, I saw it.
In tiny print, written in black on a blue bucket was this single, small, humongous word. Yes, I know that is an awkward sentence, but this is my story now listen!
Now I suppose I could get all obvious and say something like, "We ought to tackle our housework with JOY!" Something like that. It would be a nice, predictable way to end all of this. I could get up from here feeling oh so good about myself and go tackle some laundry with JOY because seriously, there is a lot of laundry that needs done here and it seems that I'm the one who'll be doing it.
And it's possible that the obvious conclusion, what I first thought of the JOY bucket, was even her intent when she wrote it. I know I certainly need to write JOY all over a whole lot of things that make me think WORK, or YUCK, or WHATEVER, I GUESS I'LL DO IT BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE IS. So the obvious conclusion is actually a valid exhortation to find JOY in one's daily dailies. I'm not knocking it.
But you know, my friend of eleven years is a gentle and understated sort of woman and her bucket said
So I think now I know what she really meant. There is a quiet JOY to be found in unexpected places.
Sometimes those places are dirty buckets.
Or stories about shopping trips.
And I think I made my point.