My father recently remarried. His home, which has been one "home" to me since I was fifteen, is undergoing a much-needed renovation. When I learned that my bedroom had been renovated into a sitting room, and that retrieval of personal items was recommended, my wife and I decided to drive up to Arkansas for the weekend.
We set out early Saturday morning, but found our progress slowed by a flat tire during that portion of the trip between Mount Pleasant and New Boston. When we had pulled out of the gas station at Mount Pleasant, I said, presciently, "I hope that sound is the road grade and not the sound of us picking up a nail".
The glass proved half-full, because I proved myself up to the task of changing the tire, we ate sushi at a Chinese buffet in Texarkana while we got a new tire put on, and the slow driving on the temporary tire made us more alive to landscape features like hawks and blooming jonquil (although in point of fact, I suppose, the jonquil came later).
We were glad to see my father and his wife, and to survey the improvements they made in the home. The house dates into the mid-19th-Century, so that alterations tend to aim for "older" rather than "more modern". I secured a number of things of value to me, such as my butterfly collection from 10th grade biology, a needlework done decades ago by an old girlfriend, then aged 15, and my collection of vintage and near-Vintage Tom Swift, Bobbsey Twins, and Hardy Boys books. For some reason, I also asked to have my mother's pump and electric organs delivered here--I'll sample their various sounds into my computer, and then sell them off. I also took things like my boy scout uniform (I never made it past Tenderfoot), my trophy for winning the D/E/Unrated prize in my first chess tourney, the 1977 Arkansas State Championship, and a picture of me and my date (I am in the white platform shoes) at the 1973 St. Patrick's Day banquet.
We enjoyed a nice visit with dad and spouse, and then I drove out to my sister's house to see her family. This morning we rose early, had breakfast, and drove back to Allen. I found at Weight Watchers that the hush puppies I ingested caused a gain of 1.2 pounds, which brings me down to 55 lost. I did laundry during much of the Super Bowl, and then found myself failing to match a vocal track to a hip hop beat in my latest attempt to generate a contest entry in a hip hop remix contest. We also sorted books to give away to the Friends of the Library. There is nothing like picking up new clutter to remind one to de-clutter.