Sunday, September 29, 2019

It’s a jumble of feelings when house guests depart for home. A renewed emptiness that gets filled by keeping oneself busy. So, I stayed busy all day.

First, off to visit my elderly sister, Elaine, who’s in a care facility. I was relieved to see that she’s not as close to departing from this world as the hospice social worker had me thinking during our phone discussion the night before. Sure, Elaine is skinny as a rail, her stomach tumor apparent, but she holds to an ever-long habit of watching television and frequently making acerbic comments. Her mind still is sharp, her attention span varies, and she does speak of “going home to Nevada,” which I agree with the social worker alludes to another sort of going home. I left there knowing now that I must monitor Elaine’s condition on my own and not become shaken by telephone reports from well-meaning caretakers.

Something got into me about a week ago when I was expecting company, and I began tossing out stuff that’s useful but hasn’t been used, or even searched for, in years. Clothes that I save for various weights as I escalate up and down, and that I don’t want to continue saving. Plastic boxes of various sizes for storage, that I don’t use because stuff in boxes with lids don’t get opened, so the stacked unused boxes take up valuable space. Off to the dump, all of it.

This trip to the dump was easier because Elaine (one of my visitors from Eastern Oregon) demonstrated how to release, for reuse, those tie-down ratchet straps that men invented and ever so easily use often. Elaine pressed a ratchet’s release levers and used a trick to handle the part that stumped me. She simply stood on the ribbon footage, using her weight for leverage, while pulling up on the ratchet to clear it. If you’ve never used this device, be grateful and don’t bother trying to visualize Elaine’s method. But if, like me, you do use them and find yourself unsnarling tangled long ribbons, shoot me a note for details of the “fix procedure”. Anyway, I covered the trailer’s trash for going to the dump with a tarp that I strapped tightly, and later, smoothly emptied the used ratchet tie-downs for another day.

Dear Friends: Now, back to normal, off to my part-time job today. Diana

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