The Ladies Page


| July/August 1972

  • Bolton Watt beam engine
    Allen Baker's Bolton Watt beam engine. Courtesy of Carl C. Kinnaman, 1769 - 24th Street, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44223.
    Carl C. Kinnaman

  • Bolton Watt beam engine

Yesterday I cleaned my writing house. It was a mess! Consequently, when I rose from my bed this morning, I could immediately find paper on which to write this column. What a relief! There was a time during yesterday's melee when my bed was laden with such an unbelievable bunch of 'stuff' that I felt ill in my mid-section. It was falling off of the edges! But now I know where my things are on which I want to start, and I'll get some work done. Hallelujah!

Oh! How I wish I was more organized! That is I think I wish it! There are some people who are so organized they become a bit unbearable. I've often wondered if they even make love by appointment. I'd surely hate my kisses that way!

For me it has always been the spur of the moment things that have put dash into life an unexpected caller, finding the right dress when I wasn't shopping for one, a morning poem coming on me while I was struggling with a sink full of dishes, and so many other instances.

I suppose that finding the middle road between over-planning and spontaneity is a test of living we have to face. It is probably a part of being a whole person. But how hard it is to gather the enthusiasm to accomplish a task such as yesterday's labor. I had to promise myself I would get that 'stuff' off of my bed by night, and place it where it belonged, or not go to bed at all. Moving a metal cupboard didn't help, believe me! Everything had to come out or I couldn't budge it.

To keep or not to keep? To be gentle and encumbered, or ruthless and bereft? So many hand-autographed books! So many memories of Writer's Conferences! What is one to do? We've largely given up taking pictures. They only end up in a box in a forgotten drawer. The next generation is busy at that now, therefore grandchildren's pictures are being added to my 'stuff'. And these are especially nice, of course, along with all the rest of it.

And now there is another problem. If I don't label all our snapshots and pictures soon, the growing generation won't even know who Great Uncle Ben was and maybe they could care less. They will get enough of their own 'stuff'. Who knows what to do? I'm sure I don't.


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