Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cleaning out the Files (WARNING: Do not read while driving or operating machinery)

Enjoy the pictures and read on...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Today I started cleaning out files and rearranging the upstairs. After several trips up and down the stairs carry this and that I vaguely remembered doing this same thing in reverse not too long ago when Luke was going to move back home and wanted the upstairs to be more like an apartment. Shortly after we had moved everything downstairs that had been upstairs, he decided to move in with Summer and Josh instead. And here I am again moving "STUFF". I'm sure you have all read the article about how much time the average person spends of his life sleeping, eating, going to the bathroom, etc. I wonder how much of my life I have spent moving "STUFF"!!

Side note: The other day a friend of mine and I who work the car rider line every afternoon figured out that the average mom or dad spends 3 weeks of their life waiting in the car rider line.

The definition of "STUFF" is: things never used but in perfectly good condition; something one might need but can never find when needed. You know like greeting cards and evelopes that do not fit, old cell phones with no chargers, notebooks, AC adapters that fit things you no longer have, pens, pens and more pens, etc.

The reason I am moving "STUFF" this time is because on the 15th of September the John Deere Atlanta Branch will be closing after 100 years in the Atlanta area and Norman will be moving his office home once again.(I think they call that restructuring-which by definition means-fewer people to do the same amount of work).

When he started with John Deere some 30+ years ago he had his office in our bedroom (approx.7 years)-complete with 1x12's and cinder blocks for bookshelves. It was a Southern Living beauty!! When we moved to Perry he graduated to a 5x5 walk-in closet off our bathroom-complete with a large desktop computer, a green screen monitor, a track feed printer that made banners and an oscillating fan. Believe it or not I found some track feed paper in the "STUFF"-like I said, "things you never use". Then when we built the house in Valdosta he finally had a real office with oak bookcases, drawers, a window and a door. I surprised him and had the cabinet-maker make him a nice oak desk to match. He was thrilled and so was I!! Then came the move to ATL where he received a nice cubicle with a view of the pond. Now he will have part of the upstairs which also has a view of two twin beds, two radio/CD stereos, several chest of drawers, one cedar chest, and the eliptical. (He will have his own personal bathroom-I think I will put a note in there that says "Please dispose of all sanitary napkins or tampons in the trashcan provided. Flushing may cause clogs in the toilet." - just so it will feel like a real office bathroom)

The problem I am having is getting the desk upstairs. First of all I emptied all of our files, and misc. junk out of the drawers, emptied my old yellow file cabinet(from my teaching days at GCS-see photo provided) which incidentally was filled with old files and some 8000 canceled checks dated back to 1993(thus the picture of the shredder), cleaned out a space in our closet for the file cabinet, dragged the file cabinet up from the basement and back to the closet, moved the beds,the chest of drawers and the eliptical to make room for the "nice oak desk". However, I could not move the desk. It is 3/4 inch solid oak. (I can still see my daddy walking around measuring the thickness of our cabinets with his tape measurer). He was amazed!!!Needless to say it is too heavy for even 2 people to carry up the stairs.I have moved all the drawers and the top.(see photo for details) Where are the handymen when you need them???

Back to the reason for the blog...sorry, kind of got off track. That seems to be happening alot lately.

Where was I??? Oh yes, cleaning out the files. It was like reading my diary, I mean journal or is it blog??? Anyway, it was a walk down memory lane. There was a file of "At-A-Boy" letters that Norman had received over the years. For those of you who do not know what that is a letter you receive for doing a good job. He had lots of them. There was a joke file, a speech file and even one with road maps-who uses those anymore(some people I know never did).

There was a file for house plans and the binder I kept when we built our house in Valdosta-with dividers for each area-electrical, building material, paint, flooring, appliances, etc along with every receipt for every purchase made.(can we say excessive OCD) There was a file for games. Games for showers, teens, marriage, Christmas, critical thinking, etc. I played one with Josh on the phone and he was really good. I should have known since he is a critical thinker.(I learned that from his blog-I also learned that I, on the other hand, am NOT). There were files about motherhood, about breastfeeding, about raising teenagers, about marriage, about life - life that had passed so quickly...Where were my babies, my teenagers? Had I followed the advice in those articles I had saved?

And then there were the canceled checks(those are the things we used before ATM cards and online banking, those things that can bounce and months that happen to be too long). I should have had the bank pre-print most of them to Winn-Dixie, Wal Mart, D & A Photo and Georgia Christian.(Yes, Ryan there was an occassional one to Publix) With every check I shredded there was a memory-piano lessons, orthodontist,gymastics, Schwan's Food, Bugle boy(use to be the place to buy jeans). There was a check for $1000 to Debbie Griffin for one horse and saddle-money the kids had made selling pecans the first year on the property. There were checks made payable to Harold Norman,Sr.who had loaned us money to buy the blue club wagon van. And yes it did have a porta-potty(my daddy and I found it at a yard sale). Back then there was no stopping for bathroom breaks. (The whoopti came later and we paid cash for it or did they pay us to take it-can't remember??? I do remember it was a hot item when we got ready to sell it, even though it kept running for several minutes after you shut it off and one of the doors had been knocked off because someone forgot to shut it before backing up. Those 300+ pecan trees are hard to see sometimes.(I think this is the same person who built the barn but not to be confused with the person who mowed the yard ALL the time and never knew there was a clutch. I guess he thought it was just a footrest or something). Yes, there was even a check to Pam Dasher for the Jimmy - every car she ever owned was yellow, even her cadillac I backed into at church. Backing was not one of our families strong points.

There were checks for car repairs, haircuts, school supplies and Mazzio's pizza. Checks for youth rallys, trophies, uniforms, drum sets, and sports registrations. There were checks with my daddy's handwriting, where he had gone to get something we needed from West Bldg Supply when he was helping us build the house. Checks for chorus dresses, chorus ties, chorus trips. Checks for graduations, college applications and weddings...

And in about the same amount of time it took me to shred those checks, that time had passed, leaving behind the fondest of memories.

And by the way it takes about 3 hours(not counting clog time and automatic shut down to let the machine cool)to shred 8000+ checks. And even though the machine says "up to 6 sheets or 1 credit card" it really doesn't mean that. Six sheets just means you will have to unclog after every shred. However, it will take a paring knife-no problem, comes out in two pieces, the blade and the handle.

Love to all who took the time to read this. Most probably you were part of these memories in one way or another. God bless you all, for you are such a blessing to me.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Four Post @ Once

This will probably take you days to catch up but here they are...

Six Feet Under with the Boys

On Saturday Norman, Luke, Samuel and I met to hear Bill Bass, famous forensic scientist and UT Alumni speak. We arrived to find out that it was a sell out and we had not made reservations. Needless to say we were all disappointed but decided to make the best of it and have some lunch at Six Feet Under, a neat restaurant in ATL (somewhere) As usually Samuel ordered our appetizers - fried green tomatoes, oysters on the half shell and alligator bites. We then all were trying to decide what each of us wanted for our entree'. Samuel toyed with the idea of crab legs but decided (having had those before) that that was just TOO much work for a Saturday afternoon. He ordered shrimp instead. But Luke had never had crab legs and decided he would give them a try. An hour later he was still cracking crab legs, picking out the meat and gripping the whole time about how they needed to give him a pair of scissors and he could just snip, snip and pull that meat right out. You can see for yourself that fun was had by all. (After 3 trys we family got a good picture with both Norman and Samuel with their eyes opened)