Friday, October 9, 2009

Organizing, The Sequel

I am in a stage of organizing to organize which means I have to get rid of the first layers in the house to see what we actually have. Emma has big plans for a yard sale - which I secretly dread since I would have to talk to my neighbors. I'm not actually sure I want to move beyond the wave stage.

I know how awful that sounds, but remember where I live, and know that these guys would fit right in at the decoy show:

Yup, we had a duck decoy show last week, sort of like a festival celebrating wooden duck decoys. The folks there made the Walmart people look glamourous.

We do have some normal neighbors. One family is really organized. They put their garbage out at 5:45 on Tuesday afternoons. We're more like, "Wait, is today Wednesday? Quick, I hear the garbage trucks. Hurry up!" Everything in their yard looks pretty much like this:

They have two little girls who play together in the yard, doing things like hanging birdfeeders and planting butterfly gardens. I was outside, trying to untangle the herb garden I started that seemed like such a great idea in May. Now I have this wild scraggle that grew like oregano on meth. I tried untangling it, but it gets really scratchy and my hands were getting all cut up.

The little girls were on their swing outside. From my house, all you could hear was Lady Gaga chanting "Poker Face" and the sounds of Philip showing his girlfriend his latest discovery: he learned in science that methane ignites. He then realized that he is a very reliable source of methane and there is a candle lighter in the kitchen drawer. His girlfriend squealed with delight as he demonstrated (yes, this is early teen romance - not exactly like Edward and Bella). Except there was, as there always is with fire, a backdraft problem and his jeans now have scorch marks on the rear.

I watched the lovely little girls help their mom put pumpkins on the stoop. We tried to grow pumpkins, but the boys and their friends quickly realized that pumpkins are amazing targets for BB guns. The splat factor is very big in the boy world.

I'm wondering if organizing is a personality type rather than a matter of habitual neatness. Maybe there are certain families who have to have everything in order or they feel kind of crazy. And maybe some families are the opposite. When I cleared off the kitchen counter, Christopher looked at it and commented, "Why does that look so weird?"


K.C. Shaw said...

Either you're living in the wrong neighborhood, or your neighbors are. Then again, I bet they secretly envy your life, which probably seems bohemian and exotic to them as they hang birdfeeders together and, I don't know, arrange their toothpicks by size.

Anne Spollen said...

Well, we have a birdfeeder...we didn't hang it together and it drives the cats completely bonkers. They sort of line up and shadow-stalk the birds.

Ok, I'm going to swipe your adjectives. We're no longer the weird family. We're bohemian and exotic. Sounds so much better.

Glynis said...

LOL, I have no children at home now, but my house/family in the UK used to be like yours.
Here in Cyprus, I put the pots with dying plants behind the new ones coming through. My neighbour has no dead plants in her pots.
I bath 4 dogs who go straight to loose, dusty soil to dry off. My neighbour's dog never needs a bath. Get the picture? No matter how hard I try it never works.
Loved your post!

storyqueen said...

I hear you about the wave stage with the neighbors. It's not that I don't like my neighbors...they are great. It's just that I have to be around people allllllll the time and when I'm home, it's kind of nice to not have to see other people.

Yeah, I'm a hermit.


Elizabeth Bradley said...

My son is living in a condo complex. He has a twenty month old son. His wife accidently set his little sand bucket and shove atop the edge of a wall at the edge of the patio, and the over-the-top-control-freak association called them to complain! What? Hello! You've got to be kidding me. I couldn't deal with that kind of Nazi control. I don't know my neighbors at all, I've only been here four months. But they seem to be a live and let live bunch. Whew.

Mary Witzl said...

I always come here for my morning laugh. Or my evening laugh. Sometimes I splash out and come here twice. (You'll already know this if you ever check.)

'Oregano on meth' -- that had me laughing almost as much as that photograph. (Lucky you: last semester, I had a couple of students who look like that.)

One of my dear friends has two charming daughters who keep their room neat. My friend is intelligent, beautiful and kind; her husband is all that too, and they both have great jobs. Their garden got photographed by some gardening magazine that goes around neighborhoods, looking for the best places. Their hostas look like your neighbors' hostas: not a slug nibble in sight. I love these friends, but it's tough going. Glad my girls never got into B B guns, but then your boys aren't into nail polish, are they?

Bish Denham said...

ROFL! My mother sometimes (but only sometimes) despaired of ever having a neat home. But it could never be as one or more of us always had some kind of "project" going that occupied space in the living room or on the porch.

And my father put lovely hand lettered sign on my bedroom door. It read,
Disaster Area.
Three Feet Deep."

I was rather proud of it, and kept it on my door for years.

adrienne said...

Hilarious contrast between the teen romance and the little girls next door.
Just last night I was thinking about doing a post on all the junk drawers in our house. One kitchen cabinet holds serving bowls, band-aids, point and shoot cameras and a bunch of undeveloped film. I have no idea how it ended up with that combination, but it's been that way for years.

Hardygirl said...

Ah, young love.

Don't worry. Those little girls will be teenagers soon enough . . . and life will get messy (and I don't mean that as a bad thing).


Radka said...

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Wooden duck decoys said...

The picture of the yard looks very pretty. Nice to know about the celebrate the festival of wooden duck decoys. I like this very much.