More Sacred

So, that’s how the scroll saw came to live in the computer room closet.

Jeff read the manual (sort of), but that’s as far as he got. His legs were giving out, and we had other things to concentrate on. I also made him promise not to use it for the first time when I wasn’t home. If he could break a toe while shaving his head… sawing surely needed to be supervised.

And that’s how the scroll saw ended up in the 2010, house sold, moving sale. It didn’t make it to a table until the second day, because I had imagined it would be harder to unearth from that over-stuffed closet. I marked it at $50 thinking that’d be a good starting amount. I didn’t have the box or the manual, but it was brand-new, never used and maybe someone would know what to do with it.

A little after 3 PM on the last day, a young couple came in. “Hmm,” the husband commented. “Honey? Look at this!”

“What is it?” she asked.

“A scroll saw, just like the one I rented last week for $85.00. I could buy this one and we’d never have to rent one again!”

“Oh,” she considered, then continued. “I just don’t think we can afford that right now, honey,” as she moved on to look at other items.

The fellow just stood there mesmerized.

Knowing I’d never use and not wanting to struggle it back into the closet or move it to Ann Arbor, I whispered to my gregarious friend, “He can have it for $35.00.”

Because she’s the outgoing one who has no problem dickering with yard salers or yard sale customers I gave her the appropriate lenience to do as she pleased.

From her perch near the cashbox, she announced the offer loudly, adding the key phrase, “It’s never been used!”

That’s when I heard it. The whimper.

I laughed out a bark, and leaned closer to my cohort. “That’s the exact same sound Jeff made when we bought that thing!”

He looked at his wife beseechingly and she slowly nodded her approval. As he stood there holding the saw, he told us that he and his wife were renovating their home. “Thank you so much. Thank you so much,” he kept repeating.

“Never been used,” my friend repeated as they headed-out. “Her husband passed!” she called after him, stopping them on the threshold of exiting.

I really thought that man was going to cry as he turned to stare at me. “It will get put to good use,” he answered quivering. “I promise it will get used.”

I may have lost money on that deal, but I gained another blessed insight into the non-coincidences of GOD’s careful plans.

What was that scroll saw worth? $215.00, $115, $62.50, $50.oo or $35.00?

Making Jeff happy, which made me happy, which made that family happy = sacredly priceless.

Quote for the Week:

One more thing, October 6, 2020, my friend, cohort and kindred soul, Paula, passed away.

At first I was like, “Really, Paula? Today?”

But, then, I let go a chuckle-sob, thanking her for not giving me a different date to commemorate.

If it a day had to suck, anyway, it might as well have been that one.

Sacred Scroll

Old stories. #2:

I know for a fact that grown men whimper.

I don’t remember the first time I heard Jeff whimper, but it probably had something to do with some expensive Dale Earnhardt Sr 1:24 die-cast replicate race car.

I do remember one quite clearly, though.

Kmart was closing a few Michigan locations, so we took a drive out to one to see about bargains. The one we ended up at was nearly done-in. The place was a disaster; people were taking things off racks and shelves, opening and destroying boxes and leaving items mid-aisle.

I was just about to drag him out of that madhouse when we rolled by an aisle with – gasp – tools!

“Oooooo,” he murmured. Eyes wide, he radared every shelf. I don’t know how he saw it, but well-hidden, stacked behind some really traumatized boxes was a brand new scroll saw with it’s own folding workbench.

He dragged it out for inspection, carefully searching for any signs that it might have been opened before, returned or damaged in any way. Then, cautiously and thoroughly reviewed the “before and after,” markdown pricelist, dragging his finger down the display.

“Oooooo,” he gasped, peering closely. I could see the dreamy dollar signs in his glazed-over look.

“How much?” I asked.

“It was $215.00,” he marveled.

“How much?” I asked.

“It was already marked down to $115.00,” he cooed

“Jeff!” I snapped my fingers hoping to bring him back, because he was clearly swirling into the “I don’t think I can live without this piece of equipment,” abyss.

“How much?” I asked, again.

.Jeff tentatively smiled as he lovingly patted the box and solemnly spoke. “$62.50.”

“I don’t know, Jeff,” I hedged. “What would you use it for?”

“Lots of things,” he insisted. Earnestly adding, “for the store! um, and… making stuff!”

“I just don’t think we can afford that right now, honey,” I said, trying to let him down easy.

Certain he would bow to my logic, I wheeled the empty cart around to leave.

That’s when I heard it. The whimper.

I was so surprised I stopped right in my tracks and turned to stare at him.

The whimper came with a face I had never seen before – one way more serious than puppy-dog eyes.

Eyes still foggy with scroll-lust, bottom lip tucked in under his teeth, still touching the sacred saw, he barely shuffled away from the hand-magnetizing carton.

He truly tried to take another step toward me, moving maybe an entire inch, arm about 20 degrees behind him.

Then he whimpered, again.

“Ok,” I said. “Throw it in the cart.”

He did. Grinning and with ninja speed.

“Quit smiling like that,” I good-naturedly grumbled. “You’re gonna split your face wide open and I don’t wanna spend another night in the emergency room with you.”

Jeff just kept twinkle-smiling. I twinkle-smiled back.

Quote for the Week:

The Electric Argument

Old stories. #1:

April 29, 2008

The Electric Argument

A few years ago, I read an online article about ways to reduce electricity consumption.

I was fascinated to learn that even appliances in the off mode could still be sucking up electricity.

When I passed this information on to my husband, he guffawed. “Absolutely. Not. True!”

I thought it was worth checking out, so I secretly unplugged some of our less used appliances.

Must not have been so secretly, because the next day, all were mysteriously plugged back in.

I unplugged them again, only to discover the phantom re-plugger had been ‘round the house, again.

Recently, watching an episode of the TV show “Til Death,” I laughed to see the very same issue addressed. Joy, of course, believed the electricity saving advice, and Eddie thought it was a farce. And, so began the plugging and unplugging.

It’s weird to see your life on TV. It’s also highly amusing.

Jeff and I never did resolve the electric argument. With all the unplugging and re-plugging, we never were able to prove a savings or not, one way or the other. Then, this month’s Reader’s Digest shows up, and guess what? The April 2008 edition, page 17, has a lovely little blurb about… Vampire Electricity.

If nothing else, at least unplugging all of those dormant appliances reduces the chances of a house fire.

Who me, worry?

Episode 106 of Til Death, “The Toaster” aired 2 months after Jeff passed.

Countdown: 35, 20, 15 and 1

First, don’t freak out.

Second, you know it’s coming, so we might as well count it down together.

35 days away. Seems like plenty to prepare for a train wreck, if you were expecting one.

I’m not wholly sure if you should be expecting one or not. I don’t know if I should be, either.

I’ve set aside 14 days. Just in case.

I’ve also put myself out there – every day – since that day someone I didn’t know said something that changed everything.

Followed by that day, I thought I was safely anonymous amongst 66K people; letting out what I’d learned on that something someone said day on inspirational site.

Trent Shelton. Remember when I suggested y’all follow him?

Well, no one told me they did. So, I found out the hard way that I hadn’t been honest with the universe as stealthily as I imagined. That night I wrote to no one but myself. That morning I found out my words had been seen.

Notification: 2 likes.

?

Clicked out of curiosity; hoping to find a kindred discussionist or two, only to nauseously realize I’d inadvertently let my private cat out the bag.

Those two likes? My brother and my brother-in-law. Cowardly non-addressed, at least, until now.

Since then, though. Since October 2020, there’s been this reoccurring theme. Everywhere I turn.

Books I’ve read, motivational quotes, inspirational stories, sermons I’ve heard, songs I’ve taken to, have all been telling me the same thing:

“You’re not the one who died.”

Obviously, I’ve been well aware of that. What I haven’t been aware of is… anything else.

It’s entirely mind boggling. 35 days until 15 not 20. 20 is the sun eclipsed by the 15 moon, because. My God. 15?

It’s going to be a bit of a non-chronological heap. I’m almost out of time, but I wanna get the good stuff in or get it out or just share it dammit.

.

One request: If you’ve got a JSK story, share it on Knabble. Or email it to me.

I’ll get it out there for you. For us; for all of us.

Drop Cake Murphy

A little bit ago, I was about to set out for home from a lovely post-birthday dinner. And cake.

Cupcakes and an extra large round-pan cupcake to be exact – gluten-free confetti cake with gluten-free icing.

Plus, neon green icing and bright pink chocolate dot flowers. So made with love. So me.

Absolutely awesome tasting. Might as well have been the real thing. (Betty Crocker, btw.)

There was an amusing packing perfection discussion, debating whether or not the use of a candle was needed to tent the plastic wrapped cake, on a plate, inside a sturdy ziplock.

Packed with ultra-care. Because I am not so occasionally clumsy. More like usually. Even if I try not to be.

The cake travelled carefully, set on the front seat floor boards under the a/c, to ensure: 1. it wouldn’t slide off a seat, and 2. the icing wouldn’t melt.

Carried from the garage, quite carefully leveled in a grocery sack, successfully set on the counter. No minor or major mishaps.

Eased out of the bag, into the fridge, safely on a shelf.

Such a cutie mini-cake, that hadn’t properly been photographically memoried, yet.

So, I swung out of the fridge, because ‘now’ was as good a time as any.

Two hands on the plate, fully wrapped. It’s only a half-step and a turn to the counter.

It’s not like I ninja rotated, but there it went.

Frisbee’d. Past the sink. Toward the stove….

Newton’s Law is real, y’all. .

That’s the one where no matter how you drop your toast, it ends up butter down. Or jelly jammed against the floor, or avocado smashed, or whatever delicious weight you’d decided on decorating it with.

But, the real kicker is Murphy’s. That’s the one I’ve learned to live by; plan by.

‘Cause you know, if it can go wrong, I’ll likely help it along.

You ever just stand there wondering how you managed to mangle a manageable situation?

Yeah, I was kinda there, until Blu streaked over. I snatched it just in time.

That cat loves cake. Learned that by mistake.

Sliding it out of the bag revealed the expected. That’s why the call it cling-wrap, right?

I probably shouldn’t brag how I’m smarter than most because I knew just what to do to save the sweetness.

Silli-ly, I’ve lived through a few similar scenarios.

The freezer fixes this sort of thing. You see, the icing hardens up and then the plastic peels away.

Which it did. Except for one small strip. The flowers were a little flow-ier than they should be, but I figured a picture was still in order.

I guess the moral of the story is, there are times when you try your hardest to protect people and they still manage to make a mess. Much less of a mess than they would have made without your thoughtfulness, though.

I appreciate the baked in love and careful packing. If there’d been a candle in it, I’d have killed that, too. Or poked an eye out. Or poked a cat’s eye out. Or just had to eat around bits of broken wax. All dire circumstances, for sure.

Here’s what I’m hoping you glean from all of this honesty.

Because it’s super important – knowing how to self-save the day.

You see, it’s 100% true. You can drop your cake and eat it, too.

Quote for the Week:

so, there ya go. plastic-smashed, frozen, peeled away from icing. not pretty, but proof.