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April 24, 2014

Major faults revealed by spring

The Daily Star

---- — We have, for whatever strange reason, been hit by the spring cleaning bug. For us this is most unusual but we guess we have reached the point where we well realize it time for some of our stuff to go. For example, we attacked a bureau which lives in our family room only to discover that the top drawer was completely full of VCR tapes. Talk about being behind the times. We suspect we had hit pay dirt on that. And what exactly does one do with VCR tapes these days. Some of ours are commercially produced films, including the complete set of “I, Claudius.” Others are all sorts of things both taped from the television and recorded with a VCR camera.

As we read through the titles, we realized that a lot of them could probably be trashed. But some of them are, in our opinion, rather special such as a partial taping of one of the he-we’s walking tours and football films from the wee-we’s final season at CCS. One simply cannot throw such things out lightly. And, of course, we do still own a VCR which is hooked up to one of our many TVs so we could actually watch these tapes. But logic tells us that we might be better served if we were to somehow transfer the VCR tapes to a more modern, and hopefully lasting, media. That, however, leaves us in quite the quandary as to just how we might accomplish such a feat.

We also decided, as we looked about the family room, that we have a jardiniere crisis which we can directly relate to the pack rat mentality that has flourished so well for so many years in the Ellsworth household. We have no problem with the jardinieres that are serving the useful function of holding a number of our houseplants. And we do have a certain fondness for those jardinieres which have been in the family for years. But the jardinieres lined up like so many tin soldiers under the coffee table really didn’t seem to be serving a particularly useful purpose.

Thus we decided it was certainly time to find them new homes. Some were put into service by plants which did not have their very own jardinieres. But some have found themselves being donated to a good fund raising cause. And several more are in waiting for the same treatment down the road. We found it to be rather freeing to think that our stuff was in line to become someone else’s stuff. And we think we can say without doubt that the wee-we is absolutely delighted to think that any of our stuff could become someone’s else’s, instead of his, problem down the road.

This is not to say, however, that we have cured our pack rat thinking. In fact, as we were working the other day on a crossword puzzle, it became abundantly clear that our decision to definitely do the newspaper crossword puzzle on a daily basis has gone horribly awry. Granted we have dutifully cut the crossword out each day and placed it carefully into a designated manila folder. What we haven’t done is to actually do the crossword puzzle every day, a fact that was brought into focus when we realized the crossword puzzle we are currently working on is dated January 15th of this year.

Now we realize that crossword puzzles don’t take up anything close to space required by VCR tapes and jardinieres. But that does not mean that hoarding them is any less of a problem. Thus we have currently undertaken the task of doing three crossword puzzles a day in hopes that eventually, sometime, we will catch up. Of course, the real question to be answered is whether or not once that happens we will be able to keep up. Quite frankly, we are thinking the answer will probably be no.

Nonetheless, as much as we hate to admit to what might no doubt be consider by many to be a personality fault, we realize that we have not cornered the market on such flaws. Fortunately, as it made us feel better, we were reminded about this recently when we received an e-mail from a good friend who shared the following story:

“As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn’t stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had

evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.

I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play. The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played “Amazing Grace”, the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full. As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothing like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

Apparently I’m still’s a man thing.”

Need we say more?

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