A popular cliché, “been there, done that,” could have been my password, but, now, today, there are so many things I still want to do _ that is if I still have any energy left and also the time.

Why is life so short?

That question with the supposed answers has filled columns.

When in school, those many years ago, I thought the clock hands would never move and now, I wonder where all the time went and especially so when I visit the adults that I knew as toddlers.

Now, the “toddlers” introduce me to their grown children and then their toddlers.

Oh, my!

Life is not only too short, but all the subjects to learn and explore are endless.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have endless life? Then there would be time.

Can there be more to life? Does anyone have the answers to those questions?

I was fortunate to be born in an affluent family and given an education with the freedom of many choices.

There were so many interesting things I wanted to do. I went from advertising/commercial art, to teaching, to sales and even a taste of show business.

There was the intrigue of being a detective as on the many television shows, and so I had to try that. (That’s worth a column).

Then back to teaching, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and on to owning a business with my husband.

Yes, back to teaching and then to cleaning toilets! (That must be explained.)

I went from being single, to marriage, to separation, divorce, then another marriage, a horrendous death, singleness again and, still, another marriage (still ongoing and good.)

So I can truly say the above: “Been there, done that.”

Now, on to the toilets.

After going through years of “a this and a that” we felt that a truly happy, loving marriage would be a relationship that we both would share, not only to family life but a sharing of all facets of life, including efforts to support our family. We chose to work together and have our children involved when appropriate.

Close to 30 years, we owned and operated R and E Janitorial Service. There were many challenges, and we practically did the impossible. We stripped tile floors as they turned to ice and scrubbed the old Grants store flooring as the soapy water exploded from electrical outlets.

What tales to tell: We can never forget the giant antique steam locomotive we gunked down, up at the old Cooperstown Woodland Museum. Then we were requested to repair the dioramas in a James Fenimore Cooper’s “Deerslayer” display. One of the figurines was damaged by a hungry mouse who ate a finger and then “mousey” added the sailboat’s halyard to his nest. (The art training came in handy.)

Then there were the 80 to 90 milk tankers and tractors that had to be high-pressure washed four times a week. Spring, summer, fall and winter’s northern climate of ice and snow brought endless challenges, but we lived and worked through them all.

We cleaned many a private home, chains of stores and banks and damage done by fire, floods and oil burners misfiring.

Cleaning and keeping people happy is not easy, but it does have its rewards. We were not only able to support our family, but also to help our employees. Our children learned, and in later years, showed appreciation and good work habits.

We watched one of our local credit unions grow and had the privilege of serving them and their many branches for more than 18 years. We enjoyed working with congenial people that were a team. Why? Because we were a team.

Now I am looking at doing and accomplishing more. Mentally, that is, for at this point, I’m hoping for that “more energy” I mentioned and more to life. (My dear doctors and medical personnel are most intent on just that ... thankfully.)

Being a Bible reader, I came across a Scripture that is a promise of that longevity I mentioned. “Even time indefinite He has put in the hearts of mankind _ .” No wonder I feel the way I do, wanting more to this life. Four other popular translations use the word “eternity” at Ecclesiastes 3:11. Isn’t that an interesting thought or even a subject to pursue?

Somewhere, sometime ago, I read where scientists stated that the human body cells renew themselves every seven years. So, if reasoned on all that _ then there are possibilities. Yes?

Yes, something to really think about because my list of “things to do” can be endless and perhaps someday I’ll be able to really say, “Been there, done all that.”

Elaine W. Kniskern is a 77-year-old resident of Schenevus and a grandmother of five. She can be reached at ralphkniskern@stny.rr.com.

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