Substance Abuse

We were house hunting a couple of years ago and there was one house in particular that stood out and not because I liked it. On every wall available, there were two to three pigs2pictures. There was no blank space to rest your eyes, only intense stimulation. In another home, every room was littered with piles of knicknacks. I don’t like knickknacks. I know some of you are coo-coo for Cocoa-puffs, I mean, nutty for knickknacks. I challenge you to think about whether or not you even look at them, or if their visual cacophony is something you now ignore. For me, something on every surface is just so much clutter. Your house might as well be messy. Besides, how much of your life do you want to spend moving, dusting, and resetting stuff?
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In Praise of all Things Unusual

I’d rather be weird than boring.

When I was first married, living in Edmonton, I used to ride my bike to work from the spring to the fall. Every day, I would pedal by a house where the occupants decorated their garage in a unique way. From the eaves to the floor on the one side, they had nailed garish flea market finds; brightly colored bric-a-brac, things with moving parts, bells, and chimes. My friend said it was ugly, but I was drawn to it. It was so odd and chaotic, it blared like a trumpet in a sleepy, tree-lined neighborhood. What possessed these people to start such a collection and then display it in such a public way?

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Grace and the Golden Shoes

I retired a pair of shoes recently. I remember buying these particular shoes because they were too expensive, in my estimation, but, also, too pretty to pass up. They were flip flops goldflower2on a wedge heel decorated with tiny leather flowers, each embossed with gold. I adored them. You may be asking, “Why is she telling us this?” Who cares that she retired a pair of shoes?” I tell you this because there was an incident involving these shoes that brought out a side of me I’m ashamed of and as I picked those faded gold flowers off of them, I was reminded of it.
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Stuff

I started working as a health care aide over a year ago now. I began my career at an assisted living complex where I went into people’s “homes” (rooms) and helped them get up, get ready and get on with their days. This particular establishment doesn’t insist on standardized beds, but allows people to bring in their own furniture. Though some have rooms that scream “recently purchased” at Bed, Bath and Benign, most of the contents have aged right along with their occupants. It’s not just their furniture, but their pictures, knickknacks, linens, and clothing, pretty much everything connected to them.
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