Living in Geriland

Once a year, on my birthday, I get to live in Geriland.

It’s an old habit from childhood. On your birthday, you get to do what you want, eat what you want and everybody has to be nice to you. If that’s not Geriland, I don’t know what is.

So every year, my sister Therese visits me on my birthday and is very nice to me — in an exhausting, yes-we’ll-do-one-more-project kind of way.

We got to work almost immediately when she arrived on Thursday night with the ominous words, “Let’s start on the den.”

She didn’t know how prophetic those words would be because the den transformation from junked-up all-purpose room to clutter-free office stretched out through the entire visit.

As we cleared the den, I was my usual helpful self by stacking desk drawers precariously. Predictably, moments later they tumbled from my bed to the floor and my carefully cleaned out drawers were in a mess all over the bedroom.

But nothing deters Therese. She kept plowing head moving piles and furniture as I muttered about scattered pens, papers and scissors.

It didn’t take long for all the junk of my den to be deposited throughout the house. Then Therese roamed my house looking for storage pieces that could hide away all my bits and bobs and give me a more tranquil working atmosphere.

And darned if she didn’t accomplish just that. A cupboard from the basement, a bookshelf from the bedroom, two tables from the sunroom and suitcases and trunks from all over my house.

And because I can’t be without all my colorful games and memorabilia, we added an 11-foot -long shelf along one wall. That moved some of the boxed stuff up to the wall and on display and actually allowed some room for file folders, notebooks, and papers which was the purpose of this big organizational push.

And you’d think that would be enough for the weekend.

But it wasn’t.

She also accompanied me on a television-buying expedition, and then hooked up the TVs — yes, I replaced both — because anything electronic terrifies me.

Now that we had functioning TVs, we mostly ignored them for a trip to the basement where we planned to take an old spool bed and turn it into a set of benches. Along the way, we managed to saw through a screw with a circular saw, putting that out of commission, and drop the jigsaw blade side down. At that point, Therese conceded we would make only one bench this weekend and she would take the other parts home with her where we have access to many more dangerous saws.

It was at that moment that she stepped up on an unsteady stool to unplug a cord and promptly tumbled to the concrete basement floor. After generous applications of Advil and heating pad, she survived with only a sore wrist and the energy to insist we tackle another project.

It’s a good thing I collect so much stuff because the next project involved cutting my many yardsticks into pieces to make frames for mirrors. Fear not, this time I was actually wielding the saw and it was hand powered. And no fingers were harmed in the cutting of the yardsticks.

By the time she left on Sunday, we had both breathed enough sawdust to last us for months, or at least until we meet up again in April for her birthday. Who knows what damage we can do then.

I figure I have until then to get all the leftover den stuff still sitting in the dining room sorted and stashed.


One thought on “Living in Geriland

  1. Sometimes I think it is better to leave the junk and clutter stuff behind the closet doors and in the drawers. When I start a processing like you did with your sister, you are lucky to have your sister, I don’t have anyone but myself to do the organizing and clutter. Most of the time I look at the clutter and say, leave it for the kids.

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