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What’s top of my mindThe arrival of the new iPhone cover. Spo-fans may recall I had to buy a new phone when I dropped the old one. The new one, with its thin and shiny metal cover, is slippery as catfish in Vaseline. . It seems determined to join its predecessor on the floor. I’ve near dropped it a few times. Someone (who does these sort of things for me) contacted Mr. Bezo who is sending me a iPhone 11 cover. It is made out of sponge rubber or something, bright red to match my eyes. This way I can spot it from across a crowded room as well as protect it from my bungling.

Where I’ve been – Starbucks. Oh the horror. It is was first one I’ve entered in years. I got me a small coffee and within half an hour my heart was doing the flip-flops. No more Starbucks, ever!

Where I’m going –  Car wash. Every Saturday we go to DuckDuckGo the local carwash, where we have a monthly subscription. In the desert there is a continuous sprinkling of dust and cars get quickly coated. After a quick drive-through we vacuum the car for bits of things and I wipe down the insides of the doors with towels I remember to bring with us. These always come out dirty, which makes me wonder how the dirt gets inside. Then again dust gets into everything here so I should not be shocked.

What I’m watchingDr. Who. When it comes to television, Someone and I do not have the same tastes, but we both enjoy Dr. Who. We are presently slogging our way through The Doctor in David Tennent form. The episodes are silly but jolly good fun. I do my ironing while we watch Dr. Who.

What I’m reading –  The Psychiatric Times. You may have heard there is a new medication out for Alzheimer’s. There is a lot of brouhaha about this drug and how it came to be approved after it was rejected as ineffective. The general consensus: the FDA allowed it onto the market although it has no proven benefit and at a frightful cost. It is bad science – done under pressure to give folks something/anything to have hopes on, provided of course you can pay for it. I empathize with the folks desperate for something to try and do. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want my relations to try it – not at that price.

What I’m listening to –  Savor. This podcast is all about food. “The food chicks” as I call them are doing the history of the tootsie roll. I am not a great fan of these sweets. Although I don’t turn them down there were always bottom of the barrel/last things ate in my loot of Halloween candy loot, which is bad, as they become hard as hockey pucks in time.

Spo-fans: do you like Tootsie Rolls?

What I’m eatingKing Ranch Casserole. This dish is the love-child of The Midwest and The Southwest. Poblanos, onions, jalapenos and tortillas etc. are combined with canned cream of this, that, and the other, and baked into a hot-dish, served with salsa. The ingredients vary. Next time I plan to use hard tortillas not the soft ones, although I fear this maybe just nachos. This is not lo-cal cuisine, but it is delicious, and a nice way of using up old chicken.

Who I’m paying attention to – The painters next door. The HOA sent us a letter of complaints our house needs repainting. They aren’t entirely wrong: the green highlight color is faded. The houses on our street are painted in shades of brown of a uniform ugliness although no two are alike. We had ours painted a creamy white with green highlights. There was talk – even harsh words from the neighbors on this choice. We pointed out these colors were HOA approved. Alas, they are no longer approved, so we will probably have to become another brown liver-colored monstrosity. Stirges. So far no one has complained about the brightly-painted rocks I’ve put out front.

What I’m planning – A budget. In my bachelor days I regularly did a budget. I wanted to make sure money wasn’t slipping through my fingers or I was unconsciously spending badly. We don”t have a budget. This leaves me with the paradoxical emotions of feeling we can afford anything and we are in dire straits. I would prefer a mutually created budget but I am willing to do it on my own.I don’t really know how to do a budget; this is mostly driven by the sense one ought to have one. While I don’t know what to do exactly, I want to start doing something. On the journey I will figure out what are the goals and what needs doing.

Do you do a budget? Do you do it with your significant other?

Parnassus (the dear!) inspired me to write about background noise.

My life is full up with background noise – both the outer and the inner kind. The outer stuff is more likely to drive me to distraction but it often more manageable than the hummingbird thoughts flitting about my brain. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me define terms. “Background noise” for me is sound that isn’t the main matter but something added, ‘in the back’ of the matter at hand. With noise pollution being what it is, one would think there is enough background noise already and we don’t need more. Background noise beyond one’s control is the worst. I am forever finding ways to avoid this sort. As I type this I hear the TV blaring away in the other side of the house and it distracting me from my composition.*

Then there is a the background noise I make myself. I seem incapable of stretching or exercising or driving without something playing in the background. Mind! I would probably do these tasks better if I focused on them without the background noise. I make no silly claims I can multi-task. Far from it. I like having music on when driving or filling out forms or prescriptions but the type of music must be of a certain type. Classical music is right out, as it immediately brings me attention to it to ‘hear’ it. Podcasts telling a story or teaching something are also make bad background noise. I’ve learned not to prepare a meal while listening to podcasts as I don’t pay attention to either the podcast or the meal directions and the podcast is wasted and the dinner is marred. New music is also bad as I am drawn to it. What makes ‘good’ background noise is new age music (no melody) or very familiar tunes I won’t focus on but the sound is soothing.

The inner background noise is my bigger challenge. As for background noise outside of my ears, one can always take the Mae West approach. ** It is not so easy for my hummingbird brain to stop flitting about with its nonstop buzzing. I hear that with practice, meditation can calm this down. Spo-fans who meditate: tell me if this is so. I tired meditation a few times and I failed miserably as my mind immediately went into a gummy panic and began setting off noise enough to cover for one of history’s more bloody battles.

I think the goal of self-inflicted outside background noise is to soothe me via sonorous familiar and/or dull sounds and tunes while getting my mind to focus on anything but its inner turmoil.

A better solution is to turn off as much outside racket and try again to calm the inner noise. It is time to drain the hummingbird feeder in my mind so the petulant birdies get discouraged and leave me. Meanwhile, I will go ask Someone to please turn down “The Big Bang” it’s a bit loud there’s a good fellow.

It isn’t much I suppose but it is a start.

*I got up and closed the doors. This helped.

**Ms. West was once asked to comment on the complaints from some listeners about her raunchy radio show which was played on Sundays. “Well,” she replied, “they could have turned it off.”

Replacing the busted iPhone was an easy process really. The perky saleslady, who looked to be about seventeen, did a very good good at setting me up with a new phone in the “11” series, all shiny and new, and bright red to match my eyes. Unfortunately, something was wrong with the iCloud or the home computer, so I’ve lost all my photos and memes – worse luck. I have a some things backed up in the laptop, so I can piece a lot back together in time.

From Saturday night until Sunday evening when the new phone started working, I was bereft of a phone. It was a funny feeling. I had a young woman referred to me after she had a massive panic attack while hiking in the mountains with her friends. For the first time in her life she could not use her phone. She didn’t like my assurance people throughout time have done this sort of thing for spiritual and health sake – what she found horrid. I thought of her in these past 24 hours. Someone went to work, so I was not only home alone but cut off from others. It was quiet – very. It was somewhat unsettling. As I worked about the house in silence I could not remember the last time people were not able to get hold of me and vice versa. I could quickly going to liking this and not getting a phone -who needs the news and podcasts and social media sites? I got enough to last me a lifetime.

Driving around town today prior to my appointment at the Apple Store, I could not remember a time when the phone wasn’t playing music, podcasts, or medical lectures, or audio-books. Driving in silence was more uncomfortable than silence at home. Lo! The car has a radio! AM and FM! Do these things still exist and does anyone still listen to such?

Radio it turns out hasn’t changed any since I last tuned in decades ago. It was Sunday; the AM stations still play gospel music and fire-and-brimstone preaching. FM still has yackety-yack-yack DJS – even the tunes they were playing were the same one from my past. Someone listens to Sirius FM, so I turned that on and found a station titled “The 60s” and had a groovy far-out time hearing the likes of The Turtles and The Rolling Stones. As Pepys would say: “And it pleased me very much”.

I had to get a phone for work as this is how the spread-out staff gets hold of me, as does the pager service. An app generates passcode numbers for me to write prescriptions. If it weren’t for work I was nearly ready to cancel my appointment at the Apple Store and go native. But I did not. I think I will do more quiet time in the car and the home. I think it will do me good.

*While waiting for The Apple Gods to bestow their blessings onto my new phone, I asked her how long she had been working for Apple. “Ten years!” she grinned. I never feel so old as when in an Apple Store conversing with the salespeople, who all looked like they were born yesterday.

This week’s Wednesday’s Ws are back to my own. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections tell me they enjoyed their turn but didn’t feel a great need to repeat it anytime soon.

What’s top of my mindmy innards. Something I ate perhaps – or is it anxiety? Whatever the cause, something has raised a ruckus to make in me what the French call abdominal abominable. Someone reports having nothing similar, so it wasn’t the crockpot tikka masala as suspected. I am sticking with the sage advice to avoid curried snacks.

Where I’ve been –  Lams Supermarket. Travel Penguin (the dear!) recently informed me of this local Asian market for me to try. “Local” is a stretch as it is located on the other side of town. It was worth the drive. It is full up with all sorts of lovely items, all from Asia, many I want to try. Besides noodles from every land, there are all sorts of vegetables and spices I have never heard of. I bought my first jar of Kimchi. They sell jackfruit, something I am hoping to try some day. They are huge things, like the eggs of some sort of dragon. I need to research how to work with one before I tackle eating one of these monsters.

Where I’m going –  into my journals. I am trying find the name of a certain Mexican restaurant I want to revisit when I am next in Palm Springs. The trip isn’t until November but I am already dreaming of what I want to do there, particularly the restaurants. I also need to learn of the restaurants survived the pandemic. I’ve learned not to become too attached to eateries in Palm Springs; they are ephemeral.

What I’m watching the plants in the backyard. With temperatures now regularly over 40C, the potted plants need daily watering – sometimes two times a day. I am already losing things to the ardent heat. I may have to bring some indoors if they are to survive until autumn.

What I’m reading –  A letter. I recently received one in the post. It is a proper letter on 81/2 x 11 paper, about three pages long. I cannot remember the last time I received one. I am reading it slowly, as letters ought to be read, preferably with a nice hot cup of tea while sitting at the table reading in peace and quiet. Letters should not be skimmed like email. What a pleasure! It feels like a blast from the past, when people took time to write and communicate their thoughts.

What I’m listening to ‘The Greatest Showman’ soundtrack. I only recently saw the movie and I liked it a lot I especially liked the songs. There were enough tunes for me to buy it for my iPhone.

What I’m eatingStone soup. Last weekend I applied my cooking skills to create a soup out all the leftovers I could find in the fridge that needed attention ASAP or risk being thrown out. It was made with carrots, celery, and onions all a bit past their prime, as well as some leftover broth and bullion. Orzo was added at the end. For the meat I used the leftover SPAM from a pasta dish, diced into spoon-sized pieces. It wasn’t too bad. Come to think of it, this isn’t stone soup, it is spam soup.

Who I’m paying attention to The post. Speaking of the post, last week I ordered some socks, bright and bold, with gay colors the way I like them. Jolly good fun to wear some whimsical hosiery! It is always nice to get something in the post that isn’t junk mail or a bill.

What I’m planning – A night on my own. Someone is beginning to work again at the theatre, which leaves me ‘home alone’ this Saturday night. It will be my first in over a year. I plan on listening to podcasts and medical lectures do some sewing, as I cook a meal I want he won’t particularly like.

The other day I heard a podcast of a group of nerds* in a disquisition about ‘guilty pleasures’, applied to old sci-fi movies. They started by trying to define what a guilty pleasure is. I don’t recall their agreed-upon definition, other than it is sort of like a triple-cheeseburger: you know it’s not good for you, others would disapprove, and there is even an element of unhealthiness to it, but dammit it tastes good.  It is something you don’t eat every day (or confess doing so) but jolly good fun to indulge in once in a while. 

This got me thinking. What are my guilty pleasures and do I dare share them online lest Dame Public Opinion disapprove or Spo-fans cancel in disgust and disapproval?  One approach is to dismiss the word ‘guilt. As the late Anne Marie would say, I don’t get a f-k what others think!”  I am too Midwestern in my roots to take that approach (worse luck!) but I will be brave and share some of my worst guilty pleasures and face the condemnation. 

Club Sandwiches. They are not lo-cal; they are not high-class. What they are though is delicious. They combine the crispness of toast (oh the carbs!) with the coolness of sliced tomato and lettuce and cold cuts with oh so tasty mayo. And it has bacon – so what’s not to love? They are usually served with a pile of equally guilt-ridden fries – and plenty of ketchup or mayo-based sauce in which to dip these triangular lovelies. The cut sandwiches allow me to eat 1-3 and save the others for later. Did you know CLUB may stand for ‘Chicken Lettuce Underneath Bacon sandwich?  Maybe. 

Piers Anthony novels. I am almost ashamed to type this.  He’s written scores of sci-fi and fantasy books and they can be mindless fun. Unlike the works of Terry Prachatt, his tales are just silly, almost puerile, admittedly dated, and at times bordering on the erotic/misogynist . Oh the embarrassment. Once in a while I reread one of these rubbish novels and I feel fifteen years old again.

Walt Disney movies. Speaking of kiddie-wink past times, I still enjoy going to The Tube of You and watching clips from the Mouse Movies. What I like to watch are: 

a) any scene involving magic being used.  

and 

b) villains getting their comeuppance. 

May I add a very guilty pleasure Walt Disney movie is “Peter Pan”?  If “Song of the South” is banned for racism, Peter Pan ought to be as well. Go see the song ‘What makes a red man red?” and one has to squirm with its wrongness.  All the same, I adore Captain Hook and always rooted for him over that twerp twinkie Peter Pan. 

Silly Hats. On my bucket list is to own a Top Hat, a proper one, no rubbish. Wearing silly hats is guilty pleasure is hard to indulge in as wearing them at home is too odd-ball yet being out of doors in a large over-the-top Viking helmet (horns included) creates talk. Halloween and Christmas are the few times of the year I can pull off this nonsense without police officers stopping me to ask if I am OK. 

Tiki cocktails. I pride myself in my sophisticated palate for wine, whisky, and what not; I have been called a snob and I can’t deny it. However, if I see such delicacies like “Zombie” or “Scorpion” or “Mai Tai” on the drinks menu, my eyes widen, and my face lights up with joy with the radiance of a brilliant sunrise.  I want plenty of fruit, an umbrella, a swizzle stick – the whole works. Tiki drinks aren’t so much a drink but an event. Besides, they go so well with the Spo-shirts, which is another guilty pleasure of mine, as these are not in fashion.**

Spo-fans: I would be delighted to hear about one or two of your guilty pleasures. I promise not to judge or go ‘ewwww’.  

*What do you call a group of nerds? I went on line to find the right word. What I found was ‘a ham radio club’. 

**They are not my fashion, but my style. Get it right !

“I got nothing” as Blobby sometimes says. I don’t have anything in my week interesting to write upon. So, this week’s Wednesday’s Ws are brought to you courtesy of The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections. The dears suggested they try a turn at this. There are nine questions and eight board members so they all drew lots as to who answer what question. All eight contributed to the last W. This is “Pop Culture Happy Hour” for Vikings.

What’s top of my mind – Sven: A barbarian attack. They always show in spring and it’s June for Thor’s sake, and there’s no signs of them. I guess I am a little disappointed. They were a sort of a spring ritual, like picking daffodils or burning down the east coast. Now what’s going to happen to us without barbarians? Those people were a kind of solution.

Where I’ve been – Bjorn: Muspelheim. It is the only place in the nine realms where one can get a decent rack of ribs.

Where I’m going –   Helga ‘Pippi” Long-stocking: Costco. They brought back the free samples and I’m excited. With careful planning I can get a decent meal out of these. Shopping at Costco on a Saturday morning resembles going into one of history’s more bloody battles but the hot dog/soda combination after check out is worth the pushing and shoving and defenestration.

What I’m watching – Snorri Sturlson the 23rd: Flights to Iceland. It’s been ages since I visited Auntie Huldufolk. All my relatives are on furlough, due to covid19 wiping out the tourist industry. Worse luck! Even the Yule Lads are unemployed. They spend their days playing frisbee golf can you imagine?

What I’m reading –  Slater-Wotan: Read? I do not read. Nor do I write. Both a waste of time. That sort of stuff is for our minion, Urspo. I may not be able to write my name but he writes entries about my fame. So who’s the wiser?

What I’m listening to –  Oscar ‘Bunny’ Jarl: Laura Fygi.

What I’m eating – Walter Cnut Fafner: Lutefisk. At the end of our last raid we divvied up the land, only to realize no one had claimed Essex. Bjorn thought it was Sven’s; Sven thought it was Oscar’s; Oscar only knew it east of Wessex and didn’t give a hoot. In the end we agreed to use Essex for storage for our pickled fish. The taste is lovely but oh the whiff.

Who I’m paying attention to – Herbert: Jessica Alba. She’s got nice legs.

and

What’s making us happy this week – 

Sven: The warm weather.

Bjorn: Imperial tid-bits from America: tobacco: potatoes; and that high-grade narcotic Sven’s so found of.

Helga: Little brown scraps under the tables at Costco. They have a nice crunch.

Snorri: Buns and things.

Slater: Honorificabilitudinitatibus.

Oscar: Hitting people with flat metal objects.

Walter: Rolling down grass hills.

Herbert: Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce garnished with truffle pate, brandy, and a fried egg on top, and Spam. No rubbish.

I am going back at the gym – or at least trying to. It seems others have returned as well, although many look like they never stopped going viz. they are in shape.  Compared to them I look a fright. What also separates me from these sorts is I wear a mask. Few others do.* I also wear a mask when visiting Uncle Albertsons and everywhere else I go.  Why do I still wear one, I hear Spo-fans say, as I’ve been vaccinated and there aren’t any strict laws anymore about wearing one in public,?  I will tell you:

It ain’t over. Covid19 hasn’t gone away; people are still getting it and dying from it. There are variants, and we don’t know if the vaccine will cover immunity from these. History shows whenever a plague or epidemic starts to dissipate, weary people drop their guard and lo! there is a surge of the pathogen. We are in that stage now.  History is likely to repeat itself.

Safety. I am back doing some face-to-face appointments at the office and I can have many in a day. Many of my patients are elderly or frail or have immunosuppression diseases.  I could be spreading covid19 without realizing it.

Transformation of the norm. I am hoping to lead by example to change the culture on the topic of wearing masks in public.  A few patients of mine who are of Asian background tell me wearing a mask in public (particularly during flu season) is a common and accepted matter. I would like to see masks similar here in the States. It would be nice to see someone masked in public without questioning a person’s motives or their politics.

There are also less logical reasons:

Petulance.  Being in mask my version of a wearing a red MAGA cap; it broadcasts to the world what I believe, but also it is a sort of bait for anyone with enough effrontery to question my wearing it.  So far this hasn’t happened. I am ready however with a series of responses carefully worded to make the miscreant squirm.

“I am a doctor” (true, but what does this mean? Imagine some rude-boy retaliating with ‘well you doctors don’t know anything” which would lead to ‘and where do you get your medical information?” long enough for them to become discouraged and leave.)

“I may have covid” (also true. Imagine them still arguing with me on keeping it on”)

“I wear it as I am thinking of others. It would be selfish of me to do otherwise” (ouch)

Security. I am used to them; I feel more secure in one.  When I walk about without one, I feel exposed and awkward. A

Fashion, baby-cakes, fashion, .  The masks I see are either dreary black nylon types or those blue paper disposable devices.  My masks are unique designer Spo-shirt derivatives of gay colors and patterns that fill the world with light and fabulousness.  Why would I NOT want to wear one out in public?

*It is curious to see the demographics of the ones wear them. I do not see any patterns to who does and doesn’t wear one. To my surprise, the elderly overall do not wear masks, probably because they have been vaccinated.  The 20-30yo studs do not wear masks, nor did they ever. 

The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections and I have in our suzerainty-vassal contract* the stipulation I am not allowed to write entries under the following circumstances:

When I am feeling sad.

When I’ve had a few whiskies.

Sunday evenings.

After hearing the news. 

Thinking about how old I am and how little I’ve accomplished. 

Interacting with telephone healthcare agents. 

I am in technical violation with the third stipulation but this is being published early Monday morning, so a technicality saves me from becoming bird food. 

This week at work I have no new patients viz. no initial evaluations have been scheduled.  I cannot recall when this last happened, if ever. This means my roster is so full The Bosses have put a pause on new patients as the established ones can’t get appointments.  I love my bosses more than my luggage, but we do have ructions about keeping my dance card filled.  If there are open times they become sorely vexed and people off the street are dragged in to be evaluated. A few weeks later the staff come to me vexed ‘there just aren’t any openings’ for the established patients who are wanting to return to clinic as soon as possible.  Oh the pain. The pendulum of feast and famine has been swinging this way for sixteen years, but this is the first time I’ve seen a full stop on the new ones. 

A curious phenomena occurs when patients can’t get an appointment: the doctor’s reputation improves. It is basic human nature to value better things that are scarce. I have a good Henley Street name, but when people can’t get in they suppose I must be a effing fantastic. “You must be good; I’ve been waiting months to see you!”

It will feel funny not to have new patients. Mind! They are more work than established folk, but they keep me on my toes. I never know who and what is going to walk in next.**

I must remember the present situation was not of my making, yet I will be called upon to accommodate it. I am a salaried employee; I am not paid by how many hours I put in. I will be pressured to see folks before and after my official work hours, and during my lunchtime as well. I am a nice person; I can easily say ‘yes’ and end up working 7AM to 7PM, even some Saturdays – and no more pay for it. I am not feeling keen on doing this, even though the howl of sharpened famine will resemble an orchestra of scorched cats.  I will be seen as mean or even selfish.  This will be a challenging.  

*The covenant is based on a contract made by The Hittites, circa 2500 B.C.E., called ‘The Stele of the Vultures’. The stele charmingly depicts vultures devouring the corpses of thems who violate the covenant. One does not mess around.

**This is one reason why I got out of cardiology. It was so predictable. 

Life is strange but true. After a week ‘back in the saddle’ as it were, in the offices, the past year of working from home now feels but a dream, dreamt by The Red King, sleeping away under a tree, while we wonder what was true.

Some of the patients are returning for face-to-face appointments, but most continue to do ‘zoom’. This may be because their appointments were established weeks if not months ago.  I am curious to see if the ratio changes in time. Meanwhile, I keep the office presentable lest folks come in.  Both my office is decorated in a pastiche of old books and bibelots, a tea set, and a shelves full of rocks. Patients bring them in and I won’t say no. In the Mesa office is a framed watercolor of the Pleiades a patient gave me nearly a decade ago. I am sorry to say I cannot remember her name but I can see her face. I believe she has died. I think of her though every time I see it.

There is no news at home. Next week’s Wednesday’s Ws may be canceled if I don’t have something to report.  This weekend is tidy-up and paperwork and that’s hardly worth mentioning. I don’t know what Someone is planning for the weekend. He likes to ‘binge watch’ TV series from start to finish. I brought back from MI a quaint, slightly dated but still functioning portable DVD player, so I may watch “Sordid Lives” to see if it is still funny.  I have a fancy to see all the Star Wars movies but can’t determine whether to see them in chronological order or in order they debuted.  I recall there were a few side-job movies, and these aren’t clear where to insert them.

Perhaps I will catch up with some continuing medical education credits and finish off a book.  I lead a dull life.  I might float about the pool like a soggy crumpet, provided I keep under the umbrella.  The ardent 40C sunshine does not allow for long periods in the pool.  I hope in my dwam Jenny Greenteeth doesn’t drag me down to my doom although that would give me something to write about next Wednesday.  Sounds good. 

Sometimes The Muses (or somebody like them) inchoates an interesting idea into my incus at time inconvenient that I UI write them down as ‘drafts” for future entries. More often than not when I have time to examine them they look like mumbo-jumbo and I can’t make heads or tails what I was thinking. The older ones are worse than the new ones. One of them had the words:

special containers

The mind boggles what was behind this tid-bit. I telephoned The Muses to ask but it went immediately to voicemail. I consulted The Fates but they weren’t helpful either. They gave me Cassandra-like advice said in indirect words about matters too far off in the future.* So, I am on my own to see what I can make out of ‘special container’.

La Casa de Spo does not lack for containers, especially if one lumps into the definition boxes, Tupperware, and those little souvenir knick-knacks scattered throughout the house. The Cup Sprites and The Car Key Gnomes often move the latter about when they have nothing else to do.

The home office has some nice ones, so let us start there. On the shelf at eye level is a small round container with a hinged lid, woven with some sort of straw. In it are several coins from out-of-the-country trips. There are also a few subway tokens, possibly from Chicago or NYC. One brass join has a rat on it; I think is it a Chuck-e-cheese coin, a place I have never entered.

Next to it, similar in size and shape, is a metal container with a Pacific Northwest Native American design on its take-away cover. It contains several irregular-shaped polished stones of hematite, malachite, and lapis.

An oblong ceramic box with two fishes on its cover contains headphone earbuds for devices we no longer use. I gave the box to Someone when I was courting him in Key West. I later found out my error he is not a Pisces but a Sagittarius.** The dear keeps it anyway although I suspect neither one of us really cares for it.

Going down the hallway….

On top of the black wooden cupboard in the hallway leading to the bedroom rests a rectangular box, tessellated with black and tan stones. Inside is a hodge-podge collection of glass ashtrays (if we have smokers over***), and the faded yellow rose boutonnieres from our marriage, and whatever Christmas ornaments we bought in the year that wait to come out/go up on Christmas tree 2021. One is a glass Krampus who stares at me from his plastic container whenever I open the lid to look in on him.

In the walk-in closet on my dresser are several boxes of various types and sizes. They are piled up on each other like a collection of small hatboxes. They have the following:

My watch collection, including my first I received from my grandfather. I no longer wear them due to the Fitbit.

Various necklaces and bracelet bits I mean to someday repair/restring.

A collection of necktie pins that were my grandfather’s, along with a few Rings of Power that once worn, make me Master of the World, provided I renounce Love, or Gummi bears, I forget which.***

As I write this, I realize these containers and others like them have in common they are small boxes of which I am found of seeing and opening that I may look into them at objects useless yet precious enough not to discard. In a way they are like graves. If that is too morbid for you, maybe the simile of Mother’s jewelry box works better. We kids would snoop inside the containers on her dresser and gaze at the collection of costume jewelry that we never saw her wear and wonder why on earth she kept it all. Now I know.

*They do that.

**I like Sagittarians; you can trust them.

***Fat chance of that.

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