Herald and Journal, Feb. 5, 2001

Excuses, excuses


I'm finally on-line again. I have a new computer, and a new Internet service, but it's still the same old procrastinating me.

I had hoped to get a column together and sent off before this. Something always seems to happen when it's column writing time.

No doubt I will always be a procrastinator. I can't seem to shake that habit. Could it be genetic? I wouldn't want to blame it on my ancestors, but I know at least one child of mine who seems to have a direct line to that part of the gene pool.

Around Christmas time I was busy trying to get everything decorated. I have a lot of Christmas houses that I just have to put out every year. Then there are all the little people, vehicles, trees, etc. that need to be arranged around the village.

The Christmas tree is another story. Tom feels that his only contribution should be buying the tree and getting it in the stand. I've been decorating the Christmas tree by myself for several years now. I really don't think I'm all that particular about how the tree is decorated, but I refuse to let my family members stand back and throw the icicles at it.

In my view, the icicles must be hung individually over the branch, not tossed at it in clumps. I suspect my restrictions may have taken the fun out of tree trimming. Of course, I put all the decorations on the tree, so I also have to take them off. This year I waited until about the 14th of January to do it. Hey, If we're going to spend money on a real tree I want to look at it for a while.

I've finally got all the trappings and treasures of Christmas hauled back upstairs. The boxes need to be rearranged and packed in the closet, of course. No doubt I will have that done some time around Easter.

My free time is at a premium, with my job and sometimes helping in the barn. Until recently, Tom had a hired man. Then the guy's car broke down and he had to quit.

That left Tom and I milking together every night after I got home from work. After talking to people on the phone all day, and then fighting my way back home on West 394, I was usually not very talkative. That's a good thing. If you don't talk, you can't argue.

I was relieved when Tom got a new helper recently, and I got some of my free time back. I still help with the occasional milking, but I am no longer "under the gun" so to speak.

Other times when I was planning to work on my writing Tom would want me to ride along to Fleet Farm or Menard's with him. How could I resist such an invitation, especially when it meant eating out instead of cooking?

I remember when we were first married and I was home with the kids all day. Tom had a job away from the farm. He worked ten-hour days at Temroc Metals and had Fridays off. When he arrived home he just wanted to stay there. Back then I would have jumped at the chance to go out anywhere, just to get out of the house.

Now I'm the one going off to work, and I just want to stay home at night. Tom is the one who always thinks of somewhere we need to go.

Wait a minute. I think Tom just came in from the barn. He's calling me. "What's that, Tom?" I yell. "The water pipes have burst in the laundry room and the water is creeping up to your naval?" I have to get out of here before the water rises any higher? That's okay, just save yourself and leave me here. I don't feel like going out tonight."

Besides, I've got a column to write!

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