Cleaning half the attic room can cause problems

Word of warning: never run out of everything all at once.

Toothpaste, Efferdent, Vitamin C. Fish oil. And I would have been out of eye drops, too, except I keep forgetting to use them. They last longer that way. Don’t do as much good, but they do last longer. My company has left, so less toilet paper is needed, which is a good thing because there’s just one spare roll.

Everything seems to have run out at once. Maybe not everything, but enough so the bill for all this stuff is going to bite the big one.

When Dana came home a while back, I’d hadn’t yet cleaned my attic room. It got cleaned in a whirlwind of action, and my lookout cow got lost.

My tidy sister, Barbara, nearly blew a cork when she glanced into the attic room, but turned to walk away. It wasn’t until she heard the bed in that room was needed that the cork did pop.

“I’ll get it later,” I said, hoping she’d go back to my sister Cindy’s house, where she was staying. But she didn’t take the hint. After all, she said, it was just rude to ask somebody to clean off the bed they were going to sleep on. Just rude.

I’d rather hoped when my friend saw the room, she’d just offer to sleep on the couch. The couch is fair-to-middlin’ new in that it rarely gets sat on and never slept on. But Barbara wouldn’t let that happen. She started moving totes and boxes, honing in on the big hole in the closet that appeared when clothes went to Operation Christmas.

You’ve got to understand that Mom hated playing double solitaire with Barbara because Barbara’s fingers are long and skinny and move at speeds no fingers should use. It was mesmerizing just to watch her fingers move.

When it came to my attic room, that same feeling came over me. Watching her became my No. 1 job. Not to see what she did with the stuff or where she put it or what went into what box. No, I just couldn’t take my eyes off the blur she made.

And my lookout cow disappeared into one of those boxes somewhere in the closet. She’s a cousin to Pig, my cow bank in the kitchen. She’s a cute little Holstein, but I call her Pig because she is, after all, a piggy bank.

Yep, my lookout cow is missing in action, but on the upside, my attic room is now just half an attic room. One entire side AND the bed are tidy, cleaned of anything that doesn’t need to be there.

That’s not always a good thing.

Remember I told you I practice being blind, just in case the worst happens, so I could walk into my attic room in the dark and wind my way through a 6-inch pathway right to the sewing stool in front of my computer. Now I’ve got all kinds of empty room, and twice I’ve stubbed my toe.

Muscle memory doesn’t like to be fooled.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at