Organization Skillz – Sept. 5, 2021

Kitchen Completed

It is laughable even to me that I find myself, at age 47, really good at organizing stuff. I am the grizzled aging man with more salt than pepper in his beard who at a different stage of life had to bulldoze a path through dirty clothes, random school stuff and assorted other teen paraphernalia just to get to his bed at night. Somewhere in between, I picked up the ability to see stuff and know where it fits best, whether it’s a mountain of vacation gear that all needs to end up in a car trunk just so or boxes filled with kitchen things that appear more plentiful than cabinet space.

And so today I found myself pulling everything out of the kitchen cabinets, where Wifey-Poo had stashed them in New Home just so they’d have a place — anyplace — and conjuring images of the best place. Five hours later, every cabinet was logically filled, with priority spots given to what is used most frequently. Oh, and I reorganized the kitchen pantry, too. If my parents ever read this, let’s pause for a moment while they either stop their hysterical laughter or recover from an unconscious state of shock.


Boy The Elder and Matthew have been friends since before they knew they were friends. Parents can do that to their children. If Mom A is friends with Mom B, they simply plop their kids down next to each other and say, “There. You’re friends.” Imagine the awkwardness if aging parents could to this to their adult children.

That said, sometimes it works.

Such is the case with Boy The Elder and Matthew. Our families were neighbors, many moves ago for our nomadic tribe, and Wifey-Poo and Lisa became close friends. So toddler BTE and even-more-toddler Matthew started growing up in proximity to each other. They’ve had this odd and fabulous bond ever since, a bond in which they can not see each other for a year and then pick right up the next time they’re together as if they still lived next door to each other.

BTE was back from Mizzou for an afternoon today. Matthew recently moved from Ohio to start attending college at nearby Lindenwood University. Both were in our house for most of the afternoon and evening. It was surreal. Gone is the pudginess of boyhood. Matthew now has longish hair and a full beard. BTE is threatening to surpass me in height. I came inside from an afternoon cigar break after the aforementioned kitchen reorganization to find them sitting at the kitchen table talking fantasy football and other things of early adulthood.

It warmed my heart.

The ‘Don’t Blame Me, I Didn’t Say It’ of the Day

‘It’s not an immediate threat.’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, on the emerging Mu covid variant

I have two reasons for putting this in The Puzzle Known as Life:

  1. It should be somewhere that might survive humankind if the moo-moo variant is the one that ultimately wipes out humanity so whatever intelligent lifeform brews from our leftovers can figure out who left behind all the really cool video game systems.
  2. It’s a relief to know I don’t have to worry about it yet because, dude, I ain’t got the bandwidth right now.

Don’t Go. Please Stay

On my right arm is a tattooed semicolon and the words “My Story Isn’t Over.” It’s a reminder to me of the fact that I once didn’t want to be around anymore and today I do.

National Suicide Prevention Week starts today, and I’m writing this as someone who knows. It is So. Freaking. Easy. to find yourself in a place where you think you’d be better off dead. Whether it’s the ravages of mental illness, a Series of Unfortunate Events, the realization that whatever governing forces there are in this world have a penchant for kicking us when we’re down or some combination of all, many, many people who never thought they would be on the precipice of ending things suddenly do.

This blog has virtually no reach. I get that. But if it somehow reaches you at a point where you’re thinking of killing yourself, don’t go. Please stay. Reach out to someone. Reach out to me. The National Suicide Prevention hotline is 800-273-8255.

Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

  1. The way the leading edges of clouds sort of swirl around.
  2. A well-made cigar.
  3. The world has more organizing for me to do.

More From ‘A Puzzle Known As Life’

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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Detached 💭Intentions for a New Year 📆Red is Deadly 😷 Today sucked. The problem is, I don’t really know what the hell happened. I woke up just after 6, later than I have been recently, and I felt so significantly off that I truly don’t remember much of the first 45Continue reading “Off — Dec. 6, 2021”

Tree Haulin’ — Nov. 26, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Family Rituals 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦The Grinch Rocks ❤️Churros and Poke Bowls 🤤 It’s interesting to think about how family rituals actually become family rituals. There are some that are very intentional. You had something done for you as a child, so you do the same thing for your kid. Others just sort ofContinue reading “Tree Haulin’ — Nov. 26, 2021”

Boy The Singer, Nov. 23, 2021

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Big Buck — Nov. 14, 2021

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Sloth Talk — Nov. 8, 2021

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Punk! — Nov. 5, 2021

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FIL’s Day — Sept. 19, 2021

Today was all about my father-in-law, Marvin. FIL died in November following complications from heart surgery and COVID. Wifey Poo and the sisters-in-law organized an ice cream social and issued an open invitation to the family and FIL’s friends. When we set the date for late September, the thought was that we’d be past theContinue reading “FIL’s Day — Sept. 19, 2021”

Work Drinkin’ – Sept. 3, 2021

I’ll Drink to That Since my departure from newspapers in 2009, I’ve worked for very conservative not-for-profit organizations. An electric cooperative. A Lutheran benefits provider. A pediatric orthopedic hospital. None ever encouraged me to post photos on our social media of employees drinking during the workday. But that happened to me today following our champagne-tastingContinue reading “Work Drinkin’ – Sept. 3, 2021”

Moving Day – Aug. 13, 2021

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