It’s funny how a random scene from the past can be cemented in one’s mind.

I remember when my oldest daughter struggled with a challenging sewing project involving a pastel green dress. (A pic of the finished dress is below.) We were to meet a high school teacher for assistance at her home on a Saturday morning. When we entered her place, my first thought was that we arrived too early. Surely, she wasn’t expecting us so soon. Saturday’s newspaper was sprawled all over the kitchen table, along with a plate of half-eaten toast, a mug of coffee and some dishes. When the teacher welcomed us inside and made no apologies about the mess, I felt right at home. Here was a genuine person! No pretentions! She was too busy enjoying reading the paper to care about outward appearances.

Come into my home unexpectedly and you’ll see the newspaper scattered on my kitchen table as well. When I devour the paper, I glance at the headlines, peruse what interests me, put a section aside for later reading, maybe clip an article out and then work on the puzzles. Some days I’m drawn to the numerical puzzles like Sudoku, and other times the cryptoquote and crossword grab my attention. I love the newspaper and it does an excellent job of covering all the other messes on the kitchen table!

My 2020 New Year’s resolution is a very simple one. Dad always told us, “Keep it simple!” My resolution is: keep the kitchen table cleared off! My modified resolution is to keep it tidy if it’s not cleared.

Well, all I can say is this goal hasn’t been obtainable in the first ten days of the year. Check out my progress so far.

What you don’t see is that I cleared over my two coffee mugs, dishes and put every section of the newspaper away. You can’t see how I paid the bills (mostly😊) and filed them away.

Yup, my daisy work backpack is dumped on a chair. However, I did return the rest of my uneaten lunch to the fridge. Baggies of batteries taken out of light-up Christmas decorations lie in a heap. A plant—an undelivered late Christmas gift—is removed from its cellophane wrapping so I remember to water it. A plant I wanted to photograph to show my youngest daughter sits waiting to be watered. It’s from her baby shower and it’s blooming. An assortment of pens and highlighters for making To-Do Lists lie waiting to be of service. A pile of things to give to a daughter the next time I see her, including two news clippings, are on a chair.

I am becoming my parents. Recently, I came across the last news clipping my Dad had given me.

He was 94 and still read the paper, often finding articles for his children to read.

Kept him sharp so I will keep doing it, too. My Mom still has things put aside for us six kids when we pop by to visit. This is a good thing to do. Makes one feel special.

What you cannot even see on the table is the reason for all the glue. I was unsuccessful at gluing broken Christmas ceramic decorations, so the jobs were delegated to my hubby, Guy. You can see the Christmas wreath made by Mom on the table.

It’s a reminder to glue in more “lights” before storing it. You can’t see the delicate ceramic Santa sleigh made by my mother-in-law that Guy already glued in many places. It’s fifty years old.

The crazy glue is out so I remember to add a dab to the split skin on my fingertips before I go to work.

To fill in the deep cracks which developed from a combination of the winter weather and the alcohol scrub at work. What you know now is that I glued two fingers together minutes before leaving for work two nights ago. It was a minor crisis. Even with using nail polish remover, crazy glue is difficult to remove. I had to forcefully rip those fingers apart which resulted in a larger cut. Ouch!!

Guy is kind to me. In a soft voice, he told me, “You know, Rita, not everyone should use glue.” This is how my To-Do gluing projects have managed to make it to Guy’s To-Do List.

But the honest truth why I haven’t kept my New Year’s resolution to keep the kitchen table clear can be found on a little card table tucked around the corner in the living room. On the table is a 1000-piece puzzle from Christmas . . . already completed!

You can have time for cleaning off tables or you can have time for puzzles. Priorities!

I’m okay. I’ve still got 356 days to try to keep my New Year’s resolution!

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