P.S. Thank You

The great thing about cleaning out my parents’ house as I prepare to move is finding little treasures like old pictures, cards and papers dating as far back as kindergarten.

The bad thing about cleaning out my parent’s house as I prepare to move is cleaning out my parents’ house.

We have accumulated a lot of stuff that has not been thinned since…..ever.

(WARNING: tangent ahead)

I’ve decided I like organizing, but not “cleaning out.”  Give me a closet full of items tangled up and in a heap and I will gladly put like with like and in nice boxes and baskets, all labeled, color-coded and sorted by occasion/season.  After all, I used to organize the silverware drawer just for kicks when I was in elementary school.  I know, I’m weird.  I can’t help it.

I do NOT, however, care for “cleaning out,” which includes deciding what to throw away, give away or keep, because this involves many messy (and HEAVY) piles, bins, trash bags, nosy cats and 459 trips up and down the stairs from the warzone to the garage.

After completing this process in several rooms this past week, I still have to organize and store what is NOT going with me to Nashville AND pack what IS going with me.  And THEN I have to drive 18 hours, haul the “keep” pile (mountain?) up TWO flights of stairs and UNpack it.  YIIIIKES!  Maybe I’ll just stay in Boston.

Oh wait, nope.

My love for the South is greater than my hatred for “cleaning out,” so I’m sticking to my plan (but apparently not to the point of this post.  My bad.)

Anyway, back to my first point: I have come across some real treasures in this “cleaning out” process, such as this card from my little seeester, Eugene:

Although she has no recollection of this card, judging by its content, her lovely cursive handwriting, and the fact that this card was created using a card program popular in our household at the turn of the century, I have concluded that this card dates back to the day after my sister tried to amputate her arm.

That may be an exaggeration.  It was her finger and it was unintentional (allegedly).

It was just after her 10th birthday, the height of her horse phase.  She had received several toy horses as gifts.  These particular toy horses come packaged as if they are going to gallop off the shelf, with layers and layers of cardboard, molded plastic and lethal plastic ties that keep the horses’ legs bound to the cardboard.  My sister was in the family room trying to free her toy horses from their boxy oppressors when her scissors slipped from the lethal plastic tie and launched into her left index finger which was holding up the box.

I was up in the attic on the computer when a calm voice and a trail of blood drops made its way toward me.  Upon processing this scene, I realized that this was not good but tried to keep my cool.  I was 13 at the time and obviously could not legally drive my sister to the emergency room.  Oh and my parents weren’t home.  Did I forget to mention that?  My mom was on a business trip and my dad was at a dinner in Boston and somehow in the 2 hours between when our nanny left and when my dad was due to arrive home, my sister and I found ourselves in a situation requiring professional medical attention.

After calmly escorting my sister down to the bathroom, I pulled the scissors out of her hand (turns out I should have left them in there, but I thought she might contract tetanus or something terrible) and wrapped her finger up tightly in a towel.   As she sat tight and with very few tears, I called my dad and asked him what I should do and he told me to call my neighbors to see if one of them could drive us over to the emergency room where he would meet us as soon as he could.

I then called one of my neighbors.

Ring, ring, ring…ring… “We can’t come to the phone right now, please leave a message.”

I figured maybe they were having dinner or something so I tried again immediately, hoping these back-to-back calls would communicate a sense of urgency.

Ring, ring, ring…ring… “We can’t come to the phone right now, please leave a message.”

Hmmm (translation: AHHH!).  I tried one more time and then decided they must not have been home.  Then I called my other next-door neighbors.  They did not pick up after several calls either.  I was about to lose my cool, but remembered that my sister was watching me very closely so I called my dad again and asked him what to do.

He told me to call 911.  All of the sudden, this seemed very serious and scary, but somehow I called 911 and the ambulance arrived a few minutes later.  As we were getting into the back of the ambulance, the second neighbor I called came running out of her house, got in the ambulance and traveled with us to the hospital.  At this point, I started to tear up, but my sister (the injured one) kept her cool.

We arrived to the hospital quickly and the doctor checked out my sister’s wound.  My dad got there shortly after.  After seeing my sister’s wound under fluorescent light and hearing the doctor say she needed stitches, I started to feel a little light-headed and had to go back to the waiting room until Eugene was all stitched up and released from the ER.

Even though she was the brave one for not freaking out when she stuck a pair of scissors in her finger, she made this very nice card to thank me for taking care of her.  The card was very sweet and thoughtful, but the P.S. note cracks me up:

As if I didn’t catch on to the sentiment on this card, she just wanted to be sure I got the message in the postscript.  I don’t know why I find this so funny, but I do. Even though that was not an evening I would like to relive (and I’m sure Eugene wouldn’t either), I’m so glad I found this card because it is so Eugene and it makes me smile.

To help you make sense of this post, I have put together a list of takeaways:

  1. Always answer your phone because it might be your panicking 13 year old neighbor calling about a scissors accident
  2. Deliberate long and hard before deciding to have children
  3. Packaged toys (particularly horses) pose a threat to your life and opening them may result in stitches
  4. Don’t move to a new place or you will be subject to some “cleaning out”
  5. “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
  6. (what?)
  7. P.S. Thank you

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Sugarlump