Friday, September 4, 2020

Saxifrage and Carpeting


I found these low-growing flowers around some stonework in the cemetery. It's either saxifrage or sedum, I think. (I'm going with saxifrage in the headline just because I like the name!)

There's a bee on that little clump of blossoms right in the middle. Here's a close-up:


Yesterday was the first day back with all of our students. It was a busy day. We were already checking out books for the fifth graders and some of the other middle schoolers -- they'd tell us what they wanted and we'd collect it and deliver it to their classrooms. That's going to be our method, keeping them in their "bubbles" and isolating some students from others. It's hard to explain, but the idea is, if any of them get sick, only other students in that "bubble" will have to quarantine. I actually don't even deliver books myself -- the middle school librarian does it, keeping me out of the "bubbles."

I was also deleting departed patrons from the system and trying to track down a few who left school with some of our books in their possession. (In a few cases, stacks of our books.)

Remember my Newbery Medal reading project -- to read all the books that have won the Newbery? I put it on pause over the spring and summer but now I'm picking it up again, too.

Oh, and thanks for all your helpful hints yesterday on opening jars! Honestly, the one I mentioned yesterday was the first jar we haven't been able to get open with plain ol' hand-twisting. I think I will buy one of those gripper things, though -- because that difficulty might be a harbinger of the future!


My brother has been going through some of my mom's old paperwork, and we've been amused by some of what she saved. Here, for example, is the receipt for the $845 she and my dad spent on wall-to-wall carpeting in 1970! (It's dated just two days after my brother was born, so I'm guessing my dad schlepped to the store and made the payment.) We had this carpet in our house for the next 20-plus years, and when I mentally picture our living room I still see avocado-colored carpeting. I never knew its name was "Plaza Suite." A sculptured shag, I guess you'd call it.

What's funny is, she not only kept the receipt long after she had this carpet replaced in the '90s -- she even moved the receipt after she sold the house! She wouldn't consciously attribute any emotional importance to it, but I wonder if it made her think of a time when she was young and her kids were babies, and her marriage hadn't yet foundered. Maybe she just couldn't quite bring herself to throw it out.

15 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

$845 back in 1970 would have been a lot of money - more than $5000 today. That avocado shag pile must have been about six inches deep! It's funny - the things we keep.

Ursula said...

We can only speculate as to what makes someone keep what seems redundant. Your explanation for the carpet receipt touching.

In the wake of Brex Shite, I haven't yet applied for my permanent residency permit. Putting it off and off and off. Some years ago I had two run-ins with the Home Office (then under Theresa May's tutelage). It's the closest I have come to post traumatic stress syndrome. No forget that. Closest I have come to being an extra in a Kafka novel.

So I keep putting off the evil day when I may find myself being shipped back to the motherland. However, and back to your point, by some weird instinct I have kept tons of admin stuff, including bank statements, documenting that I have lived virtually all my adult life in England. May it come in good stead when I need to demonstrate that I actually exist, and have a right to live here. Once obtained, I shall purchase a shredder - and gain plenty of space.

U

PS I too prefer the name Saxifrage to Sedum; the latter sounding like chewed slippers.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Going through all my mother's paperwork (and clothing) was a revelation after she died in 2016. She had receipts from furniture purchased in 1950! Yep, they moved with those, too. However, she did still have (some of) the furniture. Really fun historical documents.

Andrew said...

Of course if you don't want to spend £1 on a jar opener, you can bang it on the bench upside down, lid down that is.

I've seen those school bubbles somewhere and they sound like a good idea.

That would be your older brother going through your mother's paperwork? It always falls to the oldest son, like me.

The Padre said...

What A Cool Old Piece Of Memorabilia - May You Hold On To It For The Next Half A Century - All The Best With The Bubbles

Cheers

Ms. Moon said...

Ugh. The stuff we hang on to. It sucks the life out of my soul to think of some of the things I've kept. But it's human. I've found warranties for kitchen appliances that my grandfather kept. Small hand-held kitchen appliances.
May your school be safe and all within it be well. (Especially you and Dave.)

The Bug said...

With each of our moves I've tried to get rid of stuff like that, but sometimes I randomly keep stuff. Like we have paper folding maps to states where the roads are probably not at all the same anymore. Ha!

Love the bee in a blossom!

Red said...

One wonders how long a school can operate with all the extra hoops that have to be jumped through for some simple tasks like getting a book out of the library.

robin andrea said...

Interesting how your library has figured out a safe way to get stuff done. I like how you are protected and so are the students.
Some little receipts hold messages for a lifetime. I like that your mom held on to that. It says something about nostalgia and memories, that avocado green shag carpet. My mom always went for gold shag.

Sharon said...

Interesting flower and wonderful bee shot.
I just started cleaning out an old file cabinet that I've moved from one location to another over the years. I've had to laugh at some of the things I found there. One thing was a three page article from a 1983 magazine about the ultimate modern kitchen. It of course was dated by today's standards but it must have impressed me back in 1983.

Edna B said...

The safety plan at school sounds pretty good. I hope it works well. I hang on to dumb things like receipts too. Who knows when I may ever need one of them? You have a great weekend, hugs, Edna B.

gz said...

Saxifrage it is.
It sounds as if the school organisation is going ok.
We need to go through papers seriously. Pirate has given some to an air museum in Dumfries and there are more to go there now things are opening up again. Thanks for reminding us.
A note to Ursula... don't put it off..at least you have kept papers. A Dutch friend of ours went to the authorities and asked them what she needed to keep, as she was moving to a smaller home here. She shredded what they said was unnecessary. Now some of that is being requested as proof.

ellen abbott said...

I can't imagine having an emotional attachment to a old receipt but who knows. my mother kept every gift tag off every present she ever received, not note of what the actual gift was, just the tag with To: and From:. she also kept every card she ever got. I can get keeping them for a while, a couple of months, picking it up and enjoying it again, maybe even a year but when it comes to putting it in a box to never be seen again, what's the point?

37paddington said...

The receipt is also in spectacular condition. My guess is she may have thought she would use the carpet cleaner again, and wanted to know how to reach them. I've saved receipts for that reason, but not for fifty years!

Steve Reed said...

YP: It was nice carpet! And clearly durable, given how long it lasted.

Ursula: It's so hard to know what to keep. I find that most paperwork is ultimately useless. We save it out of an abundance of caution but it seldom benefits us in any way. And most things we can get back again if need be.

Mitchell: Well, at least your mom still had the furniture. Why would my mom save a receipt for carpeting she tore out almost 30 years ago, in a house she no longer owns?!

Andrew: Actually, he's my younger brother, but he's geographically much closer than me!

Padre: My brother didn't say whether or not he saved it, but I'm betting he did.

Ms Moon: And probably appliances that are themselves long gone, right?!

Bug: Yeah, paper road maps make no sense at all anymore, except that I do like looking at them. I still have a Morocco road map from the early '90s that I bought when I lived there!

Red: It seems like a lot of work but the kids are taking to it, slowly but surely.

Robin: I'm sure my mom would deny holding onto it for any sentimental reason, but I think it must have struck some chord in her. Otherwise she'd have tossed it by now.

Sharon: Ha! I would like to have seen an "ultimate modern kitchen" from 1983! A microwave -- oooooh!

Edna: I hang onto some receipts, but usually just for a few weeks or months until I'm sure I won't return whatever it is I bought.

GZ: Re. saxifrage -- oh, good! I wasn't sure!

Ellen: I don't think she's consciously sentimental about it at all. In fact I think she'd scoff at the idea. But I think she subconsciously kept it for a reason.

37P: It's not a cleaner, it's the VENDOR! I'm sure she didn't anticipate needing them for another decade or two (or more, as it turned out).