For those of you who read last week’s Gavel Gamut and are wondering about Peg’s and my cinematic futures let me report we have not yet received a call from Martin Scorsese. I know he has been busy. We remain both confident and hopeful. However, as we await stardom life goes on. Specifically, what we have going on is the interminable saga of our move from JPeg Ranch Hoosier in Posey County, Indiana to JPeg Osage Ranch in Osage County, Oklahoma.
Peg and I bought a cabin in Osage County last December. Our plan was to vacation there occasionally as we have numerous family members in Oklahoma. What we have discovered is the truism of the ancient admonition, “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” And as our modest treasure has ever so increasingly been “invested” in the cabin we have slowly shifted our focus to the Tall Grass Prairie. Let me say the simple pleasures described by Laura Ingalls Wilder in her Little House on the Prairie books have been put in jeopardy by our transition.
We are in the throes of our tenth round trip of 1,200 miles with a loaded trailer and pickup. (This time we have graduated to a U-Haul, my guess is Atlas Van Lines is in our future). At first we amused ourselves with the bucolic image of The Beverly Hillbillies with junk piled high as they headed west. After a couple of trips the analogy became too apt. Now we feel more closely aligned with the fate of Sisyphus. We are not sure why, but it seems the completion of one trip only guarantees we must start another. And what we have discovered is that no matter what household item we need in one place is always in the other. We now have duplicates of everything from can openers to skillets.
Peg and I used to wonder how other people had such difficulty with everyday tasks such as how does one keep track of where they put what. Now we get it. However, the question we now most often ask one another is, “Why did you ever buy that?” We are continually discovering items that have not surfaced in years, many still in their original packaging. Of course, we must pack and move them anyway. This phenomenon has tested our ability to refrain from asking one another, “Can we just throw that away?”
I have found that a great deal of what Peg holds to be indispensable is really superfluous. And I resent her attitude about many of the items in my Man Cave; wait until we start on the junk in her Girl Cave. She does not understand that I might need some of what she calls worthless items someday. I suggest we ask the husbands of the world to fairly judge what should be placed in the Conestoga and what should be dumped along the trail.
What Peg and I do agree on is the mystery of how over thousands of years we have gone from maintaining what is truly essential to accumulating thousands of items we forget we have. George Gershwin’s old song goes:
♫ I got plenty of nothing
And nothing is plenty for me.
I got no car.
I got no mule.
Got no misery. ♫
Porgy and Bess (1935)
Well, paring down to the essentials is a fine thought but I must end this column as Peg is calling out to me to load another box onto the trailer.