Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rummage, Shoes, and Banana Slugs

Well, rummage is done! Yay rummage! I donated fourteen bags of stuff. Can you picture that? I love the feel of my house when I've gone through and made closets, drawers, and cabinets more accessible.

No, I didn't go through the stuff on the floor of my closet. Hey, you weren't supposed to mention the floor of my closet. For that matter, we didn't get to the floor of Nick's closet either, or the bookshelf full of old textbooks I will never use but wanted to keep because I passed that damned class in computer circuits and dammit, I lived with that book for sixteen weeks while I worked to decipher what it meant.

On the floor of my closet, I know I have my daddy's teddy bear, my old piggy bank with the dots on it, the little bulldog stuffed with sawdust that I loved until his ears wore out, two pair of dress shoes, a pair of ratty slippers, a spare blanket, pillows my grandma made, and a pair of cedar shoe trees that should really be in one of the two pair of dressy shoes. There might be some fallen hangars in there and a couple of crocheted throws, but I don't think there's anything else on the floor of my closet. Not really. Nothing worth sorting through and putting into a better pile. Not that I should have shoes on the floor of my closet. No.

We keep the rest of our shoes in cubbyholes by the front door. It's unsightly, but if you need to make a quick get-away, our method is the way to go. I recommend clogs for the quickest get-away. Some of mine have been stretched well beyond recognition, but thankfully, Nick's feet are much larger than my feet now and only Mike will have to worry about protecting his favorite shoes from careless and very wide feet.

I'm not one to stand on ceremony over what belongs in a closet and what belongs by the front door. Shoes are the last thing you put on, so they belong by the door. Besides, if there's a slim chance I won't have to vacuum as often, I'm a fan of shoes coming off at the door, but don't tell my friends that since they'll go home with furry socks if they do. There are about thirty-five pair of shoes, sneakers, mud boots, snow boots, flip-flops, crocks, clogs, sandals, water shoes, and cross-country ski boots by the front door. They are three sizes, large, medium, and extra wide.

That comes from a woman who would rather be barefoot most of the time except that around here, the slugs are a threat even if you don't mind slapping around in wet feet all the time. I stopped being quite so much of a barefoot girl when I came up close and personal with a few of those slugs when I first moved to the Pacific Northwest. My favorite ones are the banana slugs which is native to this area and can be as long as eight inches. They have friendly little faces. Yes, they're shy if you touch their eyes with your rough salty fingertips. I can think of more than one time where I'd like to have been able to tuck my face into myself so no one could see me. After twenty-three years of living here and a complete failure of landscaping, I've given up thinking of them as pests. They're quiet. They don't sting, buzz, or bite. They can carry salmonella, but they kind of let you know not to touch them by being totally slimy. And if you're incredibly brave, their slime can take the sting out of a nettle. No, I look forward to seeing the banana slugs in my yard at this point. They seem to tell me that the forest is in good condition, that it's generally healthy.   Still, it is not fun to step on one.

It's not fun for the slug either. 

Thank you for listening, jb

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