Tag Archives: Sofa

How to Get a Backache

Image by Pfüderi from Pixabay.

Achieving a backache often depends on the subject’s age.

Sadly, if you’re under 20, nothing induces a backache — unless Mom demands you clean your room.

However, creative 20- to 30-year-olds can realize backache goals. Try triple Axels on your skateboard. Carry your unmotivated friend piggyback up a mountain. Impress your lady by lifting her sofa above your head.

If all else fails to achieve back pain, your dad’s demand that you get a job will.

Thirty- and 40-somethings often succeed because they have jobs. Plus, they carry wailing three-year-olds into Little Overachiever Preschool. Every. Single. Day. They also drag 50-pound bags of manure to butterfly gardens for their grade-schoolers’ science projects. Pushing their cars from snowdrifts crisscrosses vertebrae. Nothing, however, works better than taking a terrified Lab to the Happy Doggy Clinic for shots. Paying for damages to furniture, building and staff will add a bonus headache for your Tylenol® pleasure.

Image by Mark Thornton from Pixabay.

More options materialize after a 50th birthday. You haul backbreaking bags of money to your student’s college. Your spouse finds that fitting into skinny jeans takes her to the ER. A game of pickup basketball lightens your mood, but not only will you hurt your back, you may lose a kidney or two. The pain will intensify when you sleep on the sofa because you played basketball instead of cleaning the garage.

At age 65, demonstrate to young whippersnappers what it was like in the good old days. When real men shoveled snow without wussy snowblowers. When real women scrubbed floors on their knees instead of using wussy Swiffers. Show everyone at the block party how real ice cream was made by cranking for six hours. All good-old-days activities are good for a week-long backache.

Image by J. Laso from Pixabay.

Soon, though, you’ll reach the ultimate in back pain with no effort whatsoever. Whereas, weeding flower beds to outdo another retiree once put you in a body cast, now, reading a seed catalog accomplishes the job. The past effects of pickup basketball occur when you pick up a basketball a kid tossed into your yard. Or when you pick up cards at a euchre party.

At age 20, nothing gave you backaches. Now everything gives you backaches.

Image by Kevin 120415 from Pixabay.

So, luxuriate on your heating pad. Lie back in your hot tub.

And don’t let anyone make you clean your room.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your “favorite” way to achieve a backache?

Company’s Coming

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay.

I brush the toilet, close shower curtains to hide the bathtub ring, and shine faucets. A clean hand towel completes the deception.

I stuff dishes into the dishwasher. Gross pots and pans go under the sink. Front edges of the refrigerator shelves are washed, and I swab random spots on the kitchen floor.

Attempting the ancient balancing process known as fling shoey, I toss more shoes into the closet than block the front entrance.

The doors of all bedrooms, offices and extra bathrooms are bolted shut.

Thus, the whited-sepulchre process of cleaning for company is complete.

Why do I stress so?

When children, my siblings and I welcomed visiting kids as reinforcements in the ongoing War Against Grown-ups. Together, we reversed Mom’s earlier cleanup process with relentless efficiency. Once, my brother, our friends and I threw a superior batch of mud pies at our church’s windows.

We didn’t have company for a while.

As Dad was a pastor, our family hosted evangelists and missionaries, often with little advance warning. Watching Mom perfect the God-help-us-they’re-here drill, I learned her technique.

We children celebrated when Brother Alleman visited. Though my sister and I slept on the floor, Brother Alleman’s big smile, his faith-filled stories, and candy bars he brought won our hearts.

As a teenager, though, I wished my parents weren’t quite so hospitable.

One morning, returning after an overnight campout, I encountered a teen boy I’d never seen before, asleep on our sofa. After recovering, I helped Mom fix breakfast for him and 20 other out-of-town church members, strewn throughout our house. They’d mistakenly thought our church held services Friday evenings.

At least, that situation lasted only one night.

One female ex-gang member shared my room for months — but we became good friends. She demonstrated how to throw a knife in less than a second.

When I left home, I declared I’d live a normal life.

Normal? I married a country doctor with a solo medical practice. With my cohost often failing to show and only my children to help(?), I invited few guests. Eventually, I gave up.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.

Recently, though, with Hubby’s slower-paced job, I dusted off my having-company drill. We’ve rediscovered hospitality.

Mudballs and gang members aside, having company has become a treat again.

Almost as good as Brother Alleman’s candy bars.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Does the prospect of company stress or bless you?

Classic Post: Weird Things for Which I’m Thankful

This post first appeared on November 22, 2017.

No doubt, our Creator appreciates gratitude for freedom to worship Him, for family, friends, food and shelter. But my cornucopia also bursts with weird things for which I am thankful, including:

Image by Juraj Varga from Pixabay.

Avocados. As a missionary kid in Mexico, I picked them up like apples under big trees. I still am a guacamole junkie. How many other fattening foods are good for me?

Shots. Immunizations don’t rank as my preferred activity, and certainly not my grandchildren’s. But because of shots’ protection, holiday hugs and kisses induce only mild winter plagues.

Black, washable pants. They love sparkly holiday tops and simple ones. They’re immune to stains and grandbaby spit. Roomy in the rear, they don’t desert me after the holidays, as many of my clothes do.

My piano. I don’t own a grand or even a baby grand. But my little Baldwin comprised our first major purchase after Hubby finished medical school. I thought we should spend his first paychecks on practical items. He insisted, “You miss having a piano.” Whenever I play, it still sings a love song.

Our baby trees, whose lanky little branches and colorful fall foliage inspire me with lavish dreams for their future.

Image by lovini from Pixabay.

Our camper. The one Hubby purchased when I was too sick to fight it. Even sitting idle, it sets us free. Already, we picture days in the green woods and s’mores around campfires on starry nights.

Gummy worms. Incredibly lifelike, they possess magical powers. When decorating a grandson’s birthday cake, they enable me to resist eating it.

Our brown sofa. Thank God, Hubby talked me out of buying a red one. Otherwise, after eight years, it would present a less-than-artistic mosaic of peanut butter, jelly, pizza, mustard and gravy stains. Because of, um, the grandchildren. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

My neighbor’s yard. Raked and pristine, it gives me a goal to shoot for when I grow up.

Free chips and salsa. A highlight of dining in Mexican restaurants.

Image by Lilly Cantabile from Pixabay.

Laid-back drivers. People who drive sl-o-o-ow-ly on two-lane highways annoy me to the point I pray aloud to occupy mind and mouth. They even force me to notice the loveliness I miss when whipping by as usual.

Accelerators. Cars wouldn’t be much good without them, right?

Ditto for brakes. And headlights.

Paper towels. While living in Ecuador for two months, I missed them terribly. (Thank goodness, Ecuador did manufacture toilet paper.)

Our grandson at the beach.

Baby smiles. They always ruin a bad day.

A critic might protest, “Your list goes on forever!”

True. I never run out of weird things for which to be thankful, because my Creator never, ever stops giving.

He’s weird that way — and wonderful.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What odd reasons for gratitude pop up on your list?

Saga of the Sofas

I flop on our sofa after a busy day, thankful it’s comfy and fairly presentable.

Unlike its predecessor, Old Plaid.

I don’t remember Old Plaid’s original hues. After a quarter century, it could only be described as kid-colored, a motley mix of Kool-Aid tints. Rubbed with greasy popcorn, anointed with salsa, its cushions had been shaped into forts, castles and stair sleds, its creaky hideaway bed ravaged for M&M’s.

Call it a record of family history.

Call it a mosaic of life.

I called it butt-ugly. Its saggy condition reminded me of my own losing battle with gravity. I would have sawn Old Plaid in half rather than move it to our new house.

I delayed calling The Salvation Army, afraid they would turn it down. So, I made my husband call.

When their workers loaded Old Plaid into their truck, I wanted to kiss their feet.

I also wanted to throw myself into their path: “Stop! Don’t you understand a mother’s and grandmother’s heart? My babies puked on that sofa for decades!”

I had to move on. After waving a sad goodbye to Old Plaid, I forced myself to seek a new, pukeless sofa. Sensing my pain, Hubby stayed by my side. He also went sofa shopping because it involves lying down and taking naps.

We found the perfect couch. At least, I thought so.

“Red?” Hubby stared.“Red?”

I gave him credit. Although his very DNA rejected it, he went along with me. 

Unfortunately, the poufy, red sofa also was a sleep machine. Every time I sat, I would lapse into a week-long coma.

A neutral shade might work better, anyway. We examined a few hundred brown sofas. One’s fabric resembled a quilt made of old bomber jackets. I liked it. Hubby, in the last stages of terminal shopping, agreed. Our grandchildren couldn’t damage it; the sofa already looked like they had shaved it with driveway rocks. Plus, we would look cool. However, our children, who don’t appreciate our Old Hippie ways, would have us committed.

So, we made a responsible, boring decision. I turned down the red sofa. We ignored Big Bomber and bought a different brown couch.

This sofa of destiny belonged in our family. Solid and great for a long nap, but not fatal. It made friends with our carpet and drapes. We christened its teddy-bear-soft cushions with Sunday afternoon naps.

Occasionally, I recall Old Plaid. Maybe another young family’s toddler soaked it with his Sippy Cup and made it feel at home. Or some unsuspecting in-law has spent tortured nights on its hideaway, never to straighten again in this life.

I still miss Old Plaid.

But not that much.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What “Old Plaid” do you miss?