Losing my Marbles

age cartoon                We recently completed a remodeling project on our home, replacing some siding that had been damaged by weathering and woodpeckers. A three week project that started in early April finally ended in late June. Although the contractor and his crew were excellent we ran into delays due to weather and supplies. I knew we didn’t have any control over the clouds and rain but I thought we accounted for all of the necessary materials. Part of the siding that was replaced was now a stone veneer. The only problem we encountered was a shortage. Not enough was ordered so we found ourselves one brick short of a full load.

In solitaire as well as siding, shortages create problems. In this technological age we play solitaire on computers. It is convenient because you don’t have to shuffle the cards but it makes it difficult to cheat. Prior to computers I used to play the old fashioned way. Time after time I could never win until I discovered the problem. A card was missing. It is hard to get ahead in life if you aren’t playing with a full deck.

During my elementary school years we had a favorite spring ritual. As soon as the sun melted enough snow away from the playground on the south side we would bring our collections of marbles to school. Each day during recess we would gather together and compete to win each other’s marbles. In addition to our regular marbles we had “shooters” (the large marbles) and “steelies” which were nothing more than ball bearings of an acceptable size. Some of the boys had it all together. Reassured and confident they would come to school in the mornings with only a couple of marbles and go home with their pockets full. I was only average at best. Some days I won and some days I lost but even on the best days I went home with fewer marbles than when I came. That’s when I discovered a hole in my pocket. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t be a champion when I was losing my marbles.

Do you ever get that feeling that you are behind the 8 ball? If I had an elevator in my house it wouldn’t go all the way to the top. One day I forget to pack part of my lunch and I realized I was one sandwich short of a picnic. We have a lamp in our living room that stays lit most of the time. Our neighbors now realize that the lights are on but no one is home. Somewhere after the age of fifty, gravity took over and everything sagged including my memory.

I don’t mean to give you the idea that I am stupid but I am frustrated with my own occasional inadequacies. If I go into my bedroom with a hammer and nail to hang a picture I might notice that the windows need washing. Rather than complete the original project I find myself distracted. Putting the hammer down I go outside to get the ladder and rags to wash the window. The truck needs to be moved to get at the ladder and as I am backing out the truck I realize that the oil needs to be changed. Since I am in the vehicle already why not take it to town and do it now. While waiting for the oil to be changed you decide to browse around the local hardware store. Seeing the tools reminded you of a project that you needed to complete but you couldn’t quite remember what it was.

Before returning home your wife calls. “I went grocery shopping and forgot a bag at the store. Could you pick it up?”

“Sure, what was in it?”

“I’m not sure. You see I forgot the list at home so I bought things from memory.”

At the grocery store you realize that several people had walked out and forgot bags of groceries so choosing the correct bag becomes tricky. While trying to sort things out you notice a sale on marbles and playing cards. Realizing what a great gift idea for the grandchildren you return home without the groceries.

That night at dinner time you are still one French fry short of a happy meal, you can’t figure out why there is a hammer lying on your side of the bed, you’re playing solitaire with the old deck and you’ve already lost your marbles.