Golden Lucy's Spiral Journal

Going on 87...Savoring and Surviving the Senior Years

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lucy and the Elusive Sugar

This old bod has almost 86 years of wear and tear but Praise the Lord almost everthing still works. The only truly inconvenient exceptions are my shoulders and right arm--parts I don't consider optional. I'm painfully reminded of the fact when I try to write, type, comb my hair or carry things but the most maddening situations involve lifting anything above shoulder-height.

Like most folks my age, I've arranged my cupboards and closets to accomodate my disability. I keep my flatware, pans, groceries and dishes in some convenient place between my bosom and knees--though that seems to get lower every year. And, like most folks my age I really, really, really don't like it when things get moved around. Especially when it means I can't get my paws on what I want, when I want it.

It always seems worse in the morning, before I really wake up (as if I've ever really been asleep). I have a routine, an order, a comfy and familiar way of doing things. I like it that and I get fierce and cranky when somebody else messes things up for me.

Early this week Carole took me to the market. When we returned to my penthouse in the sky she began putting the groceries in the cupboards. "No, no! Just leave it!" I exclaimed. "I want to do it myself." She stopped. But not soon enough.

The next morning I drank my juice, took my meds, slathered fresh butter on my toasted cinnamon-raisin bagel and finally poured myself a steaming cup of coffee. One last detail and I'd be ready to head for the computer and catch up with the world---or mine at least. Then disaster!

The sugar was nowhere to be found. I knew I'd purchased a new box the day before. But where was it? I searched high and low (mostly low) and finally spied it waaaay up in the middle of the upper cupboard. It might as well have been on the moon. What I muttered at that point would not be suitable in what passes for polite society. I was furious! Coffee without sugar? My peace-of-mind and whole morning ritual had been ruined. And I knew who I had to thank for that!

I'm barely 5 feet tall. Carole is over 5'9". I admit now that she didn't put the sugar there on purpose but at the time I was convinced there must have been malicious intent. Her good intentions didn't matter. WHAT was she thinking?

After I simmered down a bit I realized I needed to use my energy to find a solution. I still wanted a hot, sweet cup of coffee. I considered climbing up on something to get the sugar. I decided if I'm terrified of falling from low-heeled shoes I'd best keep them firmly planted on the floor. Then I figured I might be able to knock or pull the box onto the counter---if I could find the right tool. I dismissed throwing things at the box---I'm a terrible shot. I also decided I wouldn't try to spear the box with something pointy. Then I'd just have to try to crawl around and clean up the sticky mess.

No, I'd have to find something long and stiff and capture the little bugger. That meant the belt to my robe was out. How about an extension cord? Still too floppy. I finally settled on a wire hanger from the dry cleaner. I took out the cardboard tube in the middle and straightened out the wire. There was a little hook on each end and I bent one side into a wide C. Viola! A cheap and effective sugar retreiver---and it only took about 3 swipes to knock the unopened box to the counter below.

I decided I might patent the idea---but only after I had my coffee.