Checking Off the Old To-Do List in Dover, Efficiently

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By Susan Dromey Heeter, Joyful Musings

There are words of which  I have been described: creative, funny, weird, talkative, obnoxious and just last week: chubby.  Today I muse joyfully on assigning myself a new adjective of which I’ve never been referred: efficient.

Is that Sir Luc with Susan Dromey Heeter?

And, why, dear Joyful Musers, am I now in the category of those who can find a pen within seconds? Those who never lose their cell phones? Those whose baby books are completed before their infant ‘s umbilical cord stump falls off? Those whose taxes are done months before April 15th? Those who know exactly where their wills, passports AND burial plots are at this very moment?

Well, I painted my shutters. I am efficient.

You see, it’s been almost 19 years since I’ve wanted to transform the ugly, brick red shutters on our little house.  And this week, I did.  And, do note, I did not wait 20 years, nor even 25 to complete this task. They are done. I went to Home Depot, bought the paint and brushes and in two days completed this monumental task. And, applause please, I only wrote this task on my summer ’18  to-do list once. Once.

Full disclosure. I am married to a man who is efficient in the truest sense of the word. When I asked him to take down the shutters, he got them down within fifteen minutes. He knew where his drill was, found the ladder, got the shutters down. I am blessed. And he will have the shutters back up before this column is done.

I’m a list maker.  And, generally, it takes at least ten tries before the objective on my list gets completed. I’ll write out my list, write it out again, lose it and then write it again.  It takes me at least twenty minutes to find a pen in my bag, thirty to locate my cell phone, years before I clean out my car.  I think, had Osama Bin Laden decided to hide out in my back seat or the bottom of my pocketbook, he’d still be at large.

Alas, the shutters are done. Done. I chose Admiral Blue as the color, it sounds so nautical, so Navy, so military, so efficient.  And perhaps this outside influence will change the course of the inside of our house. Maybe now I’ll start putting the dishes away immediately, maybe I’ll finish writing my book, put wedding pictures from 1997 into an album. Maybe I’ll make plans for not only summers ’19 but summers ’20, ’21.  Maybe I’ll delete the phrase, “Let’s play it by ear” from all of my conversations. Maybe I’ll become truly Admiral Blue efficient.

Or, maybe not. Maybe I’ll keep all those unmatched socks together in the basement and continue to lose years of my life matching them when I need a pair. Maybe I’ll continue to wonder how old really the mustard is in the fridge. Maybe I’ll continue to buy more oregano when I’m making spaghetti sauce even though when I arrive home, I’ll realize I already have pounds of oregano, pounds.  Maybe I’ll brush the dog more than twice a year.

Or, Joyful Musers, maybe  I’ll simply admire the new shutters, the new color, think fondly of summer ’18 when I spent two glorious days in the beautiful summer air painting and feigning efficiency.  Maybe I’ll just enjoy today and muse joyfully that while I am not entirely efficient, I do have some gloriously painted shutters and that is entirely enough.

 Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters.  Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal  in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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