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Like Words to a Song

June 28, 2004

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Because it was one of only two remaining shows for the season, I sent the kids outside to play catch and threw a few pillows down on the living room carpet. The plan was to lie there and relax and let myself do nothing but listen. So much for that. I had just gotten comfortable and was singing along with the Hopefuls when I noticed the cobwebs up in the corners of the living room. I remembered going to a garage sale one June and how a woman named Ernestine told me the best way to get at cobwebs up high was to stuff a tennis ball in an athletic sock and go at 'em.

So I got up off the floor and went up to our bedroom to get one of Mr. Sundberg's white socks. I opened his drawer and rummaged around a bit for an older pair and there way at the bottom was a folded piece of paper with "Dream House" written on it in green ink. Maybe I shouldn't have opened it but I did and there was a list running from the top of the page to the bottom in my husband's handwriting. The list included things like "bookshelves in every room" and "hardwood floors" and "apple orchard." He'd written "optional" after "paved driveway," and near the bottom was written my name and "whirlpool bath," "new pots and pans," and "porch with swing." Seemed like words to a song to me and I folded up the list and put it back in the drawer and went back down to the living room and my pile of pillows and the show and forgot all about whacking cobwebs with a tennis ball in a sock.

Instead I listened to the Hopefuls and thought about the word "hopeful" and how I've never really thought about it before. Something to hope for kind of keeps you going, I thought, and the phone rang and it was Mr. Sundberg calling from his motivational speaking expedition to Boston. His cell phone needed recharging and I couldn't hear him very well, but I can tell you he had dinner at a Korean buffet with a group of motivational speakers the night before and he plans to fix the ceiling fan in the kitchen when he gets home. (It makes a clicking sound that about drives me nuts when I'm cooking dinner and trying to watch Mr. Brokaw on the evening news.) I said I thought we should talk about adding a deck onto the house and maybe doing a bit of landscaping. "Well, put it on the list," he said and laughed and for a moment I thought he knew I'd been in his sock drawer but then I understood he meant my list, the one one the refrigerator, the list of do-able things needing doing. As opposed to his in green ink or my own list of things I hope for. That one I keep in my head.

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