Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 8, 2013

Cathie Shaffer: Leaving an unlikely legacy behind: 04/09/13

Cathie Shaffer
The Independent

GREENUP — I have some lovely hyacinths blooming in the flower bed at the front of my house. I noticed them Sunday morning after I came home from church and pointed them out to my son later.

He admired them and then chuckled when I admitted to not remembering putting in the bulbs. Notorious for my black thumb when it comes to plants, I tend to put in only things that persist despite all circumstances like marigolds and petunias.

I vaguely recall thinking life would be simpler if I had all perennials in that bed and only had to put fresh mulch in when the warm weather came. Apparently, unlike with most of my ideas, I actually got started with it.

For all I know, there may be other perennials waiting to pop through and show their flowerly selves now that spring seems to have come at last. I’m making a mental note right now to look at the bed as I leave the house each morning to see what else might be there.

I suspect, though, that those couple of flowers are all there are. I’m the queen of semi-finished projects, which I guess is better than never starting them at all, but one of these days I simply have to buckle down and spend a few solid days winding things up.

I lucked onto a really good sale on shelves at a put-together furniture outlet right before Christmas. I remembered to stop and buy brackets so they can go on the wall. Unfortunately, I didn’t buy screws.

So to organize the house for the holidays, I slid the boards under the couch — and yes, they’re still there. And no, I haven’t gotten the screws yet. But I will ... if I ever remember when I’m at a place that sells screws.

For a couple of months now, I’ve had some of those little paint squares you get at hardware stores in my kitchen. They’re in varying shades of red; I finally decided on which one I like best.

I even have a volunteer grandgirl who is willing to paint the walls. I eagerly took her up on her offer.

Now all I have to do is buy the paint.

Yes, I know. The kind of places that sell paint also stock screws. One trip would do it all.

And yes, I do pass hardware and do-it-yourself home places most every day. But they’ve become part of the scenery on my commute, which means I never really think about stopping.

It’s like buying cat food. My older cat has allergies, but there is one specific brand, sold at a farm supply store, that she thrives on. I literally have to write myself a note and stick it on the car dash to remember to stop and buy food on the way back to the house that evening.

I would happily blame it on my ultra-busy life or the fact I’ve lived long enough for my brain to be crammed full, which makes data recovery a slow process.

Alas, I’ve always been this way. Peek into my closet and you’ll see half-finished embroidery projects or decorative items purchased but never put on the walls. I prefer, however, not to view myself as a procrastinator or unmotivated.

I like to think when I’m gone, my children will be so excited to see all those things I had planned and never did they’ll finally take care of it — or at least get a good price when they sell them at the flea market.

CATHIE SHAFFER can be reached at cathieshaffer@zoominternet.net.