Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FINISH (05/26/16)
TITLE: Ninety Per Cent Plus Ten
By Marlene Bonney
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“Honey,” I threatened, “if you don’t clean up this mess, some of the toy parts are going to be lost forever and Jonathan will be heartbroken!”
“I know, I know,” from his living room tilt-back chair, “I’ll get back to it soon,” popping his head over the top of a crumpled newspaper like an elderly jack-in-the-box as he browsed through the week’s coupons.
Two overflowing T.V. trays sat beside his chair, filled with napkins, crumbs, opened and unopened mail, ads, pens and 3” x 5” cards listing “to-buy” needs in scrawled printing that would put a doctor’s prescription script to shame.
Exasperated, I walked into the dining room to find “his half” of the table cluttered with change and other paraphernalia from his emptied pockets from the past few days, quite the contrast to the polished, gleaming, and noticeably empty other half.
All of this is nothing compared to our basement, which houses a chaotic menagerie of left-out tools, stacks of two-by-fours and one-by boards, saw horses, saber/table saw, work bench, router, grinders, belt/disc sander, miter saw, power drills & batteries with various chargers, drill press and other equipment I don’t know the names for. And that’s only his work shop room.
Next to it is a storage room for Christmas decorations, empty gift boxes and a corner rapidly turning into half of the undesignated space for broken and future garage sale items. My exercise bike has been shoved up against a long table he has pulled away from the cinder block wall so he can patch the holes with fresh cement before painting it. The cement work is done. The unopened paint is setting next to his vacated work chair. There is one other room where the furnace, water heater and softener and deep-freezer reside, surrounded by plastic sacks--some empty and some filled with tools used for previous projects--electrical and plumbing parts, dirty rags, broken equipment that needs fixing and what-have-you. Thankfully, I talked him into selling off two broken snow-blowers taking up space, the “someday after I retire” mentality switching to “someday before I die.”
All this is to explain why I call my husband “The 90% Man.” Uncompleted jobs ALMOST, but not quite, finished (including the partially cleaned-out garage) surround him. He is so handy and knowledgeable there are more projects claiming his attention than he can handle; but instead of tackling them one at a time and actually finishing them--you get the drift. . .
Weeks have passed and I walk around our house today while this husband of mine has again fallen asleep in his chair, suddenly looking at and remembering all that he HAS accomplished over the span of the last forty-plus years. Every room in the house has his signature on it: shelves for my library of books in the den, a closet for our master bedroom, supply cabinet and linen closet for the “on-suite” bathroom, the microwave cabinet/storage cupboard in the kitchen, the shadowboxes and computer desk, installation of that basement water heater, my outdoor flower brick planter, and much, much more. . .
I am counting my blessings today, because my 90% Man has become my perfect match as I now work alongside him with the final 10%, one project at a time.
Apparently this is only a partial solution, since now my side of the table is full of half-finished needlework projects, 3/4 finished novels, loose buttons and piles of wrinkled shirts and blouses waiting to be ironed.
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