State of the disunion

Apocalyptica tiptoed up to her poor old auntie’s door and put her ear to the thin spot by the knob, where so many generations of occupants had worn away the wood. She didn’t hear anything. Twisting her lips, she listened harder. Still nothing; no yelling, no sounds of things being thrown, no, erm, naughty language… but no singing or whistling, either.

Shrugging, she knocked on the door. At Auntie’s age, silence might indicate something Pocky didn’t want to find out, but she still had a dooty.

Auntie answered the door. “Pocky!” she cried with a big, toothless smile (well, she had one or two nubbins, but not a full complement of what you’d call “teeth” by any measure). “Come on in! How lovely to see you!”

“You, too, Auntie,” Pocky said dootifully as she stepped over the threshold. Immediately, Change whacked her in the eye. “Wowser! You’ve been really busy!”

“Worked like a dog, I did,” agreed Auntie Widder. “All day. Forgot to eat lunch again. Got all the kitchen boxes unpacked; not much put away, but at least most of the big stuff is on the counters and stove so’s I can see what might need to go where and what can be put elsewhere onnaccountabecause I doesn’t use it all that often. Got a couple loads of laundry done, too.”

Pocky headed toward a chair—a slightly dangerous activity, since it required stepping over not boxes now, but piles of smaller containers of things like dried foodstuffs (Auntie was potty about drying fruit and veg and throwing them in winter soups). She wondered about that when she suddenly realized Auntie was still talking to her.

“—an’ I think I’m gonna hafta start not buying food ‘til I’ve got a lot of this stuff eaten up, ‘cause there’s just nowhere to put it. Nowhere!” Auntie fussed, picking up first a jar of dried sweet ‘taters and then another of dried mixed veg’tables. “I guess I’ll put a few slices o’ the taters in a bowl, cook ‘em soft, and have ‘em for dinner tonight. Prob’ly take ‘til the Year of the Jocular Squid to eat it all.” Auntie aimed a mischievous grin at Apocalyptica. “Might even be leavin’ some of it to you, girl!”

Apocalyptica, who’d taken more than one class in the domestic arts (mostly at the end of her mother’s mop handle when she got sommat wrong), felt tiny frown lines appear on her forehead and hurriedly smiled to erase them.

“Now, don’cha go givin’ me none of them high-falutin’ wossnames, fearies? No, the-o-ries, that’s it, that your ma has about what makes proper eatin’ and what don’t. Food’s food, an’ if it fills yer belly, that’s good enough.”

Pocky bit her tongue and looked around.

Auntie watched her through slitted eyes.

Pocky kept her eyes moving and thought fast. “Quite a feat!” she finally chirped. “It looks like you got a lot more done than just emptying out the kitchen boxes! I see some pictures leaning up against a chair, and it looks like a couple loads of laundry are drying, an’ I noticed coming past the garage that you’ve moved two of those big shelf sets out there, too. You’re starting to make good places to put stuff that doesn’t want to be put!”

Auntie un-slitted her eyes just a little bit. “Yep,” she agreed. “And I cut up all the cardboard and separated out the wossname, stylo- or sommat foam stuff, wot won’t put any money in either Dibbler’s or Harry King’s pocketses. Surprisin’ how long that takes, ‘specially left-handed.”

Pocky made agreeable noises and picked her way around things ‘til she got to the actual mini-kitchen. “Oh, look at this!” she exclaimed when she found the self-contained cat teapot-plus-cup that she had painted with Auntie when Pocky was younger, while Auntie had been painting a doughnut-shaped teapot for Auntie’s mum, Pocky’s gran, before the auld one passed on. And look—there was the doughnut teapot, too! “I didn’t know you still had these!”

The Widow Dressing turned a funny color, with a faint tinge of octarine around the edges, and dropped her gaze to the ground. If there’d been sand under her feet instead of wood, she’d’ve been scraping it in embarrassment with her toe. “Well, o’ course I kept ‘em, you silly girl,” she managed. “You give the cat pot to me for my si… erm, for a birthday. It’s special.”

“What say we have a cup of tea with it right now?” Pocky asked, and went about the ritual of making same, one cup in each pot.


Yep, that’s my little folding table with the chairs stored in it.


Kitchen to the left of me…


Kitchen to the right; here I am, stuck in the mid—oh, wait, wrong universe.


The madly, madly overflowing and utterly unorganized as well as too-small pantry.


Two of the three garage shelf units moved actually into the garage after I figured out how to get the two-person-carry table into the house. By myself. Without getting hurt.


A roughly two-plus-foot-tall stack of cut-up cardboard along with a bunch more Styrofoam I didn’t mess with ‘til I find out what they actually want me to do with it so they’ll take the darn stuff away without having to call them every week, plus about 12-15 newly broken-down moving boxes.


And the two teapots, the left one of which really did belong to me auld mum on one of the birthdays she had with “8” as the first digit, but I don’t remember which. There’s a matching cup but I left all those in their box in sox ‘til I figure out a way to hang ‘em somewhere so they don’t take up cabinet space.

Posted by wordsmith

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