Immediately upon my return from work, I divest myself of some pieces of my apparel. Shoes are left at the door, necklaces and other items are placed on the handy newel post for taking up on the next trip. On the next trip upstairs, however, my hands are filled with the evening’s water glass, downstairs towels headed for the upstairs washing machine, and sometimes a small poodle who will get up the stairs more quickly if carried than if under his own power.
Every night I take a glass of ice water upstairs to my bedside to sip while I read myself into sleepiness. In the mornings I am commonly on a mission to get myself to the coffee and the dogs to the great outdoors and don’t think to take the water glass downstairs. In this way, I accumulate drinking glasses on my bedside table. Sometimes I finish the evening’s water before the ice has melted and, pleased with my efficiency, I pour the water remaining in the previous night’s glass over the ice. I try not to think too much about the probability that the cat has been sipping from the supply. She likes company while she eats, and for a few months I kept her bowl of kibble on the bedside table and she would snack at night while I read.
When I realized that she was crunching kibble and guzzling from my glass, I moved her dish back to the dressing table where her happily waving tail aids in the morning application of mascara. Sharing a water glass didn’t disgust me so much as it struck me as just a trifle too cozy. Truthfully, the thought of kibble backwash was offputting.
Most mornings I leave whatever book I was reading the night before on the night table. Lately I haven’t been reading anything riveting enough to warrant an early-evening trip upstairs simply to retrieve it, so I have an upstairs book and a downstairs book.
My earrings stay on until bedtime cleanup, at which time I remove them and put them in the small area of the toothbrush holder that’s meant for a tumbler. There they stay until an entire wardrobe of earrings begins to crowd the toothbrushes.
The problem is that this spoor I trail along behind me metamorphoses from a thing here and there to a complete jumble wherein all the rooms of the house become my dressing room.
I have found the solution.
I have begun to carry with me a high-handled shallow round basket large and sturdy enough to accommodate all my detritus. Upon retiring, I pitch in clothing, towels, books, and, sometimes, a snack nestled among the flotsam. Jewelry is collected from the newel post as I round the stair landing. I take my basket with me upstairs at night and downstairs in the morning, filled with things meant to be elsewhere.
I no longer have three or four water glasses on the bedside table.
I stay with one book until I’ve finished it.
The jewelry is in the jewelry box.
It’s working very well for me. One night soon I might try putting a dog in there to see if he’ll permit himself to be basketed upstairs.
I doubt he'll like it.
Elder Orphans' Documents
8 hours ago