Connections: Come the Morning

Setting things to rights

Something’s going on with me. The other day I remembered there was a working, but unused, electrical outlet under the living room couch so the first thing I did was move a table and lamp from their perfectly appropriate place next to a wing chair to the couch and plug in the lamp. It didn’t look right, so I moved them back and went looking, in the bedrooms, for a small table that would fit nicely next to the couch. 

With mission accomplished, I found myself removing the best ceramic lamp from a bedside table and placing it on the newly sited one in the living room. That, of course, required juggling things some more; the bedside needed a lamp, too.

Mind you, these objects, although neither antique nor particularly valuable, looked just fine where they were before I got started. What could I have been trying to achieve? No holiday party was about to happen, and the only overnight guests expected for the holidays were close relatives. Besides, newcomers usually find this vintage version of a family house just swell.

Was it the change in the weather? Done with moving furniture about, I checked out the living room coat closet. Several organizations, Town and Country Real Estate on Main Street in the village, for example, are collecting new and slightly worn winter items for those who find nighttime accommodations at this time of year in local churches through Maureen’s Haven. It seemed like time for me to cull. Or is it the coming of a new year that has me trying to set everything to rights?  

Setting things to rights. That’s pretty much what I suppose I do every morning. My husband is likely to have scrubbed the pots after dinner and left them on a counter. First thing in the morning, I put them away. 

As a matter of fact, putting other things where they belong, if and when I find them out of place, is a bit of an obsession. It seems that I need the assurance that things are in their places before I can move onto the day. It’s a householder’s security blanket.

And now, suddenly, I am reminded of the singsong nursery rhyme that goes something like: “Good morning. Good morning to you. We’re all in our places with bright shiny faces. . . .” Heaven forfend. Could it be that I have reached that time of life when folks are, anecdotally at least, known to return to childhood? Nah. It’s just that having objects in their proper places fools me into thinking all’s right with the world.