Towering Boxes

solitaire 0819Okay, I have found my checkbooks (including one I didn’t even know was lost), all of them together in a place that kind of made sense but wasn’t really where they belonged, and my toenails have been trimmed, so Life is Better.

Marrakesh is home but still isn’t doing much more than sleeping on the back of the couch. He did take a couple of spins around the garage this morning, which seems like a good sign, but I still can’t talk him into much food or water.

And I have opened a few more boxes marked “books.” Although none of them contained the spare checks, it has opened up a small path, littered with leftover construction pieces, down the middle of the garage.

I like playing solitaire on the computer on occasion. I have several packs of cards, and used to like to play the old-fashioned way, but the computer makes dealing a lot easier, especially for the games where set-up takes a long time and losing happens quickly. Plus, you can undo moves, which the computer allows but if you do it with real cards people accuse you of cheating.

I used to, many iterations ago, have some series of computer solitaire games where you could take a “snapshot” and then return at any time to that point in the game, which came in very handy for a game called Will o’ the Wisp, which is very difficult to win, especially if you can’t reset to a good point from which to launch an attack.

My favorite game these days (found at justsolitaire.com) is Sea Towers, a variant of Freecell. And, like Freecell, I’m pretty sure every game is winnable, if one only applies oneself.

The other day I started a Sea Towers game that seemed like it was going to be easy. The aces are all in sight; lots of cards to set on top of each other . . . but it turns out everything is so twisted I can’t get a good handle on where to go to see my way to a clear path.

Is anyone catching the metaphor, or am I once again being too subtle?

Unpacking is a lot like this particular game of Sea Towers. Maybe I should sort out what stays in the garage first. Maybe I should unpack all my books and jam them on the shelves that are currently available (which is what I’ve been doing so far). There’s a big box marked “TL’s Closet” (no clue what’s in it), but before I can unpack that, I have to figure out what I’m doing with all the boxes currently in front of my closet, none of which go in the closet.

It seems like every opening gambit I try gets me tangled up sooner than I imagined. And who knew we had so much pet stuff? Every box that gets opened has something pet-related in it.

And which part of the house is the least finished? Why, the pet area, of course. So every box that gets opened just gets heaped in the laundry-pet-mud-trash bag room. We should never buy another trash bag in our natural lives, based on the heap rapidly taking over an entire room.

My new garage shelves, once designed for books? Everything I go to put on the shelves is either too wide or too tall, and we have a big pile of empty boxes in the way. I can’t just break down all the boxes in one heap, either, because some we borrowed from my co-worker Ben, and some we borrowed from my mom. Some were scrounged from the Post Office and some from the recycling center, so it’s hard to know how many box piles to make. Tia is going to be moving in less than a year; how many of these do you suppose she might want?

One of my many friends named Bob (the one still in the hospital) used to spend hours playing Freecell. Once upon a time he ran up against a game that he tried over and over and couldn’t find his way to a win. At least in those days, Freecell games were numbered, so after he complained about the difficulty of this particular game at a Holy Order function, Nancy Gauss went home, located the game and then sent out an e-mail saying she hadn’t found it difficult at all and had won in short order.

I find this to be true with Sea Towers too. Sometimes I pick and pick at a game, trying to find a way to win, and after I reset the game and start with just the right card, the whole thing wraps up in mere minutes and I am left wondering, What was so hard about that?

Hello? Is this metaphor on?

So I am sure that one of these times I am going to go out to the garage and find the one box — the one box in the entire garage — that is the key to unraveling this entire unpacking mess.

Somehow this one box will make the heaps of boxes go away from in front of every closet in this house (not that we have very many of those); I will magically find a place for every box marked “Toy Room” (which seems to be the entire box collection) in a house that no longer has a toy room; and the way to an unboxed house with a Place for Everything and Everything in its Place will become completely clear.

Everything will align, just like the suits in my card game, and the crowd will go wild, just like it does at the end of every successful game at justsolitaire.com.

Or maybe I will spend the day befuddled by this particular Sea Towers game, and never get anywhere near the equally befuddling boxes. It could happen.

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