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Remember the things your father teaches you

By BARB LUMLEY Columnist Published: February 4, 2017 5:00 AM

Cleaning house is never one of my favorite things to do, however, I have found that one of the best ways to get some cleaning done is to just look for an object you want but can't find. I guarantee you will go through all kinds of things in various places, straightening up and tossing away unneeded things as you go. My house is always much neater after a search for something I couldn't find. Even some dusting gets done as I move things around! In this case, the object I was seeking was a business card with an address that I needed. Once again it was one of those times when I knew exactly where it was ---- except it wasn't!

Now, I am a writer and I write about many different subjects, as well as Holsteins. I don't know about other writers, but I have newspapers, magazines, numerous clippings, sale catalogs, books, etc. that I keep for reference and ideas. I have notebooks and legal pads all over the house -- in the bathroom, by my bed, next to my easy chair, in the car, on the kitchen table, in my purse -- you just never know when an idea will strike, so I have to be prepared to write it down or take notes.

In spite of all the notebooks, I am always putting things down on notepads, post-a-notes, envelopes, bits of paper, napkins and even paper towels. The problem then becomes how to keep from losing or misplacing all those small items, such as a business card. My computer sits on a desk with some shelves and one drawer. It is surrounded by "things," notebooks, files, copies of papers, a glass Holstein cow paperweight and a decorated flower pot filled with pens, scissors, highlighters, etc. There is a pile of notepads, bits of paper, post-a-notes all with phone numbers, messages, notes to myself -- you name it and there is probably a note about it written on them! So easy for a business card to disappear among all that stuff. It is hard for me to throw those notes away, as I might need the information another time!

That business card was paper clipped to a box of envelopes on my desk and had resided there for months! So why when I needed it wasn't it there? No sign of it! So I went through all that "stuff" around my computer but didn't find it. I did manage to throw away a list of winners from a 2015 cow show, a couple pages of research material used for a 2016 column, a Farmshine from last December, and last year's calendar. There was a scrap of paper with a phone number on it. Who does it belong to --- I have no idea. Should I keep it or toss it? Decisions, decisions!

On to the pile of stuff on the kitchen table, where I do a lot of my writing. Letters, magazines, notebooks, copies of the Ohio Holstein News, my daily planner, newspapers, a half cup of tea I didn't drink, (I don't need much room to eat since I am all by myself)! Went through all that, tossed a couple outdated catalogs, put some magazines in my paper basket, threw away some advertisements, warmed the tea and drank it, still no business card! Now what? Time to think. When and why would I have used that card? And then I remembered -- I had to call the gentleman on the card to get some information a few days ago and during the call I had to get some information for him from a sire directory I had recently received in a large brown envelope. There at the bottom of the stack on my table was a brown envelope. I opened it, took out the directory, shook the envelope and out dropped the business card!

The moral of this story -- just what my Dad always taught me -- when you use something always put it back where you got it! No matter what it is, the next time you need it you will be able to find it! That was one of the things he taught me when I was young. Throughout my life he taught me many valuable lessons. All I ever had to do was listen!


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