The Lesson of the Garden Flag

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"The lesson of the garden flag" by Lisa Hess (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2013 Ann Miller via Flickr. All rights reserved

We have a spot in our garden that’s too shady to sustain much plant life. Consequently, that’s where the garden flag and chimes go — one way of adding a little beauty to what might otherwise become an extension of the front lawn.

But the flag holder stood empty for months last spring. I noticed it when I pulled into the driveway, but once I walked into the house, I got sidetracked by what had to be done there.

And another day with a naked flag holder drew to a close.

For whatever reason, my husband’s day off became the day I was determined to replace the flag. Doing this necessitates going into our crawlspace to pull the seasonally appropriate flag out of one of the drawers in the unit that houses seasonal decorations.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you are probably already asking the question that didn’t occur to me until that day.

Why are the flags in the crawlspace?

Um…because that’s where I’ve always kept them?

There is a certain logic to putting the flags there, even if I’m not an I know I put it somewhere organizer. The flags are an extension of the seasonal decorations I need to get at only once a year. Therefore, they aren’t stored in prime real estate.

If it weren’t for the saga of the naked flag holder, I probably wouldn’t have realized my tactical error.

I change these flags more than once a year.

Or at least I would if I used one of the cardinal rules of location: put it close to where it’s used.

Two hours later, the flag holder bore a seasonally appropriate flag. The rest of its companions had a new home in a drawer in the mudroom — right inside the door I use to enter the house from the driveway. To free up the drawer, I needed to sort through three others so I could consolidate their contents.

Tackling the drawer unit in the mudroom had not been on the day’s to-do list, yet the unexpected task left me with a sense of accomplishment. I’d put like items together, tossed things that were no longer useful and put aside some things to donate. Location logic had won out over habit, and I’d emerged victorious, setting up new a system that would work much better than the old one.

It was an organizational victory worth savoring, yet I was dogged by one nagging thought.

What other storage habits do I need to reconsider?

A question for another day.


Copyright 2017 Lisa Hess

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About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and is a blogger at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at Catholicmom.com. She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

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