We also know there are things we must routinely change. The smoke alarm batteries. The furnace filters. The oil in the car.
But beyond the seasonal updates and safety measures, most of us have many things around the house we never change. The funny part? We don't even notice them anymore.
It might be the same old books on the coffee table. The faded silk flower in a vase. The broken clock. The wallet-size school portrait on the side of the refrigerator.
Take a good look around and I'm sure you will find some. Could it be?:
• The music book on the piano. Perhaps the children have grown, and no one takes lessons or plays the piano much anymore. Still, the book of Best Loved Piano Classics remains out. Just in case ...
• The fluffy throw draped over the arm of the sofa. It sheds, but it's pretty, so you keep it there.
• The cute cookie jar on the counter that stands empty because it's not airtight.
• The outdated memos and reminders on the kitchen bulletin board. Does anyone really need to see an Open Skate Schedule from 2009 anymore?
• The picture frame in the den that has remained empty since your child needed a family photograph for a school project. What ever happened to the picture, anyway?
• The window sill “decor.” A single key. A miniature animal figurine. A small game part. Most of the time we can't recall where these things came from in the first place.
• The lamp in the living room that, for some reason, has never been plugged in.
• The greeting card on a dresser top or bookshelf. Happy belated birthday to you, too!
• The little soaps reserved for guests in the half bath. Perhaps they're shell shaped. Perhaps they're pastel. Perhaps they date back to before you switched to pump soap. Anyway, guests never really use them. Or haven't you noticed?
• The pretty towel that hangs decoratively in the kitchen or bathroom. No one is allowed to use it, either, of course.
• The box of baking soda in the refrigerator. Come on, do you really change it every 30 days as suggested?
• The robe hanging on a hook on the back of the closet door. You haven't worn a robe in two years, but there it hangs. Just in case someone rings the bell at 2 a.m.
• The bowl of potpourri on the hallway table that lost its scent ages ago.
• The burned-out bulb on the dining room chandelier. You'll notice it next time dinner guests arrive.
• The message on the home phone. Guilty! Even the person whose voice is on our recording says it's true.
It's time for a change.
From the Home Front by Susan Martin
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