Saturday, December 10, 2011

Could You?

My wife and I used to visit an elderly lady who was totally blind. She lived in a two-story house all by herself. Nobody came to fix her meals — she wouldn't hear of it. She had a staunchly independent nature and wanted to do as much as she possibly could for herself. The only thing she couldn't do was drive, so friends would take her grocery shopping from time to time. Other than that, she got along just fine on her own.

Her house was a model of organization, as you might imagine. In order for her to be able to operate, everything had to be in its prescribed place. And that was a lesson to me.

Now the question — the way your house is organized, could you find everything you need if you suddenly were without the ability to see? Could you, without fumbling around in a frantic search, put your hands on a pair of socks, pants, shirt, shoes, coat, gloves, etc.?

Could you walk through your house without stumbling over clutter?

Could you find the exact can of soup you want for lunch, locate the can opener, find the pot to cook it in, put your hands on a clean spoon and bowl?

I know people who can't find their car keys or sunglasses with their eyes wide open. I have been in homes that were such a clutter disaster that it looked as if the place had been ransacked by burglars or tossed by police looking for a stash of drugs. If there was a sudden emergency in the middle of the night and the electricity was knocked out, those people would be helpless.

Part of being able to "get out alive" from any emergency situation depends on a high degree of organization. You need to know what to do, when to do it, and be able to either put your hands on the right equipment, or improvise. If you have to search through your backpack for the bear spray when the grizzly is bearing (pun intended) down on you, you're not well enough organized. If you can't put your hands on a flashlight from the comfort of your bed, you're not well enough organized. If you can't put your feet into a pair of shoes without getting out of bed and walking across a possibly glass strewn room, you're not well enough organized. If you can't escape your burning house, totally blinded by smoke, without stumbling over clutter, you're not well enough organized.

We can all take a lesson from the old blind lady. Get our house in order. Know where things are, and be able to access them without forming a search party. Be ready for whatever emergency might befall us, without having to search blindly for appropriate clothing to allow us to safely escape into a stormy night.

Could you do that now?


  1. Love your post. So funny! You bring out an excellent point in a humorous way.

    I have a habit of putting things in a "safe" place....The problem being its so safe I can never find it again. lol

    Ha. Time to start organizing better!

  2. My place is small and I can find what I need if blind, even if I open the wrong can, if it's food it'll keep me alive.

    I know where my guns are and they are semi automatics so I can spray bullets. :-)

    Now where in the hell is that wrench I laid down a few minutes ago?