Sunday, September 6, 2015


“And that’s the rest of the story” 

“Closure” is a word that has been overused for, oh, 30 or so years. Since the time of Henry II, closure had been used in reference to something that shuts. Unfortunately, in 1986, Rayan Collins wondered if it could be used to explain why people go nuts. -- They've got no closure!

Along those lines, I get calls and e-mails all the time from people demanding closure on my articles. “Why do you start something without telling the reader how it ends? What kind of a jerk does that?” I usually give my pat answer – “Oh, yeah? Well, so are you.”

However, this morning I shall pretend to be an adult by providing closure on a couple of stories. I shall start with the caterpillar story. I ended the article right after the chrysalis was formed. I stopped there because the stupid cocoon just hung there past my deadline.

Oh, I could’ve made an ending about a butterfly that appeared and spelled out “Thank you” in butterfly spit. But, nooo. I’m not going to make up something. Except maybe that story about Rayan Collins in 1986.

Well, now, I know the ending to the story of caterpillar. On the morning of the Twelfth Day of its chrysalis stage, I discovered that the beautiful, jade-colored, small chrysalis had turned black.  Immediately, I thought the worst… ‘cause that’s what I do.

Kay was away in Austin, taking care of her brother and his ailing wife. I would’ve been with her, but someone had to look after the caterpillar. I called Kay to give the news about the death of her pet. Unfortunately, she had blocked my calls. Or, her battery was dead. I’m pretty sure she blocked me, though.

I decided to read the newspaper, to get my mind off the dying or dead caterpillar. While on my way to the Keurig, I saw it… some small sticky-looking butterfly wings coming out of a transparent shell of a chrysalis

My first thought was – Coffee! – But, I quickly chased that thought away and replaced it with – Camera! – After about 20 minutes I found my cell phone and pushed the camera button. Instantly, a calendar appeared. Why do I even have the thing?

I made my way to the closet in the study and eventually came out with our real camera. The one with the low battery. I snapped about four photos. Didn’t want to waste the battery. Over a period of about an hour, that butterfly had a big set of Monarch wings. They weren’t moving though. The thing just stayed put for a good while.

The critter finally climbed to the stick I had propped up next to the bare milkweed plant. I waited as long as I cared to, before grabbing the stick and walking it outside. By the way, it was a girl. I could tell by the two dots on its wings. It didn’t have any. And the veins on the wings were wide… as veins go. Those characteristics are those of a female. That and the large breasts.

The butterfly flitted to one of the shrubs in the flowerbed. I sat on the ground to get some better pictures, when, in a nano-second that girl left the plant and flew right over my head. It took me a couple of minutes to twist, grab and fight my way up off the ground. By that time, there was nothing to see. I walked all around the house. Walked over to the neighbor’s house. Nothing. I got no gratitude from that selfish butterfly. No closure. You got closure, but all I got was heartache.

That night, Kay called, and I told her the butterfly story. She about cried. She had missed witnessing her pet’s journey into adulthood. Now she wants another caterpillar. And, I want nothing to do with it.

I went on a little too long with the butterfly story, so we’ve just got time for closure on one other story. Let’s go with the roof-leak. This is the one where I told the  story about almost falling off the roof. I was originally on the roof trying to find a leak that was making the ceiling wet in the bedroom. – The troubles in my life just keep comin’.

Well, after crawling all over the higher part of the house, I found nothing that looked leakable. Suddenly I remembered an infomercial. The one about the black spray paint that seals leaks. They supposedly use it on the bed of pickups. Like I believe that. I went to Home Depot and bought a can of something pretty much like that stuff. Except, they didn’t offer me an extra can for the mere cost of shipping.

I ended up spraying the flange on the fireplace smokestack. Then I sprayed everything that was connected to something else. Of course, I didn’t clean the metal or replace the old caulk.  The last thing I wanted to do was turn the process into a big job.

Bottom line, it rained like a bad dog last week for about thirty minutes. Afterwards, I checked the ceiling in the master bedroom. That thing was dry as a horn-toad’s armpit.

I feel so accomplished; so good about what I’d done. However, I’m going to feel even better if the ceiling remains dry after the next rain. The last time was probably just a fluke. I’ve been hurt way too many times by a positive attitude.

So, that’s it. You’ve had both butterfly and roof closures. That ouhtta kill two-thirds of all the e-mails I’ve received about not finishing stuff I start. With that in mind, you’re now getting closure on this article. Do you feel it? Feels good doesn’t it? Anybody feeling it? Well, maybe next time.


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