Thursday, February 2, 2017

photo sorting

A billion pictures
            I have no idea what possessed her. I thought I might be dreaming, until I noticed I was wearing all my clothes.

            I kept staring at Kay as she sat at dining room table. Speechless I was. She had piles of photos scattered all over the table. As soon as she noticed me, she smiled and said, “Oh, I decided to organize all of our photos.”

            I was discombobulated. Completely flummoxed… which, incidentally, is only the second time I’ve used that word in my column. The first was last week. That’s two weeks in a row of flummoxation. There’s no accounting for that.

            Before uttering a word, I said a quick prayer asking that I not say anything to ruin the moment. I then summoned some tears and said, “Darling, I have never been more proud of you than I am at this very moment.” – Whoa!

            Kay smiled and said that this was just the first box, but she was determined to organize all the pictures in all the boxes in one day. It’s hard to say how many boxes we’ve got. They’re stored in every closet, cupboard, utility house and outhouse in our house. But, Kay was resolute. I don’t use that word often, either, but that’s what she was.   

            I wisely walked over, stooped and gave her a kiss. Told her I had a bunch of work to take care of in the study, or else I’d help. Part of that was a lie. -- I reeked of wisdom.

            At first I had a lot of trouble focusing on what I needed to do in the study, ‘cause Kay kept  calling me to the dining room to question me about pictures. -- “Who is this girl?” She had found a photo from the surfing trip to Mazatalan that I took with the Sutton boys during my college days. I was dating Kay at the time, so I know she’d seen the picture before. It was only, what, 48 years ago?

            I said, “Oh, that’s the housemaid where we stayed by the beach. I think her name was Carmen. Spoke little English. Just cute as a— I mean, she was sweet. Not sweet like, you know, sweet, but, uh, kind and pleasant is what she was. Yeah, pleasant.”

            I don’t know why I get like that when someone suspects me of something. You’re bound to realize that I’m as innocent and naïve as all get out. But, when I perceive suspicion I get flummoxed. No defense lawyer would ever put me on the stand.

            Kay didn’t call be back very many times after that. She did start throwing away pictures. She tossed photos of unknown women, photos that were blurred, or near duplicates or of scenery with no people in ‘em. You can get that kind of stuff on the Internet. She ended up grabbing a laundry basket to hold all the discards. I was okay with that. We had at least 500 pictures taken on our trips with the Plilers. The only difference in many of them was how much we aged between trips.

            There’s one picture of Freeman with a swollen jaw. The guy looks terrible. I reminded Kay that it was taken during our softball tournament in Baytown. Freeman was standing on first base, ready to head to second at the crack of the bat. Unfortunately, Mark Allen was batting.

            Mark Allen always pulled the ball to right field. At the crack of the bat, Freeman was in mid-step when the line drive met the side of his face. He was called out for interfering with a ball in fair play. And, he was knocked out, but only for a few seconds. Once conscious, it took Freeman a good while to figure out where he was. He once asked where his glasses were. Some of the guys started looking for ‘em. I eventually reminded them that Freeman didn’t wear glasses. He was just a little out of it. I think he was flummoxed.

            Virginia might’ve run him to the nearest hospital, but it was Saturday. And, we were in Baytown? Where in Baytown can you get stitches taken inside your mouth on a Saturday? Besides, the tournament was double elimination, and we had yet to lose our first game. Wisely, Virginia decided to take Freeman to the emergency room in Conroe when we got home later that evening.  – Oh, the memories.

            Yep, Kay threw away as many photos as she kept. Yet, we still have hundreds, maybe thousands left. They just need to be labeled. We all know that’s not happening. And, since we’re childless, we have no offspring who will care to even look at the pictures after we’re gone.

            Besides, the idea of hard copies of photos is foreign to Millennials. – By the way, that’s the first time I’ve ever used “millennial” in anything other than a crossword. I think I’ll insert the word into my next two articles, in hope it will get “flummoxed” out of my mind. – Bottom line, all is well at the Hayter house. Kay hung in there like grim death until the task was complete.

            And, get this. At the end of a most grueling day, she ended up still liking me. I’m not pushing 
it beyond that. 

                    Larry, Jill, Al, Lynda, Mark, Susan and Dennis -- From several years back.

end – Please tune in on Wednesdays at noon to listen to Mark and Kay on “Hanging with the Hayters”. --  FM 104.5 and 106.1 as well as at

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