Uprooted and plopped down on the other coast, it's amazing to me how territorial I've become.  I don't mean most of the time, but those little shadow-like incursions of irritation or upset that sneak up on you.  Of course, some of this would have happened anyway by getting married--all of a sudden, there are four of us in the same space, where I am used to one.

So the little drawer in the refrigerator where I put the special things I cook for breakfast (chicken sausage, mushrooms, nice cheese) is now full of luncheon meat for the kids' sandwiches.  Let's not even talk about sharing a bathroom with a woman who has never thrown out a piece of makeup in her life.  And now my office is under attack.

My daughter and her soon-to-be husband are coming out this week.  I'm looking forward to seeing her again--I miss our weekly dinners.  I had naively assumed that we would be displacing one of the boys to find her a place to stay.  But it became clear that this was not going to work.  They are also established in their turf, and don't begin to have the resources that Diana and I do to deal with being uprooted.  After some agonizing, it's clear that my office will have to double (or, more correctly, queen) as a guest room.  This means a bed.

So off to the mattress discounter yesterday.  Diana is a wonderful shopper--pinches $$ until they squeak, and ends up with good stuff.  So the bed will be delivered on Mon.  Approximate square footage of the bed--35.  Approximate free floor space in office--10.  You see the problem...

So last night was turf dismantling time.  Filing the big pile of papers relating to the move.  Looking longingly at my (extended) taxes, realizing that moving the piles will end all pretense that the piles are organized.  Diana sorting out some horrible boxes of crud and throwing a lot out.  And so on.

It always amazes me the change in energy when I get my clutter under control.  The office today feels light and airy.  We aren't ready for the bed to arrive (that happens tomorrow), but we are well on the way.  And we are finally having a nice spring weekend--warm and lovely, flowers out and blooming.  Birds all over the place.  That helps...

The birds also have their turf issues.  We got an industrial strength birdfeeder (8 stations, no waiting), together with a plastic squirrel shield and a clamping arc of metal to hang it from.  The birds are swarming it (I've heard that the spring is the time the birds need the feeder the most).  We saw one attempt of a squirrel to get onto the feeder, only to slide off onto the ground--it seems to work.  Yesterday we bought a pan for the bottom--it might help attract the cardinal couple that we have seen on the ground under the feeder.  But we are getting titmice and chickadees and some breathtaking goldfinches.  And at times, all 8 stations are filled, and there are other birds flying around and trying to dislodge the feeders.  We are having to fill the tube every day or two.

Birds, of course, are pretty "out there" with their turf wars.  You're on my perch!  Get the hell off!  Peep peep and flap wings.  squabble squabble.  We humans do our turf wars a bit more covertly.  Sullen looks, grumpiness, frustrated feelings of "it's not fair!".  It's really an amazing transformation we make, from "mine" to "ours".  No wonder we struggle so with it.

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2002 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.