They say it’s insanity to repeat the same action, expecting different results in the next attempt. In 2012, we promised ourselves we wouldn’t schedule a business trip landing us back home only one week before Christmas. It certainly wasn’t a strategy that worked for us last year. Getting back home so late, we ended up with a Charlie Brown Christmas tree and that miserable feeling of never quite catching up with ourselves.
So, did we stay true to our resolution to never do that again? Of course not. It was as late on the Wednesday preceding Christmas as could possibly still be claimed as a Wednesday when our plane discharged its occupants back to a warm California welcome home.
Admittedly, we couldn’t quite help it. Exigent circumstances, I believe, would be the official lingo.
Or just call it the insanity of traveling to central Ohio in the middle of December.
Those exigent circumstances called for stuff like fixing the kitchen sink's garbage disposal unit at my aunt’s house. In the process to get the house ready for sale, that would be my husband’s department. Not accustomed to traveling with the tools needed to solve such dilemmas, he took his problem to the local hardware store.
“Oh, that would be an old lady garbage disposal unit,” the sales clerk told my bemused husband (who wasn’t sure which way to mentally edit that statement). The hardware store guy explained, “That’s when a little old lady never uses her sink’s disposal unit, but since she keeps running water down the drain, it rusts out the garbage disposal unit and it gets stuck anyway.”
Not being sure whether “old lady” would be considered a symptom leading to such dysfunctionality, my husband nevertheless took the sales clerk’s advice (“It’ll take either this tool or that one”), bought everything and headed out to complete his mission—but not before eyeing one of those bait-the-customer displays at the register while checking out.
It was a book.
He made a mental note of it. He and I both have a weakness for books.
As it turned out, one of the two suggested tools did indeed resolve the “old lady” problem, and the sink was back in working order in no time. Next time we headed back through town, we stopped to get our money back on that second, unneeded, tool. Taking care of that easy transaction put my husband, once again, in line of sight with that customer-bait display.
“Take a look at this,” he suggested, and pulled the book down for me to peruse while he completed his transaction.
Here we were in a town by the name of Dublin—mind you, not the Dublin, Ireland, that you undoubtedly thought of, the minute I mentioned that name, but a place with an Irish heritage nonetheless. And here I am, a sucker for local history and for examining the process researchers go through in producing their books on family history narratives.
When Dublin Wasn’t Doublin’ by a local man named Tim Sells. How could we not have bought it? Turns out, it is written by a descendant of the family which founded this city of Dublin, Ohio—full of anecdotes of growing up in Dublin, coupled with the recounting of the early days of the town and surrounding area. This is the same area I’d been driving through on my visits to see my mom and aunt for the past two decades. Those historical markers, old houses, the small family cemetery sharing a surname from my own heritage—Davis—and many other local curiosities that had piqued my interest over the years were all here in this little self-published book. Turns out, Tim Sells' family had been around Dublin since 1808, handily qualifying them as First Families of Ohio material.
With our next few days in Ohio packed with a too-long to-do list, and an arrival home one week before Christmas demanding that we hit the ground running for the next seven days, guess what I never got the chance to do?
But now, in that blessed lull after the pandemonium of the Big Day, I look forward to some lazy afternoons when I can kick back in a favorite chair to lounge and take in some long-overdue reading.
I hope your Christmas was exactly what you hoped for, but I think I’m safe to say you probably have a few activities you’ve saved for your post-holiday wish list, too. Is there any quiet time on the schedule for you in the rest of this week? What are you looking forward to doing then?