“Getting Rid of the Cow” Club

For the last two months, I’ve lived in a state of flux known as renovation/restoration from the flood. Anyone who reads my posts regularly must be rolling their eyes because just when there couldn’t be more life lessons to garner from a renovation, I find more. I find reasons for things where they might not be apparent. I often also find words where none need to be said.

The ongoing condition of tension and constant clutter involved in my renovation is enough to stretch my rubber band of patience. Just when I thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel when our new hardwood floors came in, 14 kitchen cabinets arrived to disorder my entire living room. I continue sighing audibly and moving things around from here to there and back again, hoping to feel better. It’s useless; ultimately it feels like when I have a stuffed nose and I roll over to the left and all the snot follows and while I can breathe momentarily out of the right side of my nose, there is no delusion: I am still totally stuffed up.

This situation reminds me of a yiddish fable my father told me about an old farmer who went to the local rabbi because he felt over crowded with his big family in his tiny house. The rabbi advised him to bring one of the cows into the house.The pious man, though shocked at the absurd suggestion, went home and followed the holy man’s advice.  A week later, the distraught farmer returns, complaining how the house feels (obviously) even tighter! The rabbi, stoically replies, “bring in a horse!” Once again, he is stunned at this advice, but he goes home and does as told.  A week later, he returns as disgruntled as ever. “Rabbi,” he pleads, “my house is now bursting at the seams. How can I live like this?” To this, the rabbi says, “Now let the animals back into the barn and come back next week.” A week later, the farmer returns, jubilant “How joyful my house is!” The man exclaims, “I never knew we had so much space!

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