Butterfingers, February 6, 2023, 541 words

Stress will produce strange reactions in a person’s body. Some people break out in hives. Others have memory lapses. Still others have a meltdown. I have butterfingers.
At first I thought my hand was weak from overuse and fatigue. In the past week, I have dropped several items. The first incident occurred drinking my evening tea. The ringing phone startled me. I dropped my favorite mug. I was tired and ready to go to bed. Instead, I found the broom and dustpan to start the cleanup. A blind person listens to the sound of the broken pieces swept into the pan. Working in a clockwise pattern, I start to sweep the room from the outside to the interior. Broken ceramic travels a distance on a tile floor. Hearing the crunch of pottery underfoot, I would back up to clean farther. Gradually, I cornered most of the larger pieces. Finding several smaller slivers of the porcelain stuck to the bottom of my slippers, I thought “What can I do?”
My tired brain came up with a solution: let the Roomba vacuum the area. I pushed the button after closing most of the rooms not affected. After removing my hearing aids, I went to bed.
In the morning, I found the kitchen free of most of the slivers of glass. Normally, I walk barefooted feeling the different surfaces with my feet. I congratulated myself on my problem solving abilities.
Two days later, I spilled a container of crackers on the kitchen floor. The crackers traveled to the far corners of the room. I picked up the larger pieces but had smaller pieces and salt to sweep. I turned to the Roomba to assist. Blocking the exits, I turned the robot loose to power clean the floor. After an hour, I pushed the button to signal the Roomba to return to the docking base.
Last evening, cleaning a kitchen cabinet, I spilled a small container of sugar. The top was loose and it dropped. This mess was smaller but it took time and the assistance of the Roomba to complete the task.
“What is wrong with me?”
Then it hit me. All of the incidents occurred when I was tired and ready for bed. I would not be able to sweep up the messes without assistance. The broken cup presented a safety challenge. I was glad I had the equipment to do the cleanup.
“What do other blind persons do?”
I vaguely recalled the housekeeping training at the rehab center. We were to clean our room and the bathroom. The room was square and had few pieces of furniture to clean around. My hearing loss made it difficult to hear the sweepings in the dustpan. My best solution is to sleep when I am tired and not over-stress myself.
“Butter anyone?”


Burning the cooked egg,
Utensils fly from my grasp.
Too many items on my mind.
Time to take a break.
Each person has a limit.
Realizing this is nothing new.
Feeling better,
I turn to clean the stove.
Nearly touching the hot burner.
Gently I feel for the pan.
Edging the items from the stove.
Realizing I have to be careful.
Sight or not.

carolaspot@aol.com February 6, 2023

2 thoughts on “Butterfingers, February 6, 2023, 541 words

  1. My local senior center provides housekeeping services. When I make a mess, I clean it up as best I can, then leave it for my homemaker to deal with when she comes once a week. I don’t walk barefoot in the house just in case. I’m glad Rumba is working for you, Carol.


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