>Discombobulate

>The Americanism “discombobulated” is a perfectly suitable word to describe my feelings recently. We’ve been painting. But there’s a whole lot more to painting than the mere verb.

About a year ago, I purchased one of those “Bed in a Bag” sets of new linens for our bedroom. These sets include matching sheets, a comforter, pillow shams, and bed skirt. Our previous set was more than twenty years old and had been falling apart for some time. Then last summer, we purchased some curtain panels and valances from a bargain bin at a discount store.

But we just didn’t feel up to tackling the painting project until the first Thursday in January. We decided that if we were going to move out all the furniture in order to paint the ceiling and walls, we might as well get the carpet cleaned. And we might as well get the carpet in the living room cleaned at the same time. And then we decided that, if we’re going to go to all the work of moving out the living room furniture, we might as well paint that room, too.

So we moved the living room furniture as well as the kitchen table and chairs into the garage, and we moved the bedroom furniture into the dining area. Clothes and the “stuff” from our closets went upstairs, downstairs, and all around the house. The books from two bookshelves in the bedroom went into bags and into my office. The books from a bookshelf in the living room were piled on the fireplace hearth and covered, conveniently enough, with our old bedspread.

We took down light fixtures, we taped, we hung plastic, we covered carpets, we sprayed ceilings, we painted walls, we took down plastic, we took off tape, we retouched paint, we cleaned windows, we had the carpets cleaned, we waited for the carpets to dry, and finally last Friday, we began putting things back in place.

During that long week, we were living in the cramped and cluttered kitchen. My temporary office was my laptop on the bedroom vanity. The disarrangement in our home caused discomposure in my mind.

I felt discombobulated, which is a perfectly suitable word to describe my recent feelings.

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