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Sign of the times: Read my essay

I am very happy in my Seattle Senior Housing apartment building with its many common areas where the tenants meet and socialize. And lately, I have discovered something about myself: I like to attach signs to things.

Nobody asks me to do this. It is a chore I nobly undertake to bring order to our chaotic world. I have only recently realized that I do this habitually. I realized it today as I wrote CLEAN on a sign to go atop the dishwasher. On the reverse side I had written DIRTY. It is an answer to the eternal question, "Are those things in the dishwasher clean or dirty?"

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Then I noticed that someone had left a bulky cloth sack near the "freebie" shelf in the community room. I couldn't identify the contents, but Bettie happened along and she could, because she had put it there.

It was feathers and down sewn into a shapeless cotton bag; an absolute bonanza for someone with sewing ability and equipment. I immediately recognized a need for a sign and hastened upstairs to type out: OPEN AT YOUR PERIL! DOWN FEATHERS FOR DOUBLE-BED QUILT OR COMFORTER.

That done, I tied my kitchen trash in a plastic bag and took it to the trash room. Attached to the chute was a large sign commanding STOP! THIS IS FOR TIGHTLY WRAPPED GARBAGE AND TRASH ONLY! TAKE RECYCLABLES TO NORTH SIDE OF BUILDING. I smiled fondly at my work. I had handwritten "Thank you!" with a smiley face in the corner of the sign to humanize its tone of stark command.

Now that I have identified my niche, I feel ready for any of life's aberrations. If worst comes to worst, I will put a sign on it. BE CAREFUL, I will write. THIS IS THE WORST. THE BEST IS YET TO COME.


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