I was a terrible Boy Scout when I was a kid. I could barely tie my shoes, let along a fancy knot; my idea of foraging is going to a McDonald’s and asking folks if they have any French fries I can borrow. My sense of direction is abysmal, if I try to rub two sticks to start a fire I end up stabbing anyway within a six foot distance as I flail away….the list goes on and on.

But my biggest shortcoming in scouting was my inability to live up to its motto of being prepared. I am never prepared, although I try my darndest; my memory isn’t what it once was, and I am constantly forgetting to do this or that or putting it off. Oh, I’ll try to be organized, for sure, but if I write myself a note, I can’t remember where I put it.

A typical case of my not being prepared was this past weekend. With a big storm forecast, I suddenly realized I was down to two bags of wood pellets; no big deal, I thought, I’ll just go to the store and get a few bags to tide me over.

Have you tried to buy pellets lately? There’s a shortage – as a matter of face, when I called around, there were none available, anywhere, locally. A couple stores told me they were getting some later in the day, but they were pretty much spoken for, and they couldn’t hold them for me until I got out of work. Despite my begging, pleading, and eventually threats to come sing “Moon River” in the nude unless they sold me some pellets, my efforts were for naught. I finally found a half dozen bags, forty miles away. They usually go for about six dollars a bag, but I had to buy some gas, and then I needed a snack, and I decided I needed some other stuff at the store, and the next thing I knew I had send a hundred dollars instead of thirty-five or snow. But I had my pellets.

That same day, seeing that the forecast was for two feet of snow, I decided that I was finally going to break down and buy a snowblower – and it was deja vu all over again. There was exactly one snowblower for sale in a fifty mile radius, and they wanted about as much for it as a Cadillac convertible. Fifteen calls later I gave up, and I did the only logical thing I could think of – I went out for Chinese food.

The number of hours I have lost in my lifetime due to my disorganization must now total several years, and I’ve decided enough is enough. I’m going to work at being more prepared.

Starting tomorrow. Or maybe the next day. First I need to jot down a list. Now if I could only find my pen…oh, and does anybody have a piece of paper I can borrow?

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