The 1 & 2 ...
A week's worth of antibiotics has me eating yogurt and probiotics to stem the stampede south of the equator. So I'm in the Reading Room again. For the fourth time today. Thinking about stuff, remembering things. And appropriately, the Numbers 1 and 2 come to mind. But not for the reason you would initially assume.
The Little-House-On-The-Corner used to belong to a lady who rented rooms to salesmen, fisherman, hunters, and loggers. There was a separate outside entrance to a hallway that had four 8x8 rooms and a bathroom. In the morning, an occupant would knock on the kitchen door and Mrs. Gwinski would make them a hot breakfast and kick'em out. Kind of a bed & breakfast...with a strict time limit.
Mrs. Gwinski lived in the other 5/8 of the house which included said kitchen, a sitting room, and her bedroom. All put into 980+ sq ft of cinderblock, hand-made windows, and foil-backed kraft paper insulation. Mrs. Gwinski was a tough woman and, I would surmise, always cold.
One noticeable feature was the small brass number nailed to the top of the each rental room door. Numbers 1 through 4.
The Wife and I bought the house 30+ years ago, adding insulation and reliable heat before bringing the first of two babies to The-Little-House-On-The-Corner. We turned the four rental rooms into three small bedrooms and settled in to raise kids and remodel for the next 18 years.
I always liked those numbers on the doors. To me it was the heritage, the essence, of the Little House. So one summer's day I went to the hardware store and bought shiny brass numbers with shiny brass nails.
I was laying them out on the kitchen table when The Wife walked by.
"What's with the numbers?"
"I'm gonna put 'em on the doors."
"We already have the house number over the door."
"Ah, no, these are for the rooms inside."
"Inside?" The way she said it lacked enthusiasm.
"Yeah, the bedrooms get Numbers 3 through 5..." I should have stopped there but blundered on,. "...and the bathroom gets Numbers 1 and 2."
The discussion was short and to the point.
And there are no numbers on our doors.
Numbers 1 and 2.
The Lord thought those numbers important, too. So important, in fact, that He combined all of the 600+ tenets of the Law into just a 1 and a 2, (anyone else hear Lawrence Welk?).
1 - Love the Lord. Totally.
2 - Love others like you love yourself.
Now that's a 1 & a 2 that I want nailed to the door of my heart. So I never forget.
So I remember what's important.
And I just might visit the hardware store. Again.