Sunday, June 23, 2019



Lately I feel like I'm folding up for good:

Chronic health issues that are slowly sapping my energy, humor, and charm. You never realized I had charm, did you?

Annoyingly endless rain and storms that rumble and rage day and night. Last Friday there were three power outages. This afternoon there was a brief respite - during which timid sunlight taunted and teased behind obstinate clouds and eventually gave up trying to emerge.

More storms predicted for tomorrow.

The concept of folding piqued my interest when I recently read Myra's
blog, where the subject of folding fitted sheets and parachutes briefly came up.

The first thought that came into my mind was the fact that I've been unsuccessfully trying to fold fitted sheets for as long as I can remember.
I've finally concluded that they were designed by the same evil mindset that gave us plastic wrap and zip-lock resealable bags.

Okay, it wasn't funny - but keep in mind that I'm not in a funny mood.

The second thought that came to my mind (regarding the subject of folding) happened long, long ago - when I was a nineteen-year-old novice security officer in California.
Yes - I had a security license and a loaded gun.

At that time I was working the night shift for a large corporation in Costa Mesa.

My security shift began at 6:00 p.m. - when most of the workers were gone and the building was empty.

My first duty of every evening was to go outside by the main entrance and take down the huge American flag that was proudly hanging on an incredibly tall pole.

An elderly security guard (and ex-military man) gave me scrupulous instructions on how to take down the flag and fold it.

His warning was sober and stern:

"Our flag is SACRED", he told me. "While you are folding it - NEVER let it touch the ground. And always fold it indoors, away from dirt and debris."

I caught on to the folding aspect quickly, but never quite mastered the "don't let it touch the ground" part.

On my first evening alone with the massive flag, I desperately tried every ploy possible to fold it properly while keeping it off the floor.

None of my efforts worked.
I folded and re-folded and the thing kept dragging on the floor and raveling into an unpatriotic mess.
The little office that I was in afforded no room whatsoever to do folding maneuvers.

Finally - in complete exasperation, bordering on fury - I checked to make sure no one was around......

.....then I dragged the flag outside, spread it out on the ground, and managed to fold it perfectly.
Tradition and dignity be damned!

That became my nightly procedure for folding the flag and I decided that  ignorance of my ploy could only result in bliss.

"You've done a perfect job of folding our flag," the old officer told me.

Somehow his praise left a very guilty hollow in my heart, but I learned to live with it.


  1. Dear Jon, in my experience --which is substantial(don't ask)-- of folding the flag, it is always done by two people. At least that's how I was trained to do it --two lengthwise folders, one on each end, and one triangle folder who works toward his/her partner. Your solution of single-handedly folding the flag on the ground when no one was around was considerate and respectful.

    1. Geo, when the officer showed me how to fold the flag, we did it together. At the time, I was too ignorant to initially realize that after his demonstration I would be folding it alone.

      I still laugh when I think of how I wrestled helplessly with that flag - until I finally took it outside to fold on the ground.

  2. Folding fitted sheets ... whoever designed them should be shot at dawn. I decided it was an impossible task so bought non-iron ones. It meant I could sort-of fold them and store away until ready to use. I like your flag tale. I guess clean floors would help keep a flag clean... grinning here!

    1. Valerie,I astound myself when I think of the thoughtless and reckless things I did when I was young.

      After years of struggling with fitted sheets, I finally decided they were made to remain unfolded.

  3. OMW, Jon … your description made me laugh out loud. (No, I'm sure it wasn't one bit funny at the time.) Darn good analogy, comparing fitted sheets to plastic wrap. Frankly, I'm suspicious of those who profess to having mastered that 'art form.' One, in particular, and I suspect she has no life. HA.

    1. Myra, the flag incident was even funnier than I described it - and, incredibly - I thought it was hilarious while it was happening. I initially attempted to fold it on a large table - but wound up rolling with the flag on the floor. It was among the many undignified moments of my life.....

  4. So long as nobody opened up the flag one day and a load of spiders fell out... !

  5. Jenny, spiders (and scorpions) are among my biggest fears - hopefully they will never nest in flags.

    I was initially worried that the flag might get skid marks from dragging it on the ground..... (*smile*)


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