Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Quagmire



1. an area of miry or boggy ground whose surface yields under the tread; a bog.
2. a situation from which extrication is very difficult

So, I was at Wal-Mart the other day, when I turned the corner and found two young men searching the carpet freshener section. They looked about college age. They looked confused.

I glanced down at my list to see if I needed to venture down the aisle and overheard tidbits of a conversation. These unfortunate guys couldn't decide what odor eliminator to choose.

I'm a helpful gal, so I went over to my favorite deodorizer, pulled it off the shelf and handed it to them. I told them it was my favorite and I promised them it didn't smell like Grandma's house.

They were skeptical. The first guy put it up to his nose and took a whiff and then handed it to his buddy. They agreed it didn't smell girly and said thanks. My pleasure. I turned to walk away when one of my husband's college stories flashed into my mind.

Jeff and his buddies lived on campus in an apartment. Those places always have something wrong with them. For Jeff, it was the toilet. One day, they came home to discover the pipe in the bathroom had a major leak. He describes four inches of water in the bathroom and water soaking into the carpet. If I was able to interview the students that lived below, they would describe their ceiling damage. College maintenance showed up, fixed the pipe, cleaned up most of the water and left.

The carpet remained damp and started to emit an odor. What do you do when you have an odor in your carpet? You buy carpet deodorizer, of course.

They went down to the store, bought some, and spread that fine smelling powder all over the carpet.

Do you know what happened?

Think chemistry.

Powder + Liquid = ?





Powder + Liquid = A Quagmire

By this time, the two guys were walking away, so I turned back and almost tackled them.


Don't put it on wet carpet!

It'll turn to paste!

Oh, they said. We should have thought of that.

Then, they proceeded to tell me about the dog vomit they were trying to clean up. So, of course, I told them to use carpet cleaner first, let it dry and then follow up with the carpet deodorizer.

They said thanks again and we both went on our way.

Why am I telling you this story about smelly carpets, odor eliminators and dog vomit?

It is to remind us that each day we make lots of decisions and sometimes we make them without thinking.

Any three-year-old can tell you that dirt plus water equals mud. Any college student should be able to tell you that powder plus water equals a quagmire in your carpet. But, only if you were to stop and think about it.

Now, most of us know the things that can get us in a quagmire, too. Hanging out with the wrong crowd. Lying. Cheating. Being alone with a boy. Drinking. Gossip. Immodest dress. The world is full of potentially bad choices to make.

Sometimes, we don't take the time to stop and think. We make decisions without thinking and we end up in a quagmire.

We need to be reminded to slow down and think about our actions, our words, and our decisions.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. I Peter 5:8


  1. Oh, Theresa. You make me laugh... really hard. But most importantly you make me think. Thanks, Edna

  2. Thanks for the memories...I think! And, thanks, especially for the challenge. Sometimes, I really need to stop and think. Jeff

  3. Thanks for using life's little ordinary moments in such a big and powerful way, Theresa!