Fighting Entropy

There are a few things we can all agree on – religious and secular alike. One of them is that the universe will someday end. My Christian background says it will end in judgement, and suddenly. (Actually, Christianity is rather silent whether it’s the UNIVERSE or the WORLD that will end – the distinction was not a meaningful one at the times the books were written.) A science perspective says that unless we have a “big contraction” the likely end to the universe is the longest, slowest death imaginable. The heat death of the universe will take place when the entire cosmos is at exactly the same temperature. There is no longer enough difference in temperature to fling particles, inspire winds or burn in flames.

I often thing of that ultimate defeat of being on weekends like this. See, on rare occasions I spend my weekends fighting entropy. At heart, most of what we humans do is to expend the energy given to us by our sun to create order from disorder. Case in point: my breakfast of Cheerios this morning was (mostly) converted by me into energy. That energy went into turning my house from a pit of chaos and disorder into a pit of slightly less chaos and disorder. Meanwhile, as I unwound the dissolution of my homestead, my steady washer and drying (well, both of them actually) separated dirt from clothes, and then water from clothes, in order to create the state of “clean clothes”. Remarkable. Even though I know that my great enemy entropy, will ensure those self-same clothes will require this to happen not just once again, but over and over until the warp and the weft of that long-ago cotton bush push apart, lose their vibrant dyes and become thinned through friction and even that self-same washing.

Ah, entropy.

So what did I do this weekend to take the store of strength given to me and convert it to order?

Completed installation

Yesterday was Ikea day. For Christmas, Thane really wanted this huge glass display case with serious Nuka Cola overtones. I told him in October, as we were shopping for massive amounts of furniture for our attic, that maybe he could get that stuff for Christmas. I should’ve remember to whom I spoke. That child does not forget. So when his grandmother asked what he wanted for Christmas, the answer was money for Ikea furniture. The money came (coincidentally *just* enough for his longed for display cabinet). Then we had to actually go to Ikea. Originally I thought I’d buy a sleeper sofa from Ikea on the trip, but upon review of the offerings I was underwhelmed. I ended up buying a sofa from Wayfair online. We’ll see how it works. Anyway, without that massive piece of furniture I figured I could do the trip without the “taller than me” contingent, and Thane and I went alone.

We bought many things. There was a standing desk for the office, and a chair. There was his beloved display (intended to preserve his Legos from depredations). His brother had also gotten a rather nice treat earlier, so I got him an inexpensive desk and desk chair (for the building of the Legos to be preserved). I got a sitting/standing desk for our study. There were two chairs that needed acquiring. Plus the many jars of pickled herring my friends need for an upcoming party.

I came home a conquering hero. Assembling Ikea furniture is Thane’s great delight (seriously, if any of you local folks ever want to hire him, he’s excellent). So he put together his cabinet and I my standing desk while Adam made dinner. Then we had some quality family time fighting virtual entropy by farming the wilds of Stardew Valley together.

As the rain and night fell together, I ended up reading late in my beautiful bathtub, candlelight flickering at my feet. (“A href=””>Educated” by Tara Westover, which I thought might be familiar given my red neck upbringing, but instead showed just how cushy and civilized my young life was. I may have gone to a two room schoolhouse, but I went to school!)

Fighting imaginary entropy as a family

Today was a litany of small things. I updated my to do list. There was the partial planning of the summer vacation. (We have three possible itineraries: Greece, France or Norway. I was trying to flesh them out for decisioning.) I did dishes. I did laundry. (I haven’t told you all of the saga of the laundry room. Enough time might soon have passed for it to go from painful to funny.) I took the boys to get their hairs cut. I put paper in the new linen closet and filled it with linens and in the process created a ginormous pile of linens which are no longer needed. Thane I and spent hours in his room going through his clothes so he has enough room to put away the laundry he’s supposed to be doing himself, and cleaning out his closet. I made meals.

And here I am writing blog posts that will endure to the far reaches of time. Or, ya know, for a few years.

There’s no great accomplishment in all of this. Nothing I’ll remember in a few weeks, never mind a few years. Time with my sons, time in my home. A time with good, healthy food and bills that are paid. A time when my body was healthy, and strong enough to do whatever I want to do. A time when my friends live at a quick glance out my window, and I can always find company when I’m lonely. A time when my parents are doing interesting fun things, when my siblings are thriving. A time when one the soundtrack of Louis Armstrong (Grey) and Sarah McLachlan (Thane) wafts through the house, following the siren call of “OK Google”.

You know. The best times in the whole world. Take that, heat death of the universe. It’s not the end of the universe that counts. It’s the middle.

Published by


Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s