Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sorting Through Stuff

It's raining today, as anyone on the East Coast is well aware, and I am expanding on the project I started yesterday. Said project was so engrossing, that I skipped writing and almost didn't ride! I did squeeze in a short one late in the afternoon- it was glorious.

My big project is sorting and rearranging the closets. I still had numerous boxes to unpack, which were stacked haphazardly in the office. Miscellaneous papers and old magazines had collected on top, gracing the piles with a rickety, mountainous feel-the avalanche was imminent. They overwhelmed the room. It was not condusive to creative thought, thus inhibiting my writing. Bejeweled Blitz and the Chronicle of the Horse Forums had nothing to do with it.

That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

In order to unload said boxes, I first had to clean out the office closet, which was crammed with more boxes. The boxes contain mostly books that are awaiting bookshelves. I keep planning to go to Pennsylvania, visit my sister, and pay a visit to Ikea...

The top shelf and the floor are where I stuffed Mr.W's things. Essentially I emptied the closet, though that led to the claning and reorganization of two other closets. There is a decieving amount of storage space in this house. Unfortunately, most of the space is unusable for what I want it for. Sigh. At least there is a basement- a little damp and things get covered with cat hair, but it has lots of space- again, shelves are needed.

I turned on Pandora radio and dove in, tackling the floor space first.

There were lots of pictures, most still in their envelopes. After pausing to look at most of them, I organized them into a box. Yes, I know, if I the goal is to empty boxes, why fill another, but it seemed logical at the time. I found a pair of Ugg-like boots, a pair of Docksides, one loafer, and a single sheepskin slipper that the dog promptly stole to use as a chew toy. I also found various blank pistols, a 22gauge rifle, hunting knives, a dog training collar, and a duffle bag with a change of clothes and a full tube of toothpaste that had evidence of a small rodent population- my sister is now cringing and thinking up likely excuses to not visit. I threw the toothpaste out. The clothes went in the laundry and yes, they required the hold-them-with-two-fingers-as-far-away-from-the-body-with-an-eeewwww-face.

Without throwing more than meaningless papers or old magazines away, moving things that belong in the garage(a gallon of driveway sealant in the tiny hall closet. Really?),totally revamping said hall closet into linen storage, rearranging the cabinets in the laundry/mudroom, and reorganizing the cabinet under the fish tank, I was able to fit the contents of the boxes in the office closet.

And I wonder why it took all day.

But it was interesting to see what we keep. The photos are precious and even in this digital age, there is something about holding the past in your hand. When I looked at the pictures from Mr. W's past, I felt like a part of the memory -no synesthesia as when I encounter my own photos, but experiencing a glimpse into the events that made him who he is today. I'm sure the braces and huge glasses were character building.

In my things I found surprises, long forgotten things I carelessly dumped into boxes only six months ago. Embarrassing pictures(the concert shirt phase was perhaps marginally worse than the boys rugby shirt phase) photos full of painful memory(dark cloud, remember?), my great-grandfather's Masonic membership, an album from my dad, cards signed by lost loved ones, a license plate, college notebooks, file upon file filled with papers I don't recall writing, a hospital card from when I was born, and my mom's rolodex.

These are things we hold dear-he has his dog training paraphenalia, a place setting from his favorite restaurant, cards and letters from friends and family, an odd wooden sheep on wheels, and a "Twister" game(not going to ask). I have a license plate, a broken mug full of pens, a letter opener, and a replica of an ink pot. They have little financial value. And I'm sure, in the months to come, I will shuffle and reshuffle these treasures, mingling Mr. W's with mine as I strive to bring some order to the chaos of a house crowded with too much stuff.

1 comment:

  1. I am frantically rubbing my hands together, perhaps its time to put the dogs in the basement and let the cats upstairs? Just an idea.