For Christmas, I liquidated part of our emergency cushion to pay off my husband’s credit card debt. (He’d run it up because the computer that lies at the heart of his enterprises died and there hadn’t been enough loose cash to pay for a new one.)
Clearing a couple thousand dollars out of savings feels like a tooth has been pulled.
But as the shock began to abate, it became clear that the pay off was a decluttering.
Darkly (and not what I mean) the cash itself is gone…
And so are the bindings of the debt freeing emotional space for new dreams to reach for the sun.
And what cash remains has no strings attached. The cash I spent freed the rest of it.
The old Jetta’s ignition system died.
We could have resurrected it. (Although it hadn’t had air-conditioning for over a year…)
Our mechanic — who’d been kind of hinting all along… — got all set up for a date with the junk dealer.
Somebody suggested we Donate the car to charity.
Seven or eight phone calls later we had a promise that the car would be picked up five days hence.
Then their flatbed broke down.
And then it still wasn’t fixed.
But then it still wasn’t fixed.
So they borrowed a flatbed from somewhere else
and finally one day..
Yesterday I volunteered to be a project director for a council so buried under proposed projects they are frantic.
I’ve set myself the project of finding a project director for each proposed project…
…recognizing that the Council has been too swamped to sort out where one project ends and the next begins.
I woke up with my head in a tangle.
So I sorted our silted up stainless steel ware drawer…
This collection of miscellanea will go to the next community rummage sale while..
This collection of matched pieces — which do NOT match our own set — will first be offered to friends. Then, if any of it comes home, set aside for rummage.
(My husband edited all my choices, agreed on what could go but kept all sorts of pieces he likes to use.)
A friend of my husband and his new bride, my fellow member of our Second Wives of Widowers circle and a short lady, had us over for a movie night.
At popcorn time, she deftly climbed on a dinette chair to reach her supplies on the upper shelf.
Last night as we prepared to join them again, my husband loaded one of our FOUR folding step stools into the car.
Selected two of the seven rubber jar-grippers that threaten to overwhelm kitchen tool drawer and added them to the stack of dvd’s…
I am so proud of him.
When we learn what is most needed, we likely have some bounty for fire-stricken Santa Rosans, too.
With hurricanes to the east, fires to the west, renewed threats of nuclear mayhem and a general sense that the cultural foundation of charity among fellows has sundered along with the polar ice shelves…..
…to foster sanity I pursue clutter and build peaceable habitation.
And pursue it calmly because there is Absolutely No Deadline, and even unsorted — the remaining clutter is Out Of Sight.
So. Going slowly. Repacking just one or two boxes a day, I’ve reduced five stored boxes to three; I found and shredded thirty-three year old financial records; and I hauled all the detritus to the curb for tomorrow’s trash pick up.
But perhaps best of all, I’m starting to move into the Giant Bookcase!!!!!!
Oh that feels good. I’ve moved my books on knitting and about folk music and my set of exercise videos into it from the (no longer quite so) crowded shelves in my study. My husband carried down my antique sewing machine to serve as ballast for the lowest shelf — but you know, with enough space to set up a table, I might just use it from time to time. Then he hooked up my personal d.v.d. player on the media shelf in the center of the bookcase.
It’s falling into place.
After awhile I will feel enough at home in that big downstairs room to move beyond ordering it, and to begin to live there.
Peaceable habitation. Sometimes we can only manage a tiny corner at a time.
The thing about living in a sparsely populated county full of hard-working folks is that every church in the county runs a thrift store but many more people want to get rid of stuff than want to buy stuff.
And a lot of folks want to get rid of big, battered, broken, torn, stained stuff; stuff that should go to the dump. But it costs to use the dump. And folks here don’t have extra income or time.
Over a year ago the local Salvation Army drop off center closed up shop. It wasn’t a store, just a place to take stuff. But they wouldn’t take big, battered, broken, torn, stained, stuff that should be taken to the dump. (But it costs to use the dump.) So folks would quietly dump that broken, stained stuff in the dead of night by the closed gates of the Salvation Army drop off center.
The Salvation Army got tired of losing money paying the fees to trash it all. So they closed up the drop off center and that was the end of the only donation center with out-of-county connections to sell the stuff.
Within a week of the Salvation Army drop off center closing, every thrift shop in the county was overflowing but with no new customers. They wouldn’t take another stick or stitch.
Anyway. To cap off clearing the Giant Bookshelf, my husband and I also cleared closets of all that stuff we didn’t like or didn’t need anymore. Two, thirty-gallon trash bags full of professional quality clothing from two young folks’ long-ago careers. I tried twice to give it to the biggest of the area thrift shops. But even now, a year after the Salvation Army closed, they simply wouldn’t take my contributions.
What to do….
Twice a week I work over on the big city side of the valley. Yup. I found a sweet big thrift store that draws clientele from three urban centers. Our two bags of stuff disappeared…
It’s Total Eclipse Day.
We watched on television.
Then we went to see Dunkirk.
Then it was time to find some closure.
Just simple, repetitive, box-breaking
Over and over and over
Battling all stray notions that some of those boxes will be JUST PERFECT someday for something
Because they certainly will not.
There they are.
HELLO Long Buried Bed!
Tomorrow we return to actual decluttering as we head to the recycling center to discard the boxes and to the dump with a load of trash from the garage and back deck… (And there are still some shelves to clear.)