This post is dedicated to my hard-working husband, my partner in decluttering, care taking and the maintenance of sane living spaces.
From May to October, our region is subject to wildfires.
So each spring, homeowners are required to clear from around our homes a thirty-foot radius of all yard debris: pine needles and cones, fallen branches, and of late all the flotsam and jetsam left by the felling and chain sawing of hundreds of drought-killed trees in our village alone. At first the debris is damp, but by June any mess that remains is parched tinder itching to be ignited by the smallest spark.
They start inspections in May giving out informative warnings. In the first week of July they begin their second rounds to issue citations to homeowners who have not complied.
So, from the last week of May through the third week of June, five mornings a week, before the heat of the day set in my husband hauled three wheelbarrows of debris a day up a sixty degree incline to the roadside. During the last week of June he trimmed back branches and took out two saplings.
My photo does not do justice to his trophies: the two impressive heaps he amassed on our parking pad. Please! Admire them anyway…
But the best part….
I arrived home the other day to find our parking pad swept clean as a whistle. Our Man With a Truck had come and my husband watched as his piles required TWO trips to be hauled away.
Even better than knowing he is my hero, is being able to be his own hero.
A couple of days ago I looked into that last kitchen drawer, the final frontier of unclaimed territory in the kitchen I inherited from my predecessor.
With a now-practiced hand I quickly tossed into the trash a layer of napkins, condiment packets, chop sticks and take out menus — all relics of far-away, long-closed restaurants, and the bottom layer of desiccated rubber bands, tiny screws and used carpet tacks, fragments of plastic bits, sticky twist ties, and bits of string.
I sorted the broken bits of the family silver (valuable, perhaps, enough to merit a closer look later) from the miscellaneous napkin rings, dozen bag clips, unpaired corn holders, barbecue skewers, and some whole implements that look useful even though I can’t identify them.
Finally, in the drawer’s deepest recesses I found three candle stubs. When I finished reassembling the contents to be kept — and by now it was no longer a mind-boggling mess threatening to escape the drawer — I set those candle stubs into crystal holders and, with a prayer to honor the memory of my predecessor, I offered thanks for having finished claiming the spaces in my kitchen as my own.
In fact, that last kitchen drawer was the last space in the whole house — barring my husband’s work areas — that I opened up and declogged of obvious trash.
There is still the garage and two deep-under-house difficult-to-access storage areas to tackle. But I’ll take a break from physical decluttering because over the next month workers will be coming to tackle needed maintenance.
I’ll have time to tell more stories here. That’s a happy thought.