I’ve been on a purge binge.
Now, keep in mind I’m not really much of a house keeper. I spend way too much time in the greenhouse, bakeshop and outside so I’m not actually in the house much. When I come inside, I’m too lazy to clean. We do keep things fairly tidy. On the surface. But the spare room gets over-full of stuff I’ll deal with later. Like boxes I know I’ll use to wrap presents (of course, I have to actually buy the gifts, remember where I put them, then dig them up at the last-minute to wrap – or stick in a gift bag ;)). And little pieces of wrapping paper that will fit a small box – one I can’t find. And every extra pillow, blanket, basket and out-of-season piece of clothing I own. Oh, and those that I will lose enough weight to get back into next summer. Or the next summer.
Mark and I were married in August of 1997. We still haven’t ordered photos. Not sure we can now as that was back in the day when photographs were actually stored on negatives. I really doubt the photographer can even find them now. We do have the proofs. I haven’t put them very far away because I really should label them and put them in an album. If they are at the top of the pile, I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually. Right? After I organize my digital photographs.
I have decided to send a truckload of stuff to Good Will. Got rid of all those clothes that don’t fit. They’ll be out of style by the time I can squeeze back into them. And we didn’t need 4 sets of measuring cups. Or all those old cassette tapes. Or 25 rolls of tape for adding machines we don’t own anymore. Or my dad’s old briefcase. The travel guides to New Zealand and Western Europe that were published in 1989 probably aren’t relevant now. I’m so proud of myself.
Until I realize that I have a whole closet full of cards and letters and newspaper clippings and magazine articles I’ll never read again.
I think I can throw them away. But then I have to go through them to see if there is anything REALLY important in there. Like a $100 bill that my grandfather slipped me before I went off to college. I used to hide them from myself. Savings account, you know. As I read, I am taken back to the spare room I was living in for a couple of weeks in New Zealand as an exchangee – I can smell the Freesia, feel the damp spring, taste the orange and onion salad I had for lunch. I can feel the lanolin on my hands from throwing fleece that had just been shorn by expert Kiwi shearers. I can smell the barley Mum Morton boiled for her horses every night in my first host home. How can I throw that away? Then I remember the smell of lettuce on Queens Street in Auckland or the dust on the drive through Marmarth, North Dakota, on my speaking tour. Will I remember these things if I make room in the closet for clothes? I don’t think I’ll take a chance.
As I was untying the ribbons from the galvanized tub my wedding committee had used for receiving cards for my bridal shower I thought of the loving fingers who tied them onto the handle. Yes, I was spoiled enough to have a florist for a mother and lots of wonderful helpers who ran the show for me! All I had to do was okay their ideas – not hard to do – and show up with a smile on my face. What more could a bride ask for?
Which made me think of the bouquets of Sweet Peas my best friends/sisters carried down the aisle. Which led me to the fist fight their daughters – my flower girls – got into just before we walked down the aisle! Then I thought of our good friend and veterinarian who was late and walked down the aisle to their seat just ahead of my dad and me. You get the point. My poor husband is stuck with a closet full of cards and letters and ribbons and seed packets and rodeo tickets. (He’s not much better than I am ;))!
But we’ve got a closet full of memories even if they are not in scrapbooks or organized in files. That’s what all those shoe boxes that I save for gift wrapping are for!