Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Day Seven

At home near Fort Worth, Texas...

We have returned from the annual shopping frenzy that is Canton, Texas. Once again, the guys were largely successful in staying far away, kicked back most of the time but industrious enough to fix dinner for everybody on one evening. Ribs and baked beans were for the grownups, and mac and cheese for the kids. I even made egg rolls, a favorite. Tyler did go out into the vendors area for a while, but we considered that a rite of passage. Everyone should do it once, I suppose.

As I predicted, Sandy bought stuff only for the kids, keeping with our commitment to downsizing. Speaking of that, I will go ahead and tell you that getting rid of stuff is tedious. At least, we sort of have a system now. We have a supply of empty clear plastic bins with lids plus cardboard boxes. In every room, we set out a plastic bin and two cardboard boxes. Into one cardboard box goes stuff we're taking to the kids; into the other goes stuff we're taking to the church thrift shop; the plastic bin holds those things that we're keeping and placing into storage. A trash can holds the discards.

I know, I know. I can just hear Merikay now, shaming me for not following her example--getting rid of EVERYTHING. What can I say, Merikay? We're weak. I fully envision our returning to the storage unit many times to get rid of more of the stuff we're keeping needlessly at the moment. In fact, I would bet on it.

I readily agree that getting rid of everything would be much easier; there would be no decisions to make as to what would be worth keeping. Our problem is that we know fulltiming will be temporary and that our exit strategy will include acquiring another house of some kind. And, if we're keeping a few things until then, why not a few more? The first things that make the "keep" list are unique and hard-to-find items. If something works well for us and is not readily available in stores, you can bet it will be kept. Photos that are not digitized will also be kept, along with too many mementos. Being sentimental is definitely a hindrance to this process, but we are what we are, I guess.

Day seven has largely been devoted to cleaning out the study, an area from which all of the triage containers were filled more than once. This, of course, creates mayhem, and the study looks like this:

Sandy spent the day going through hundreds of records in the file cabinet below the window in the photo above. While most of these papers were trashed, many with sensitive account numbers had to be shredded. At the end of the day, the shredder was smoking a little, so she took a much needed break.

One bright spot about going through our stuff is that we invariably run across photos that were long forgotten, causing us to pause and reflect on those memories. Finding old photos also affords a mischievous blogger a chance to embarrass someone like, well, Sandy, who seems delighted here as she kicks back in a washtub at age three:

Little did she know what this would portend for the future; she still likes a long, relaxing shower, although these have shortened quite a bit out of necessity in the RV world. The photos we found today are only a tiny fraction of the rest; we haven't even gotten to the attic yet. There are thousands more up there, I'm afraid.

Outside, the bent gutter is fixed, and the painters will be finished tomorrow touching up the inside. Even so, I still don't know when this place might be ready to show.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.

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