Having moved from a house over a full basement to a trailer over nothing but space and a possible nest of raccoons, and having exhausted our newly-limited resources by Jan.’08 on storage units for the contents of our former basement that did not sell at our enormous yard sale/give away, because we wished, in the spirit of ecology, to spare the landfill, there came the day we could no longer afford to retain three large storage units and therefore allowed said contents to be delivered by four hulking men in huge trucks into our spacious clean trailer, where they deposited the contents of a large basement which had been filled by several generations of compulsive pack rats who apparently believed come the Endtime they would possess some of every item known to man, which would be in great demand and spare their lives. By these means was our clean new spacious trailer transformed into a facsimile of a ransacked basement after a hurricane. And the residents looked around and saw It Was Not Good.
Ever the optimistic believers, we declared to the ceiling fan above, HA! You may think you have defeated us, but as long as we have this Monster cleared by the holidays for our annual family festivities this year, you will not have won! The ceiling fan droned a cryptic, “Hmmmmm”. Thus passed the spring and only enough was cleared to remove the dead Christmas tree. Summer rains came and still the boxes remained steadfast. We spoke of them often, venturing a peek and muttering cries to a silent deity “Omygod”. By autumn, a few had been unloaded or moved to paths less traveled, piled upon others. By Nov.of ’08 all focus was on the election of a new leader and hope for change. We moved enough boxes to see the TV from one spot & watched the election results. When it was over, we noticed that the only boxes we’d earnestly unpacked were those the dog had eaten, and thus the contents had spread across the floor, forcing us to deal with it.
And now Thanksgiving was upon us. Lo, it was a time of remorse. No place to hold our family feast. No place free from cats, to which my spouse is allergic. Fate gave a reprieve in the form of a trailer park clubhouse to which the family did gather and feast and afterwards did clean to the manager’s delight. But as surely as cats follow a can opener, Christmas follows Thanksgiving. And now this final consequence has been wrought. The die is cast. The seed has been sown and we reap what we sow. No Christmas gathering this year. Not on Christmas day. For the wages of procrastination is eternal boxes. No room for a tree, no room to open the table, no room for presents, no decorations, no family feast. And aside from leaving more free time to write for AC, It Is Not Good. Nay, we have seen the error of our ways and declare it Not Good At All. Thus it has come to pass that as of December 2008, we hereby firmly resolve, Never Again!
As of the Thanksgiving 2009, this once-clean spacious trailer will be cleared of boxes and overflowing with bountiful color. Pumpkins and scarecrows and pinecone turkeys and garlands of fall leaves shall adorn every table and corner once more. Christmas cheer shall drip like icicles in the sun come next December! And thus a plan is laid…..
Having searched our weary souls, we turn to the wisdom of the ages.
1) “Let go and let God”
If God will reach in and give us a hand here, then we might have a prayer of actually reaching this crazy goal. That’s not a problem for us. We’re willing to let Him do it all!
2) “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”
If God doesn’t come through with the Miracle of the Boxes, maybe we can get a jump on that clubhouse for the holidays this coming year! It’s important to have a back-up plan.
3) “Let the dog eat boxes”
Yeah, we kind of made that up. Since discovering that our dog has cravings for cardboard the way PMS-ers crave chocolate, we figure she was put here to be a helpmate in our home. If Lydia will continue to eat away the boxes around the items until they slowly slide out across the floor, eventually, we’re forced to pick up the books or kids’ artwork or Grandma’s 1000’s of letters and cards she saved for 91 years, or the boards our sons cracked in half at Karate, or the 47 miscellaneous utensils we didn’t have room for in the new kitchen, and maybe by Thanksgiving 2009, she’ll have it cleared for us!
4) “Accept the things you cannot change”
We’re very acceptant of our human flaws and frailties. We’re no spring chickens, and this situation will take a lot of freakin’ energy! We’ve accepted that we may die in this mess and be eaten by the dog once she runs out of cardboard.
5) “Your children are not your children”
They are the inheritors of the crap you leave behind. You had to deal with everybody else’s, why should they get off so easy?! (This is a plan of last resort, since our youngest son has already assured us not to be concerned. They’ll just have a big bonfire out back!)
So that’s it for now, dear readers. This new attitude buys us time to investigate genuine de-cluttering approaches and maybe even get ideas from some of your AC articles! For 2009, I wish you a happy and prolific new year! (Cue “Auld Lang Syne”)