Mary: April 2008 Archives

Don mask, bring rake and shovel


At some time in the distant past a tsunami of paper broke over my house, filled it to the rafters, and then receded, leaving behind pools that filled every nook and cranny. Pools of bank statements, canceled checks, tax forms, pay stubs, insurance policies, disclaimers, declarations, bills and "This Is Not A Bill" notices. Owner's manuals, installation guides, guarantees. Magazines.

I commence, today, to rake out the muck. Some of the magazines will be boxed and offered, free, at the neighborhood yard sale next Saturday, just in case some fool comes along who doesn't think he owns enough magazines, or who thinks he'll have time to read them all someday--the fantasy that has kept me from dumping a collection of "American Scholar" quarterlies that dates back fifteen years. "Architectural Digest"--a gift subscription from my mother--will fill a box, every issue of "Doubletake" will fill another, and "American Indian" a third. Come one, come all.



I've begun another round of shuffling and reorganizing large amounts of stuff. As always, this involves hauling bags of clothes to the thrift shop, deciding what to sell at the upcoming neighborhood yard sale, and trying to find more space to store books. There are already 17 boxes of books stored under the stairs, and another 6 boxes in the junk room. (The junk room is aka "the workout room" because the only useful thing in it is a treadmill--it's where we put everything that has nowhere else to go.)

I've decided to turn a room that's currently used as a study into a guest bedroom. It's a small room, but, having a closet, is officially a bedroom; it just hasn't had a bed in it since we moved into this house in December of '91. I have relatives coming to stay next month, and I was one bedroom short of putting everyone up comfortably. As it is, Michael will be sleeping on the sofa in the family room, loaning his room to my brother and sister-in-law. I already have one guest bedroom--my mother sleeps there when she visits. A second-cousin whom we hope to coerce into coming will sleep in the soon-to-be-second-guest-bedroom. Both of the guest bedrooms are small, and both will have daybeds. This house was built in 1950, when houses were "cozy" compared to today's grandiose scale.

The problem with turning the study into a bedroom is that two of the walls are currently lined with bookcases. I should have room for the books in the family room if I clear all the magazines and videotapes out of the built-in bookcases, I think. So, the first step will be to buy boxes at Staples. On the way over to Staples I'll stop by the thrift store and drop off seven large shopping bags full of clothes. It's amazing how much stuff you accumulate when you live in a place for sixteen years.

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