Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I watch my granddaughter today as she runs, in shorts and a t-shirt, arms spread wide as if flying through the school yard. This is one of our first wonderful days of spring.

And I recall that I'd compared the deliciousness of that feeling to how it feels to free oneself of the junk that weighs us down in our homes.  That as I dispose of books and .... stuff ... that I feel this lightness. Air and sun on skin ... freedom. 

I watch her run, so magnificently free, and take it in as my reward for the difficult work I'm doing to simplify.  It is so totally worth it.  

Take it from a 10-year-old. Life is running unencumbered in the sun. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Feeding the gaping maw of the beast

I have been feeding the beast.  The 'gaping maw', as an expression from my childhood of anything that voraciously gobbled anything in its path.

The beast?  A future garage sale filled with all the detritus of unneeded stuff that we have collected.  The extra pie pans. A cute box.  An antique milk bottle. Clothes we no longer use. Glasses and cups. Candles that have sat for years, un-lit (or, lit briefly).  Pitchers. Books. Recipe books.  Baskets.

The maw?  My cardboard boxes that sit ready for me to put my future garage-sale finds.  And it is so magnificently freeing, to be able to see something useless and to just make it go away.  Poof - it's banished. Into a box that sits ready, waiting to be fed, and never to be stressed over (or dusted or moved or packed) again.

I now have cupboards that are mostly bare.  I can find the things I actually choose to retain.  And the house will sell so much better with spacious cupboards and closets.

Of course, my garage is stuffed with all this future-sale stuff.  I truly dread the sale, but love the results.


Only keep what is truly wanted, truly useful.

My friends the Santizos got down to one suitcase each.  My friend Irene has a single extra coffee cup for any guests that come, period; otherwise, she just has one dish, one cup, one glass etc.  It's not that there is anything really wrong with having more than is needed.  It's just that excess works against our present goals of being mobile, of having the potential to move at a (virtual) moment's notice.

It's simple.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Slogging through it all...

During this past six weeks since returning from our Peru/Bolivia trip, my time has been overwhelmed with caring for my mother.  She had to be moved to a nursing home, then after their miserable care for her, we moved her a second time about ten days ago.  During that time I've been sick ... and trying to stay active in my ministry ... then sick... eeks, behind in everything now.  But my mother is now settled in an excellent situation, and I can turn back to my priorities.

I've been working in the office, and achieved a lot.  But the office has been the most difficult for us.  We have so many papers that need decisions - keep? trash? shred?  Some are business papers, some are sentimental, like old vacation memories.  I'm trying to get rid of 90%, and just keep a few things that capture the memory of the trip.

I went through boxes and boxes of old photos. It was amazing, how many photos of flowers blooming I had.  And it told me, again and again, that it truly is only photos with PEOPLE in them that matter, really.  Even vacation photos of beautiful lakes, mountains - they are lovely, but meaningless.  I can see even better photos in books or in the internet.  But of family or friends - those are treasured.  I will scan them and then decide - pitch? store?

We also had boxes of old 8mm video.  The British Museum, Paris, Alaska.  I pitched them all.  (Just writing that gives me a bit of heartache...  was I wrong?)  I kept family videos, and will see how I can get them transferred to digital media.

So, in our office we had two desks, both piled with "to-do's". I managed to get rid of one.  The other is still piled with Stuff, but I'm making progress.  Shelves are coming off the wall, and we'll paint soon.

Gotta run now.  I'm going to go through another file cabinet, to sort and pitch.