• auntieclaws

Oh, Geez...Do I Hafta?

One of the banes of our existence around here in Sprawl-land is an over-abundance of stuff. We're like every other pair on earth. We accumulate, we shove it from here to there, and then when we're sick of moving it around, we swear we're going to start clearing it out. Except in our household, only one of us will part with her junk. The other one clings to it like his life depends upon inching his way back to the breaker box, skirting a couple of radiators, piles of electrical wire, and boxes. Lots and lots of boxes.

Well, we have an issue. It's called The Box Room.

Da Big Kitty, the love of my life, my partner in crime, the father of my kittens, the man of the hour (etc. etc.), got into the habit of hauling home really good boxes. In his working life, he was a commercial electrician - the guy people with complicated electronic issues needed desperately. For many years, one of his clients was a package delivery hub. The projects were numerous and he also subbed as a night time plant engineer - the guy who fixed whatever went wrong in the middle of a package sort, e.g. There were a lot of pretty awesome boxes that came into his possession. Boxes that were almost as sturdy or heavy as a wooden crate. Boxes that were just too good to get rid of. They landed in a room in our basement that I call The Box Room.

Now, to be fair, I also have had a fair amount of detritus in there. When I left teaching, I brought home 35 boxes of materials, books and what not. And then, when we renovated my art studio, I had to move everything out of the room. It landed in The Box Room. When that project was completed, I moved back that which I wanted in my studio, but left behind that which I wanted to put elsewhere. The trouble is, there weren't any elsewhere options!

When we decided to have a porch built, we also wanted it to be maintenance free, and chose Trex as the material. In order to attach a Trex deck to a house, the contractor has to drill through the brick and then affix the whatever it is to the floor joists of the house. Those joists were located in, you guessed it, The Box Room.

Da Big Kitty kind of chipped away at it enough for me to get in and deal with my junk. And I did. I had stuff that was sent to the locker, I had stuff that was integrated with the rest of my needlework supplies and stash, and I had stuff that I need to go through and deal with. That stuff landed in the studio, which means even Ivan (aka Art Cat) can't get in there without knocking over something. I was able to whittle it down and create a spot for everything that will go in the next yard sale.

But that left his stuff, and don't ya just know it but he did something to something and has been in terrific pain these last couple of weeks. He's slated for physical therapy, but the wait time is a few weeks out, yet. The clock is ticking...the city permitting people are in discussions with our contractor. EEEK!

Meanwhile, the concrete guys have come and gone and we have a great new sidewalk, steps to the driveway, and the porch guy has a concrete pad upon which will rest the bottom step of the new porch. The front yard is pretty torn up, what with a pile of stones from the part of the wall they had to tear up for the steps, and a whole lot of other mess. But, it's all good. It doesn't resolve all the junk that has come upstairs from The Box Room, however, and I now find myself in "you hafta go through and get rid of some of this, kiddo" mode. Ugh.

My niece, who is a very organized lady, recently went to Colorado to see her parental units. She has been engineering their process of going through and getting rid of. I joked that they are in the throes of Swedish Death Cleaning, but honestly, it's probably something that is just as daunting as our mess. Gone is my sister's excellent fish poacher. (Last used 40 odd years ago.) Also gone is a handy cherry pitter. (They have a cherry tree and she makes great cherry preserves.)

The collections around here amount to several sets of china, a lot of kitchenware, needlework supplies, plumbing and electrical tools and parts, seasonal decorations, photos and family stuff that no one will ever want.

And this, dear reader, is the crux of the issue we all face. Yes, Stella. You hafta.

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Cue Dean Martin singing Volare.... Da Big Kitty and Stella like bitter flavors. For Stella it is genetic - she was raised on Grandma Kate's freshly-foraged-in-our-front-yard dandelion salad, so bitter