Wifey will not like this one, but…I don’t show her my blog anyway.
We’ve lived in our current house for almost ten years. When we moved in, we brought quite a few boxes and totes full of “miscellaneous” stuff that got put into “temporary storage” in the crawlspace, cellar, etc. It’s a fairly roomy house, with four bedrooms, and, at the time, our kids still lived at home.
My wife’s a packrat by nature, and, unfortunately, so were the kids. I am not saying that none of the stuff is mine, but, proportionately, it’s about 85 percent theirs and 15 percent mine.
As mentioned, there is a crawlspace (fairly large), an unfinished basement/ laundry room, and also a bedroom-sized chamber that houses the sump pump and has a concrete floor. Suffice it to say that the crawlspace is full, from floor to ceiling, the sump pump room is about 2/3 to 3/4 full, and the laundry room is about a third full. We had to leave room for the washer and dryer. In addition, on the main living level, there is a spare bedroom that is half full of piled up stuff. I am looking at it right now, ’cause that’s where my desktop is located. Don’t even get me started on the closets, which are almost unrecognizable. Almost everything but clothes. There’s a triple dresser that has no clothes in it, and is stuffed with yarn and other miscellaneous bric-a-brac.
We have had many arguments over this in the past. My point of view is that if you have lived in a house for ten years and have never opened these boxes, then you don’t need them. That includes anything that might be “Mine”.
I’ve tried to take a reasonable approach to the clutter by offering a compromise. I volunteered to bring one box per week upstairs if we could just sort through it and see what could go to a garage sale, or be dumped. I estimate that would take approximately two years. No deal. Don’t touch my stuff. I have plans for it….I’m going to use it….etc. etc.
I have sometimes gotten a little nasty and said that I didn’t want to live like this any more. No effect. Just coldness and silence for a day or two.
It’s just the two of us here now. Whatever fortune we have amassed is tied up in this house, which we could sell and downsize. Both of us have worked between 40 and 50 years, and have never taken what I would call a nice long holiday. I’m retired, and my wife is still working. She vows to complete 30 years with her company. Eighteen months to go. No shame there.
Today, I took a very daring step. I cleaned out EVERYTHING from the crawlspace and piled it in the downstairs living room for quick and easy access and sorting. When she comes home tonight there are likely to be a few unpleasant words. But, I am tired. Just tired of seeing the rest of our lives stretched out in a straight predictable line amongst all this stuff, sitting and looking at each other every night while watching the boob tube. Time for a change. Time to lighten the load. Time to take a holiday. Time for her to retire too.
After spending last Saturday in hospital, it was a bit of a chore to accomplish what I did today. Blood pressure and heartrate are up as I write this, and they’ll likely peak again tonight.
But I am tired.
to be continued……
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.