Monday, August 3, 2015

What Are You Storing Up?

Did July really just happen?

In all of its sizzling 31 days, or any of its bleary 744 hours, or at least a few of the fast fading 44,640 minutes on this one reeling planet earth –what even took place?

There was definitely the heartbreaking, the happy, and the mundane.

The one thing I do remember, is that we cleaned the garage.

It was the last day of JQ’s vacation. 

The temperature had steadily climbed into the upper 90’s without even a whisper of breeze. 

And..... we began late in the morning, to do what could have easily been a three day project.

Every part of that was just wrong.

My idea was to empty the garage and only return the things we really, really, really wanted or maybe even needed. I'd seen it on a blog post, complete with photos, and it was darling. One rake, one basketball and two boxes of Christmas decorations. Hey! We don't even have a basketball!

Maybe. Completely. Unrealistic. 

His idea was to tidy up a bit. (As in, sweep around the edges of all the stuff that was keeping us from getting the car into the garage.)

We met somewhere in the middle of our mess. 

Once we got started, we had to keep going –just because. 

Because the smell of dead mice promised us, this was way past needing to be done. 

Because it didn't take long for a decade of dust to mix in with beads of sweat and cement our clothes to our skin and we knew this was not something we wanted to repeat for days.

So we went and borrowed our trailer back and began to carefully, thoughtfully, sort things. 

After another hour had passed, we were heaving things onto the flat bed as fast as we could move.  

The last place to tackle was the attic. We were both pretty sure –at least there– we would find some treasures.

Indeed there were mementos dating back over three decades. 

As if we had planted an odd time capsule of sorts, nestled in between the rafters and insulation, we uncovered long forgotten Christmas d├ęcor with lights that only half lit up and 32 boxes of files, each representing a year of life lived. 


There were cards offering congratulations when the oldest children were born. All I can say is, "Hallmark, you've come a long way." 

There was a bag of moth-eaten items I thought one of the girls would certainly adore, a sampling of when she was an infant. She must have been our favorite since there were zero bags of half eaten clothing to offer the other two children. 

And the big find, a box of our wedding decorations. Too bad cake toppers with grey-ish fading lace and beads are no longer in style. And no, I don't want to put something mice have nested in on a cake for our anniversary.  

The elements of time, heat, and a few random mice were not kind to our stuff. They've all conspired to take a toll on much of what we had counted important enough to store.

Without a doubt the saddest find was one cardboard box which contained newspaper articles, metals and awards, all representing my husband's younger years. A single hail storm resulted in one small hole in the roof. Even though the hole was quickly found and repaired, it allowed enough moisture to cause mold and mildew. 

So we dedicate a few moments of silent remorse and then began peeling away the pieces left of a scrap book and photo album. We talked about his hair, races he had run and record breaking times that marked an impressive athletic career. 

But even that has now faded with time. 

The hair. The mustache. In high school. My guy. 

Homemade wood items, cards, photos, ribbons from horse shows....... Just no.

So many more of these....what was I thinking..... I could deduct electric bills?

I think the children will love these in their homes.

I know....Awwwww! You can't see the bad parts. Trust me.

It was such a good reminder that this world and all that's in it….well.... it's perishing. 

All the stuff. All of it.    

Every single thing we spend our money, energy and time doing and buying, dusting, and storing up –it just won’t last. 

As a result of our massive garage cleaning day, the local landfill received another trailer full of trash that we had been storing as if it were valuable enough to take up square footage instead of our car.

The thrift store employee wasn’t even smiling as we unloaded boxes and boxes of stuff that had been safely stowed in plastic tubs for years. 

My own children were too polite to refuse the few things I dropped off to their homes. Possibly one of the few real treasures that was unearthed was a broken nylon rope. Our soon to be seven-year-old grandson, was thrilled we had hung on to it all these years. He probably plans on tying up his siblings.

The serious truth is, everything around us is fading, spoiling, diminishing and aging. 

Our garage looks nothing like the blog post photos I had envisioned our project resulting in. However
it has spurred us on in the process of decluttering and letting go of things that will not serve us well in this lifetime.

So, July may be gone, but at least we were able to see it rush out the door, along with some items that we no longer needed to hang onto.

There is just something freeing about less clutter and stuff that makes me think August is going to be amazing.

What are you storing up?


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© Rhonda Quaney