Posts Tagged ‘junk’

The Joy of Stuff

June 9, 2016

My parent’s just sold their house so we are helping them pack. “We” meaning me and three teenagers. It reminded me of packing when my kids were one and four-years-old. I would put stuff in the box and they would take it out. I would get the whole box packed and then couldn’t locate the tape because someone was “helping” and packed it.

Yesterday we were boxing up the kitchen, Christmas pillows, vases and DVDs. My niece packed a bunch of glasses and scribbled out the old moving words from the second-time-around boxes and wrote on the box “Kitchen” and “Glasses.” Then Grandma asked my daughter to write “Fragile” on all the kitchen boxes. So she went around and scribbled out “Kitchen” and “Glasses” and wrote “Fragile.”

moving boxes

My daughter packed a bunch of Christmas pillows from a spare room closet and wrote “Christmas Pillows” on the top. Then my son came and scribbled out “Christmas” because he thought they were just regular pillows and his sister was confused.

I was ready to take away the Sharpies from everyone. I will be amazed if the boxes end up in the right places in the new house.

But everyone was HELPING!

On a more thoughtful note, moving and seeing other people’s stuff makes me ponder “stuff.” Why do we think we need it? Why do we think we can’t get rid of it? If we don’t get rid of it, who will? Why do old things seem valuable when they are simply old things? Is it sentiment? Is it fond memories? Why would anyone need to save a collection of obsolete music recordings that you can’t even listen to anymore? How many table cloths does one woman need?

There are two pack rats in our home… my husband and our littlest girl. They collect stuff and would undoubtedly be on the T.V. show Hoarders if I did not live with them.

Our daughter has a mini coat rack in her room for her bath towel and her backpack. I entered her cluttered oasis last week and spied the big round blob where the coat rack used to be. I asked what was on there. Three towels, (Why?) three backpacks, (When did that happen?) five other bags, (What the heck for?) and six purses. (Has she even used some of those… they have sequins… I doubt it.)

Throwing out my husband’s quality paraphernalia has gotten me in trouble more than once. He is out of the country right now and actually texted me to ask me not to throw anything of his away. Sheesh…. like I hadn’t thought of that already.

We are almost done with the massive-master-closet-clean-out project. It hadn’t been emptied in 12 years. Don’t judge me. (I homeschool my kids, and write, and cook, and create… I am a busy woman.) Now the closet is beautiful… you can see the carpet. There are pretty boxes on shelves, the clothes have room to breathe and are in the color order of the rainbow, but I did a lot of getting rid of in the process.

How in the blazes did all this come out of my closet?

messy room

My fabric supply left my house. It went to a home with two little budding seamstresses. I had not looked at those scraps for over two years. My scrapbooking stickers and supplies are leaving my home too. There are two little crafty princesses waiting for their new stashes.

Someone else can love the stuff that is simply taking up space in your house! Share the wealth! (Not the Bernie way. Don’t even get me started.)

Frazzled Mother Goes Ballistic at City Dump

April 4, 2008

broken tv

All I can say is, I was SO close to being that headline in tonight’s nightly news.  Thank God, I’m not.

In the middle of the night last night, when my brain full of buzzing wires was still at work, I figured out that 440 copies of my new book will be delivered here VERY SOON.  Intervention was needed in the garage to make space available.  I rounded up my strong sons and we loaded the back of the van for a trip to the dump….. an old, HUGE TV, a dead computer monitor with all the attachments, a broken sled from 1970 (made me sad… it was mine), a bike frame, another delapatated bike, a warped piece of plywood and some crutches minus the large rubber stoppers from the bottoms.

Once a month at the Phx. City sanitation transfer station (the dump) if you bring your water/sewer bill your trip is free instead of $20.  I dug out a bill from the file cabinet and we were off.  The area that surrounds our home is in the heat of roadway reconstruction.  The dump is 2 miles straight north of our home, but I had to head south for 2.5 miles first. 

I’ve only been to this transfer station once about two years ago.  I forgot that the drive up window lane is on a gigantic scale.  So I mistakenly drove up on the scale behind the guy in front of me.  The dump lady hung out the window and flapped her arm at me to get off the scale.  I s-l-o-w-l-y backed down the skinny ramp.

The guy in the white truck currently at the window was having issues…. not just crazy-woman-driver-behind-on-the-scale issues…. other issues.   Five, maybe eight-minute-long issues.  I finally backed out of my lane and went to the next lane.  Then the aforementioned white truck drove through…. and so did four other trucks behind him…. while I waited for the gentleman in the gray truck who had issues.

I eventually arrived at the window, only to be told that the water/sewer ticket in my hand was three days passed the 60 day expiration limit…. and VOID.  Bummer, dude.  I drove seven miles back home, dug through my husband’s top dresser drawer filing system and found a current ticket to the dump.  The boys and I grabbed snacks, drinks and got back in the minivan full of junk.  Another seven mile drive to the city facility…. and when I pulled up to the same window with the same nice lady….. I COULDN’T FIND MY TICKET!  I almost cried.  We searched high and low.  Nada.  The angel-lady watched us search for about five minutes (maybe this was the issue with the other men??) and she finally said, “What’s your name, honey?” 

“Linda Crosby.” 

Then she made my frazzled day by saying, “I’m so proud of you for not yelling at your kids.  You give kids something to hold and they lose it every time!  I know you made the effort and went all the way home.  You can go through this time without a water bill.”  I thanked her 27 times.  (I didn’t tell her that it was ME who left the bill at home.)

My son said to me, “I thought we were going to have to go home and come back again and I was going to stay home this time!”  I think I would’ve stayed home too!  God bless the lady at the dump.

Garage Sale gone Global, aka: Craig’s List

February 23, 2008

silk tree

Singlehandedly, I have uncovered a scheme for lonely people to interact with the outside world: post a FREE SILK TREE on Craig’s List.  The response is truly unbelievable.  Why do people need a “dusty silk tree with purple silk flowers glued in… could be removed without evidence”?  The answer is beyond my understanding. 

You may be wondering how I happened to have such a specimen.  (Don’t tell, but I HAD two.)  My husband brought them home to me, yes, from a garage sale, for our new house.  At that point they weren’t dusty.  They were just silk trees with purple flowers.  It was a good idea at the time.  But our “movin’ on up to the big house” plan didn’t materialize, and since then, our garage has been graced with their presence. 

Anyway, I was alone a few nights back and decided to post the garage trees for free on Craig’s List.  Within nanoseconds, I began receiving multiple emails from a broad cross-section of society who wanted my trees.  I simply responded to the first person.  Little did I realize that I could have made it a contest for “Best Reason for Wanting Silk Trees.”  The stories were amazing and amusing: a lady needed a non-faded tree for her patio because company was coming from out of state.  Another lady had an iguana sanctuary and the iguanas had grown so large that they were toppling their current silk trees.  A gent sent a heartfelt message about how his wife would just love the trees, and since he didn’t get a chance to celebrate Valentine’s Day, due to her illness, he would be grateful for the trees.  I was quite enjoying all the reasons people wanted them.  Their schedules were also a predominant response, caringly letting me know when they could come get the trees:  “I’ll be there at 8 a.m.” (OK, I’m not ready for social calls at 8 a.m.), or “My husband is off at 3 and he works just up the street from you”, or “I’ll be there when I can get a car”… and on and on.

The sad part was, after the 18th request for the silk trees, I decided to pull the ad, to stop the onslaught.  Well, for some unknown reason, my ad never posted to my account, so I couldn’t remove it.  I imagined hundreds of requests for purple-flowered silk trees flooding my email box.  I resorted to asking the kind tree-hungry people to tag my ad as “spam” for me.  After about two hours, thankfully it was removed.

But the interaction that occurred during those two hours was highly engaging.  One guy even sent an email in ALL CAPS that said, “I’LL GIVE YOU $20 FOR THE FREE TREES.”  :o)  I accepted.  The next morning I received another ALL CAPS email that he had experienced a “family tragedy” and was no longer able to pick up the trees.  NEXT!  The trees drove away with a lovely, elderly lady at 1:00 the next afternoon. 

If you are ever a bit bored and long to read personal emails, post a silk tree on Craig’s List.  Please send me the hilarious responses, so I can enjoy the experience again.  Heck, I might post the same picture, just to talk to my fellow neighbors again. (Don’t tell.)