Tuesday, November 06, 2012

talking trash

It is election day.  And I am in Oregon.

Usually, I get to watch American elections in the isolation of my little village.  But not this year.  I will be in the midst of the melee.  Waiting to see if voters are willing to soldier on or to take out the trash.

There will be no choice for me.  Taking out the trash is why I am in Oregon.

When I left here almost four years ago, I left one major task unfinished -- when I decided not to sell the Salem house before I headed south.

I had started dividing my possessions into piles: garbage, Salvation Army donations, things south-bound, things to be stored.  I stopped in mid-task once I realized I could simply ignore the hard choices -- a bit like our avoidance-prone politicians.

But the time for those choices is here.

The photograph at the top of this post is symbolic of my task.  It was a third bedroom I once used as an office -- and turned into a junk room on my trek south.

Almost everyone I know has a room or closet or basement or garage devoted to the memorialization of things that should be gone, but we do not have the moral courage to rid ourselves of.

This morning I will start in the office.  I already have a good idea what I am facing.  Almost everything is going to head to the dumpster.

Books are going to be the greatest burden.  Each book means something to my life.  But I seldom look at them these days.  And the Mexican coast would not be kind to them.  Even if I could get them there.

So far, I am not certain where a good home for them will be.

You will notice the lack of one category in my decision tree.  There will be no estate sale.  No lawn sale.  No garage sale.  No eBay account.

Even though I have a lot of items that have a respectable value (such as Roadway programs signed by stars), I do not have time to be an entrepreneur of collectibles.  I will leave that to the Salvation Army.
So, early this morning, I will start sorting and tossing.

And the voters?  They will make their own decisions.


ken kushnir said...

I can't believe that it's been four years, man time goes by fast!
At least you have disconnected yourself from most of the items, since you haven't use or needed them, the decision to toss them gets easier and easier as the pile diminishes on one side.
 It's hard to give up memories, the functionality of stuff like the huge CRT monitor that you paid a pretty penny for is gone, if only we had the ability to toss the stuff immediately upon extinguishing the power for the last time.

I have a storage unit still in California that I pay decent money on monthly, for the years that I have had it, I could have replaced everything in there twice.....

My next project when we return next time, possibly the last....

Enjoy your memories, but look forward to new experiences as soon as the escrow closes...

I assume that you have shelved the notion of purchasing house A, B or C at this point? Looks like your highlands trip rattled  your sensibilities?

barbara eckrote said...

Thank goodness I did that before I left Houston!  Three giant garage sales, sale of all my furniture mostly to friends.  And headed out with very little in the back of 2 pickup trucks.  What a freeing feeling!  You WILL live through it and in a few years you won't even remember what you got rid of........it's all just stuff.......to weigh you down!

Marc said...

When I was clearing out my house for sale a few years ago, and getting rid of a lifetime's accumulation of books and other treasures, I thought about a lot of things, but one quote which I savored was this one from Walden:

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” 

I miss some of the possessions I got rid of, but I do not want them back.

Steve Cotton said...

One thing I thought would be hard to toss is my 40 years of correspondence.  But it is easier than I thought.

Steve Cotton said...

Having lived without all of the stiff for four years makes it far easier to give away. 

Steve Cotton said...

I doubt I will miss anything.  Sentimentality is not high on my list of personal attributes.

Steve Cotton said...

I am feeling better with each trip to the recycle bin.

sparks said...

 >>>>   Waiting to see if voters are willing to soldier on or to take out the trash.
Harsh or just vague.  Scary comment none the less.    Tomorrow will tell

Steve Cotton said...

It looks like a status quo election. And that is fine with me.  

Dean Wylo said...

"Waiting to see if voters are willing to soldier on or to take out the trash."

Take out the trash? Whoa. I thought you were bigger than a comment such as this.

Steve Cotton said...

OK.  It is a cliche. And I could have been a bit more original.  But it appears a few candidates are indeed on their way to the political dump.

Laurie Matherne said...

I have a few plastic bins in the US that house a few treasures. There are  several empty bins, too, in my mother's attic as well. I need to give to someone who needs them. Sometimes, I miss the books, but more often than not, I do not think of them. I miss my nice dishes sometimes, that I don't think are worth shipping here. Let it go. You will feel better.