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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I want you all to know that I finally cleaned my yard up. One of my first blogs was about all the precious piles of crap my yard has been storing. And Sunday, when it wasn’t looking, I sneaked outside and dragged it all to the curb.

It all started Saturday night when we went a-visiting. Our friends just bought a new house so we brought them a bird feeder.

Why do we always refer to it as ‘buying a new house’, unless it is in fact, brand new. Now I know that theirs was not just built that day, so it is actually an old house, or at the very least, a used house. Or if you’re BMW, a certified pre-owned house (although I guess certified would mean that the termites the house came must have been an oversight).

But anyway, all the work they had done had inspired me to go home and kick my house in the butt. I didn’t exactly run to Home Depot and buy a new medicine cabinet or anything crazy like that, after all, one day we will remodel the bathroom and I will want to pick the medicine cabinet out then, not now. And I didn’t exactly slap anymore drywall up in the family room, or crack open a fresh bucket of paint and give a wall a makeover, but I did clean my yard. And my yard now looks brand spank’ in new.

I now have a mountain of crap on the curb. I have no idea if the garbage men will take any of it. I hope the case of beer we bought them a few years ago still holds some value, but if it doesn’t, at least the stuff is one huge pile on the curb instead of several small ones in my yard.

The bottom layer consists of 5 or 6 bundles of carpet and one 15-year-old microwave. The second layer is made up of a decrepit grill stand (the grill itself is still useable and is now balancing on top of the radiator underneath the kitchen window. Okay, so maybe I am a pack rat, but at least I have ½ of a grill I can use as opposed to no grill at all.) Then there’s a broken law mower somewhere in there, and a couple bags of weeds, oh, and three garbage cans full of pink curtains. Don’t ask me why they are all pink. Someone gave them to me that way, and that is why they are in the garbage. If I had been more organized, I would have given them to the Good Will, but I left them outside and now they are pink trash.

Then I made my way inside, did the dishes, and then started bringing boxes of Christmas stuff and other junk up to the attic. The attic itself is a whole other project for a whole other day. So right now, I will just make that job worse by piling more shit in it.

Notice how all my things, garbage or not, seemed to be referred to as junk, or stuff, or shit, or crap. Could it be that I don't really want any of this stuff, er, crap... okay, shit???

The biggest task was a huge box in the family stuffed with a 7’ artificial Xmas tree. Earl said it was toooo big to fit up the attic stairs. But today, while he rested his weary head and slept the afternoon away in slumber land, I was determined to make that box fit up the attic stairs. But first, I had to drag, or pull, or drag and pull that box up the hallway stairs. Of course, the box had to start ripping. But one step at a time, with knee in side of box and nails dug into cardboard, I got it up to the attic door. That is where I was going to leave it too. But something in me wasn’t happy with walking away with just that. Probably because I knew if I didn’t continue on, that box would sit there until next Christmas, which in all fairness wouldn’t be such a bad thing. At least I would only have to drag it down one flight of stairs.

I opened the attic door, and I’ll be… it was going to fit. Using the same kneeing and fingernail method, we, or rather me and the box, made it up to the top.

Of course, opening the door attracted all three cats, who almost knocked me down trying to get up the stairs. The attic to them is a wonderful, exciting place full of amazing adventures, and is constantly guarded by a huge locked gate. Magic words and secret knocks won’t open it. Only when the gatekeeper allows the door to open do they get to enter. So I left the door ajar for them to decide when they were finished investigating the hidden secrets at the top of the world.

Boy does it feel good to have all that taken care of - finally. I can walk across my yard and enjoy the clutter less effect that comes from throwing everything in sight away. I can walk into my house and know I don’t have December junk still hanging around. Everything on my list (for that day) - done…

Well, except for about a hundred loads of laundry to do, but I HATE laundry so that can wait. It’s not the washing thing, it’s not the drying thing (unless I have to hang stuff), it’s not even so much the folding thing. I can watch TV while I do that. It’s the putting away thing. Perhaps I just have too many clothes because they don’t ever fit in the drawers the way they should. And even worse than finding room is having to carry the basket upstairs. Good thing the laundry machines are in my kitchen. What if they were in the basement and I had to travel up two flights of stairs – like probably most of America does. OH! Or what if I had to use a laundry mat! I’d just throw my clothes away once they got dirty and buy new ones. I hate laundry mats. What a boring waste of a day. I’d rather clean my toilet than deal with laundry, although I do rather enjoy adding the Downy ball to make everything smell fresh and clean like Lavender and Jasmine. But it’s all such a never-ending process – you can’t win. It’s like doing the dishes. You clean ‘em all up, and by the end of the day, there’s another pile waiting for you to do again.

But every little chore you get done counts, right? Even if it’s a small amount, it had to be done. Even the tiniest, littlest jobs - they all make a difference in the end. No matter how insignificant something may seem, it still has to happen, you still have to get past it to get to the next thing.

- Like, you can’t get to the party without walking across that crack in the sidewalk. It’s a tiny crack, but without crossing it, you’re stuck in the same spot. You can go around it, even go a whole block around it, but you are still crossing it's path.

Sorry, just one of those genius philosophies I came up with one day when I was out walking.