E is gone for the extended weekend on the annual camping trip with his buddies and I have the house to myself. I sleep in the middle of the bed. I cull books for resale. I putter. I watch movies I think he would not enjoy so much.
It’s not that I’m not invited. I always am. It’s just that my idea of the nature experience is quiet and solitude. These words are foreign to E and his friends with their noisy dirt bikes and campers. Not that I’m much of a camper myself. But I do like quiet when I’m out in the woods.
Yesterday I spent some time hunched over in the attic. Over the years I’ve fought my own packrat tendencies. Still I managed to collect several boxes of junk. Do I really need to keep every canceled check I’ve ever written? The conclusion is no. Down from the attic came all but the last ten years’ financial records. Down came samples of production art. Down came meaningless junk I’ve accumulated. Divers detritus went into the Goodwill box, the recycling box or the fire box.
The criteria are:
- Is it beautiful?
- Is it useful?
- Does it have sentimental value?
- Does it have intrinsic value?
I feel we have too much junk. If we ever move it will be a nightmare.
E is worse than me. He has an almost pathological need to keep every single item, no matter how worthless, that has ever passed into his hands. Actually he had a breakthrough the other day. He culled several shirts that were beyond redemption and gave me permission to through them into the trash.