Tuesday, May 17, 2005

What's the Statute of Limitations on a Move?

Is it just me or does everybody go through 5+ years of wondering where things have gotten to following a move? Just today I was reminded of a tool I used frequently in a hobby that has been neglected in recent years and I realized that I have absolutely no idea where the thing is. I haven't seen it since THE MOVE.

I've spent a few spring weekends this year purging junk from the garage. There were many things that surfaced as I worked that had been in the category of "where the heck is that?" since THE MOVE. I swear, I even found a white plastic sack filled with what was essentially garbage that got moved across town rather than into the dumpster 5 years ago. But there are a lot of things that still elude me, probably packed away in a box in the back of the closet or, God forbid, resting in the storage unit a few streets over. (I'm seriously thinking of slinking off in the middle of the night and leaving that particular hellhole for someone else to clean up.)

It's been five years since my mother and I combined households. I have multiple sets of dishes, 4-5 sets of flatware, bowls out the wazoo, complete sets of pans that are tucked back in the far recesses of the cabinets, and God knows what else. Some of it I'm hoping to get cleared away in the next year. What I can't sell on EBAY, I'll donate to Goodwill, and what Goodwill doesn't want, I'll drop surreptitiously on the porches of neighbors and relatives who make the mistake of leaving town for a weekend.

But a lot of this stuff is good junk. Or things that I have a sentimental attachment to at the moment. I'm a sucker for bargains and will buy something on sale that I can forsee a future need for. I have several hobbies, some active and some on hiatus, that I have amassed materials for "one day when I have some time to do what I want". I have become something of a family archivist, storing various relics that belonged to previous generations. Someday someone else will be designated custodian, but for now I have no intention of letting these pieces of history slip away.

Anyway, I still go on regular forays into the storage shed, the storage unit and the corners of the garage, looking for that elusive "I know I had it before THE MOVE" item. But, as bad as it is, it could be worse. Have you ever watched Clean Sweep on TLC? The people at the center of this show are pitiful. I may have trouble navigating the garage, but my house doesn't look all that bad. These people can't even find their bed to sleep in, the rooms are so stacked and piled. I find it hard to understand how anyone can abide the kind of clutter that these folks have been living with before the saviors from Clean Sweep come and show them the error of their ways. But I'm really appalled at how easily they give up their personal history because the CS people say they have to. I've seen folks put their mother's paintings in the garage sale. I'll bet they wouldn't understand why I keep a pile of old Bibles (without any family history in them) tucked into a dresser drawer. Because my grandmother gave them to me, that's why. Maybe there's no good practical reason to hang on to them, but I'll do it for as long as I feel like doing it.

I'm hoping that someday I can say I've finished unpacking. I have not the faintest idea how people manage to find anything at all when they move every 3-5 years. Or maybe that's the way to keep the stuff from accumulating. Five years may not be that bad, considering we had lived in our houses a respective 12 and 28 years when we initiated THE MOVE.

On other topics, life is hectic these days. April showers may bring May flowers, but I never have the time to stop and smell anything in May. May brings statutory tax notices and a work load that just won't quit. I have a tale to tell of dollhouses and a tale to tell of family reunions, but they will have to wait for awhile. Provided I survive another May.


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