0600 This morning I crawled out of bed and while waiting to die from the cold, I drank my two glasses of lemon water and took my handful of pills. Just before I died, I managed to pull my long-johns on and get my hoodie over my head. That seemed to put a hold on the grim reaper for another day and I layered another sweatshirt and my winter jacket and opened the front door.
Wet snow was sticking to the street as I walked out of the driveway and northward toward Audrey’s house. The trellis was barren of leaves now but laden with snow from three days of the stuff falling and the fresh covering this morning. The ball cap that says, “Give me that old timer’s Religion” was pulled down over my eyes under the hoodie and my head was down against the light wind. It was about then that I realized something. Very soon, I was going to be taking my last walk around the neighborhood! How would I do at letting go?
We spent the day going through stuff again. Pricing, organizing, moving it around. Kathy’s friend Julie spent the day helping. I spent most of the day just staying out of the way. Every now and then something had to be moved and I would be called upon. Then there was one period when I took the initiative and did something.
About a week ago I had cleaned stuff out of the front part of the attic area and lugged many boxes and bags down the stairs where the girls labored feverishly organizing it all in the living room making neat little pathways for our clientele to traipse through seeking some treasure to purchase. They had done a great job! It really looked as though it was pretty well organized. Now, I was taking the initiative!
When men take the initiative around the house, all too frequently it doesn’t turn out well. Such was the case today! In the front of the attic, where my “Man Cave” was, there is plush blue carpet. When I had finished the other day, I hauled the Oreck up the stairs and vacuumed the entire area leaving those neat little “V” patterns that the professionals leave. It looked really nice! Today, I worked on the middle section of the attic.
To get to the middle section one must enter through the “Man Cave” and egress in the same manner carrying whatever trash or treasure there may be hiding in the innermost caverns on the middle section of the attic. You may be astute enough to see a problem!
I moved the boxes that were left in the middle section out to the beautiful blue plush carpet! All 7, 397 boxes!! Well, it seemed like 7,397 boxes! And they were all dirty. And, they were all over my clean carpet with the nice “V” patterns! I know what your thinking! Why didn’t he do the middle part of the attic first? The answer is really quite simple! It’s a man thing!
I began moving the 7,397 boxes, maybe more, but then, maybe less, down the stairs. Now because the place is all organized for the sale, there was really no place to put them except, – in the living room! In all those neat little pathways the ladies had for the household salers, we now had 7,397 boxes of musty, dirty old books and various other sundry things that we discovered were of little of no value to anyone, including me. But the books…!
Do you know what it’s like to throw away a book? I mean books have a strip of psychological Velcro up their spine that simply attaches to your hands! I quickly looked into some of the boxes. Spear, Venden, Smith! Authors, perhaps unknown to most, but not to me! And Bibles! How can you throw a bible away! So, the cover and the paper is disintegrating! It’s a Bible!! How can you just cast it away?
Then I remembered what we were trying to accomplish. Our little home in Florida is already furnished. I have a bookcase there with some of my favorites in it. My poetry is there! Whittier, Longfellow and some of the other bards that I love to read. Besides, now I have the computer – and the Kindle. But there’s still something about a book! Turning the pages – discovering what’s on the next one – seeing what’s just around the bend!
But the little voice inside my head was saying, “Let it go!”
I opened the hatch on the van and began carrying the 7 or 8, maybe more, maybe less, boxes of books out and loading them into the back. We made a tour to the landfill and gave the books away.
Now someone is saying, why didn’t you give them to someone else – or to the library?
Well, I suppose, under normal circumstances, I could have! But these were not normal circumstances. You see, when we vacate the house for the winter and go to Florida, it seems that there is a family that senses that we have gone and they have been known to squat in our house. A family of Red Squirrels. I love the little critters, but they surely do make a mess of my books, what with all their black walnuts! No, it was time to let go.
Letting go is not easy. I’m reminded of a text in the Bible. One of the Bibles that I threw away. I suppose it’s in your Bible, too. It’s in Matthew 6:19,20: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
So, as hard as it may be, it’s a time for letting go.