Friday, January 1, 2010

A three pop-can job

Fifteen minutes into the new year, into '10, the beginning of the double digits of the century, or whatever else you want to call it, and all I can think is...we've survived.  And I'm not talking about the last year, though, obviously we survived that.  I'm talking about the last two days, particularly yesterday when we waited through most of it for movers to show up from the old retirement community to the new one.  Grampie slept in his chair, Thyrza wandered through the empty apartment--until we got them to go up to a guest suite and take a nap.  Finally, at about 3 PM the moving van arrived.

And then the fun began.  It took two movers, Beve, E and SK four hours to unload everything from the truck.  Have you ever heard the story about the man stuck in gridlock traffic who realized he really had to use a bathroom, but had absolutely no way to get off the freeway?  He rummaged around in his car until he found a pop can, and began using it. (By the way, I really hate this about men, I hate that this is even possible, when a woman would have no such option, would have to desert her car, ram into several others to find someplace to sit down or squat, hold it, or (gasp) let loose and clean it up later.)  Anyway, not long after this man began doing his business, he realized that he only had one popcan...and it was a three popcan job!

Well, this lovely two bedroom apartment of my in-laws is a single pop-can, and it's at least a three pop-can job.  One entire room is filled over my head with boxes.  I'm not making this up.  And I can only see about three cupboards and a small closet still empty in the entire place.  How they fit all that into their former residence, I have no earthly idea.  But I do know who will have to go through all those boxes.  Cull the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.  Yep, I definitely know that.

Once Grampie got up from his chair yesterday and looked into that room, he began shaking his head and saying, "Gosh all Friday!" (one of his favorite curse phrases).  Like the rest of us, he was completely overwhelmed.  So the start of our new year will involve Beve, the girls and I sorting boxes.  If you know anyone who needs fourteen copies of the same picture, let us know.  Or old newspapers:  all of those were packed and moved as well.  There is even a full wastepaper basket carefully boxed.  Apparently those movers didn't want to make decisions about ANYTHING!

On the way home last night, E said, "You and Dad better get a move on sorting your things.  I do NOT want to have to do that for you."  She was only barely kidding.  I get it, believe me, I do.

We all hold onto things.  Hoard them.  And I'm not talking old corks from wine bottles or plastic utensils (though those were there!).  I'm talking about the memories we think make up our lives.  Not merely the accounts we hold against others, but even the 'good-old-days' memories that we pull out whenever we think nothing will ever be the same.  We may be walking into the future, but some of us (and I'm a culprit) walk with our heads craned toward the past, holding on to everything we've done and been, like we're a homeless person pushing a grocery cart of garbage.

So in these first baby moments of the year, let's let go of what we grasp so tightly and live more simply, savoring what lies ahead.  Let's live in balance, live like we have exactly enough pop-cans for whatever job God intends for us.

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