Thursday, April 18, 2024

C. Stroup: One man’s junk is mine!

No kidding. I must get at least one card a week in the mail asking for donations. Since they are always brightly colored they’re easy to identify amongst all the junk mail and bills. I save them knowing full well I won’t be donating to all of them but I like to have options. And, besides, once I get a healthy stack I’m encouraged to start purging all nooks and crannies for all things that should go by the wayside. Usually, over the course of a year, I’ve been accumulating giveaways which I’ve tossed into various places in the garage thereby creating a plethora of new messes.

Finally, I bite the bullet and attack the garage with a vengeance, some sturdy boxes and garbage can liners as needed. But I have to be in organize mode before I begin. So I try to clear off some shelving which then creates more donations…or that’s what they appear to be. It’s quite perplexing making the decision about when an item is truly something that might be useful to someone else or just a variety of junk I should throw out.

Some cases in point: 8 empty hanging flower baskets missing the hangers. Like new – a pair of heavy duty work gloves – both for the right hand. A super thick, decorative, solid wooden cutting board with the decorative design worn beyond recognition. Perfectly perky stuffed animals that the grandkids have outgrown and the cat no longer wants anything to do with. Socks that are an exact match, mostly. Colorful, no skid socks from the hospital and ankle sport socks, with the elastic all stretched out but they will still keep one’s feet warm. And clothing OMG!

There’s some rule of thumb about if you haven’t worn it in some time frame, then it’s time to let it go. Now this is really a tough one. I have clothes taking up valuable real estate in several closets. But these aren’t just clothes! They’re memorabilia! Looking at them is like going through an old photo album and all that goes with it. Some of these treasures are things I wore before I was married and weighed 110 lbs. That was over 50 years ago! Slowly but begrudgingly I’ve managed to thin out these days’ gone by garments. But there’s always a few that manage to hide in the rear most part of the closet to be discovered the next time the donation truck rolls around.

It never fails, once I’ve consolidated all those piles into one I look back over my shoulder and am appalled at what I’ve done.

There’s one lesson I never seem to learn and that would be, don’t look back. I have a terrible habit of rummaging through the “stuff” I’ve accumulated to be taken away. After all I want to make certain I didn’t discard some one thing of definite value. Like one time part of a Halloween costume, A Cat in the Hat, was headed to the front porch. On a whim, I poked my hand up inside to discover a 4-inch black porcelain cat therein. What a shame it would have been to have given it away. Even though its tail was gone I just might need it someday.

So there you have it.
That’s why I keep things.
I can’t seem to stop.
“Cause I just never know if it’s junk or not!

C. Stroup
C. Stroup
Cindy Stroup is a Double Oak resident and has been contributing to The Cross Timbers Gazette for over 30 years. Read her column each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper.

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