Saturday, June 13, 2009

. . . encouraged collaborative efforts




I took care of Betsy and Joey yesterday morning. After watching the road grader and the Bobcat and the other heavy equipment work on our street, we watched the man grind the stump of the tree that fell in the garden. We counted the rings before he came, so we knew the tree was about 45 years old. While we watched that, we also dug up some worms in the garden just for fun, then let them go back to their mommies and daddies. Then all the neighbor kids came over for a while, filling up the driveway with tiny vehicles of various sorts. Then we rediscovered the paint table, and the result is the above. . . a collaboration of Joe and Betsy. Joe applied the paint, Betsy applied her newfound knowledge of making monoprints. Then lunch and then a Nana-enforced quiet time. After Dad picked them up, Nana needed a nap.


The decluttering continued. . . the trash was full this week. As I cleaned out a bathroom, I wondered why on earth I would save five shampoo bottles with just a few drips left in each. Or years-old make-up, empty bottles of bathroom cleanser, and other esoteric crap. Now I sometimes open a closet or a drawer just to enjoy the view. Next week I will tackle the pantry, also known as "Joey's office," because he likes to keep all his toys there. I need to figure out what to do with all the toys; they must be neat and tidy and stored, but still readily available for the kids. And then, the biggie, the basement/studio. I will start that next week, too; my goal is to have the house ready to put on the market by the end of the month, or whenever the street is resurfaced, whichever comes later.


In counterpoint to my decluttering, my mother-in-law was notified recently by the Secretary of State's office that my father-in-law's Aunt Olive had a safe deposit box full of stuff. Aunt Olive died a while ago, at 102, and the box was unclaimed until the Secretary of State tracked the ownership. Yesterday, she went to the Secretary of State's office to pick up two boxes of family photos, journals, diaries, letters, etc. The S of S must have thought it was a big deal, historically speaking, because there were TV and newspaper reporters there (kind of like Geraldo opening that vault?) and she was on Topeka TV and the front page of the newspaper this morning. I just wonder how Aunt Olive decided what to keep and what to throw away. Maybe if I live to be 102, I'll figure it out. Maybe someday one of my ancestors will find one of my old empty shampoo bottles in a storage locker somewhere and consider it historically significant.

8 comments:

HeartFire said...

Hi Mary,
sounds like you are doing great, moving on, decluttering stuff is a great metaphor for decluttering our minds, or it is for me. I'm doing the same thing, going thru stuff, there's so much, hard to figure why it's even there... Keep going, love that quote on a previous post from Garrison Keiler too.

self taught artist said...

i hope when i die i have nothing but the little art that didn't sell. period.

Jeane said...

love love love this painting - innocent play! - sounds like the decluttering process is starting to work its magic on you - old out, new in :)

A rambling rose said...

This really struck a cord with me - I'm deep in decluttering too ready for the house to go on the market (more about this on my blog in the next month) - feels good to get rid of STUFF doesn't it!

Jazz said...

Love the painting...

As for you aunt Olive, I'd love to read those letters and journals...

Sandra L. said...

Yes, I wonder why I save shampoo bottles or hand cream bottles with like 3 drops in them. Or products I never liked, but somehow I'm afraid to toss them (as if they have feelings). Or gifts someone gave me that I don't like, and the giver will somehow "know" I re-gifted it. Aren't humans interesting?

bailey said...

I can't tell you how often one of your wonderful pieces of art becomes my computer desktop for a little while and brings me great joy...especially when I blow that tiny picture up to big monitor size and see all the depth and texture. So, today, I decided I liked the little people's efforts, too, so THEY are on my monitor for today. I'm decluttering, too, we've added and rearranged the house and I'm NOT moving anything to some part of the house that I don't want...and everytime I carry a bag of something off to the recycle place or the dump I think of my daughter who will have one less daunting task to accomplish when I'm gone!

Lauren said...

Oh, Aunt Mary, I miss the little ones! They are very good artists, i must say. Don't they say kids take after their Nana's? :) i really don't know if they say that or not, but maybe they do? Anyhow, I always love decluttering,
makes me feel nostalgic(i never use this word correctly, so i don't know if thats really what I mean) and then when everything is clean, i don't feel as bad about laying around on the couch and doing nothing:). Happy Decluttering! Love, Lauren