Aug. 4th, 2014

volksdragon: (Wiley)
I spent probably 8 hours over the weekend getting stuff out of the basement, and some of that with the wife cleaning out the pantry in preparation for The Move. We have exactly one month from today until the movers show up and we start a new phase of our life, living (back) in the city of Boston.

Most of the time I spent in the basement was going through boxes and boxes of STUFF I had been saving, some of which I had boxed up even before our previous move (13 years ago) into this house, and some of which had never been opened. Some of them had been ruined due to a water-heater blow out a few years ago, and most of the contents of those had been ruined.
Those of you who don't know, it's important to know that my personality is one of, "save that, it might be useful one day or I might want to play with/use/see it again." That extended to computers and computer parts, clothes, toys, gadgets, wires and cables from tech stuff I owned (or had once owned), even beer bottles from when I was brewing beer. Our basement was pretty chock-full of STUFF. Books from College courses we had taken were stored down there. Old appliances we hadn't yet decided to get rid of.
Some stuff was easy to get rid of: The College books are almost 20 years out of date, and of no real use to anyone, so out they went. Beer bottles and other bottles went into the recycling. Old computers, I finally admitted to myself I am going to do nothing with, and so out they went. They'll be put out for the pickers to hopefully take them, and if not, they'll go to a recycler. The monitors I have will go to Stapes, who will recycle them. I got rid of a pile of network, modem, video, sound and other kinds of computer cards. I had already recycled the huge pile of computer cables I had sitting around, and more of those went out to join them. We sorted through bags of shells and rocks we had collected on various vacations, and kept a select few to remind us of the places we'd been to, but chucked the rest out into the corner of the yard for folks to reuse them later on.
The hard stuff for me was the more personal stuff, school papers, things like that. I am keeping letters and pictures and writing that I did in school at various times, but I sometimes had multiple copies of things I was involved in ('Zines, poem collections, etc) and I winnowed everything down to a single copy of all the things. I also discovered the numerous envelopes that my mother had given to me containing the history of the financial aid situation for me when I was in College. Looking through these documents, I learned that my grandfather had loaned us the money for the application to Clark, so we could apply on time. I found out how close I was to not being able to continue College in my junior year due to financial hardship. I found the application letters I had written to the admissions office, talking about my life at the age of 17-18. I found the letters from my grandparents expressing their support and relief that I had gotten into a good College. It also made me realize how much I owe to my Mom, Kate Cox, and how HARD that time must have been for her financially, even with all the financial aid I received. And after I read all of this, I kept a few of the personal letters in that bunch of documents, and I shredded the rest. All told, I probably recycled 500 pages of paper.

I kept things because I always said, "Some day I'll want to look at this stuff again when I'm older." I realized that I'm older Now, and today can be The Day. I can let a lot of this stuff go. There are still many things that are family heirlooms that I have, that I may never let go, but I feel like I'm ready to let myself become a different person now, one that isn't holding on with both hands to my past "just in case." That "just in case" was always a kind of hedge, but the life I am living now is what has grown out of all of these things I was holding on to, so I suppose that everything I've been saving is already inside of me.


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