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Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Stuart and I went on a crash diet this weekend and lost a couple hundred pounds. Our waistlines are not trimmer but the garage is no longer stuffed to the gills. It had to be done. Especially after I posted a picture of the disaster for all the world to see. It's one thing to admit that I'm a slacker. But what if somebody sent me an e-mail a month from now and asked, "Do the kids still have to wrestle with painting equipment and footstools to get at their bikes?" If I had to admit that they were, what kind of mother would I be? So we cleaned the garage.

My favorite box was filled with joy sticks to a Nintendo game. We don't own Nintendo. Remote controls. Lots of them. We pushed buttons. Maybe we were turning on the ceiling fan to our last house? "Hey! Remember the TV that caught on fire. I think this was the remote that went to it."

Cordless phones without their base units. A rechargable battery. To what? More head scratching. Enough! "Tip the whole mess into this here trash bag. Ah! Now hand me the box. I've got 30 canning jars that need a better home than the bottomless cardboard box they've been in for the last year."

The back of the car is stuffed with highchairs and doll strollers and the chandalier that was hanging over our bed. (The ceiling fan that took it's place is much more enjoyable.) We hung shelves for sprays and cleaners and other man stuff. Moldy rockers and old doors are sitting on the trailer waiting to be hauled to the dump. The shop vac gobbled spiders, a whole army of spiders and egg sacs. Stuart sprayed Raid in after them for good measure.

And finally, after five years of sitting in the garage of two homes, we said good riddance a fond farewell to old stereo equipment. I'll replay the scene for you. I could write this in my sleep for it is a conversation we have had many times over the years though never with this particular ending.

"Hon, what about the tape deck, the CD player and the VCR? Do you think we still need those?"


"Well, do you? We use the computer for everything. They've been taking up storage space for five years."

"You can't play tapes on the computer."

"We don't play tapes! Every tape you've ever owned is on Rhapsody. We don't even know where the box of tapes is!"


He didn't say no! Every other time when I say "Do you think we still...." I don't even get to finish the sentence before he says,

"Yes! I'm keeping them!"

He didn't say no!

"So you think it might be time then?"

"I'm not throwing them away! They're still good."

"I know they are. I wasn't thinking of throwing them away. Can we give them away?"

"I guess."

"Do you want to help me load them up or would you rather leave while I do it?"

"You can do it. I don't want to watch."

"OK. How 'bout those speakers? I know I'm really pushing here but come on they are each the size of a midsize refrigerator.

"Umm. Umm." Silence. "Alright."

Yes! "I'll get those too then."

Stuart left to haul the paint cans to the shed and I loaded up the car. I hummed cheerily. If Stuart was humming, it was dirgelike and morose.


ValleyGirl said…
Good for you!! Someday we'll have to clean out our garage, too. I guess we always figure if we can still park the quad, the tractor, and the mini-van in there and get into/onto each of them without having to hurdle stuff, it doesn't need to be done just yet! We've got all the neat shelving, but you would not believe the stuff that's stored on those shelves!! (Well, maybe you would...)
You go, girl! Doesn't it feel good to get the garage clean? We did that this spring and just admired our handiwork for days. We fight entropy, though ... it is starting to get messy again, bit by bit. Time for a check-up!
Janelle said…
I am so proud of you! I bet you stared at your handiwork for hours admiring how clean it is. Feels good, doesn't it?
Pictures, please!

I love cleaning out junk & purging. I've been trying to tackle rooms one at a time. My bedroom closet & the garage...well, I'm not sure I want to tackle those. You're a brave woman!
Good work! :)
You are adorable. :)
Alana said…
I'm impressed you were able to get him to give away the stereo.

My husband is the same way. I'm ruthless at getting rid of things, but he thinks we'll need it later. I think if someone can use it and enjoy it NOW, then they should have it!

Here's to the person who gets the old stereo and puts it to good use!
Christin said…
WOOHOO!! I'm with you...after I dump the junk, I feel like I've lost body weight!!

I was laughing throughout the whole thing. I can soo relate.

Enjoy your new, clutter-free house. If you're anything like me, your brain will magically be clutter-free too. Who may suddenly be endowed with the ability to remember things you forgot years ago. *wink*
lori said…
Cathartic isn't it...Scott and I have had MANY of those conversations...13 moves and we have managed to "give away" most of that which plagued us....funny, but new 'stuff' seems to accumulate daily! I had a really hard time a few years back with an old couch...and a couple of speakers!:) funny you should mention those!:)

I'm going to go ask Scott now if he remembers THAT couch..:)
I am humming !;)
Sarah Markley said…
Oh - the whole thing about the speakers...we have some. They are still there. They haven't been inside the house in 6 years. My husband got them when we were dating probably 14 years ago and cannot part with them. This is way too funny (and familliar!).

That is great! That is the kind of crash diet I can live with!
Love ya!
Mary@notbefore7 said…
Good for you all! What a weekend of accomplishment - I just love that feeling!

My hubby has some of the same "challenges" when parting with "his stuff".
Great article. Your writing has sharpened well. Isn't it amazing what regular for-publication writing does to our craft? I enjoy reading your work.
who cares about fitting into your skinny jeans?!?!?

a clean garage makes me reeeeeeeally happy...that and no dishes in the sink and no dirty clothes in the hamper...ahhhh BLISS!

it's the simple things...

Jennifer said…
I sure would love to see a picture of that "new" garage! We don't have a basement or much attic space, so "purge" is the word. We do it whenever we find the garage shelves full again. I like to see empty spots here and there! Ah, yes, it does feel good.

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