Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Happiest Days of My Life

At the behest of my daughter and her husband I have been going through my possessions which have been cluttering up their garage for the past 13 months. I was told to do this before I moved last August; but somehow I would always find something more urgent to do with my free time.

The bottom line is that I do not relish this task. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? But tomorrows tend to turn into weeks, then months and finally years.

Given the ultimatum that either I start doing this extremely unpleasant chore or having my prized possessions and keepsakes all end up in a dumpster; I chose the former. So now, every 5 days or so, I get a Rummermaid storage container to sort through. I am almost finished.

I divide the stuff into four categories. Stuff that I want ready access to. Stuff that I cannot part with, which can be sequestered into the attic (where I will probably never see it again). Stuff to be shredded. And stuff to go directly into the dumpster.

Unsurprisingly the last two categories have amounted to 60% of the stuff that I brought here with me when I moved in August 2007.

I now have a very large pile of paper that requires shredding. Two years ago my daughter gave me a shredder as a Christmas present; it was still a virgin when I moved here (at least I had taken it out of the box - I think that I had done this so that my daughter would think that I was actually using it, when she came to visit).

The trash pile was the largest. As I was going through my stuff, I wondered why I had kept some of this stuff. The were many computer and peripheral manuals including a 300 or so page DOS operating system manual and one for a Dot Matrix Printer. At least 150 Floppy Discs, a goodly amount of homemade audio cassette tapes (Fortunately I had gotten rid of my eight track tapes years before) and CD ROMs (including 5 different versions of AOL).

I saved photographs, books and other things that had a special meaning (such as items that I collected during my illustrious 4 year military career).

One of the photos that I didn’t even know that I still had, was of the first “Love of my Life” It was a professional photo probable taken for her High School Yearbook. I showed it to my daughter and she knew who it was without me uttering a word. She even remembered her name. I was impressed!

Viewing the photo reminded of a song from the early 1980’s (I associate many things and events with music). The song is by Chrissie Hynde and the PretendersBack on the Chain Gang. The lyrics that were running through my mind – “I found a picture of you; those were the happiest days of my life”.

The picture reminded me of my age of innocence; a time with very little worries or cares. It was before I ventured out into the real world. And that is why those were the “Happiest Days of My Life”.

The Beach Bum

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Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

It takes time to determine what to save and what to throw out. Stuff has to age awhile. Of course, my wife complains that she has to move sideways or serpentine in several parts of our house... so there are drawbacks associated with this method....

Congratulations (to you, your daughter and son-in-law as well) on your efforts to bring order out of chaos.

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