Drink coffee, very slowly.
Fortified with caffeine, stride purposefully into garage.
Stare at boxes and mounds of things, wondering where to start. Tentatively open a box. Feel relieved that it is full of what can safely be categorized as junk—notes from college classes, knick-knacks, old insurance documents. Vigorously sort junk into keep piles, junk piles (give) and junkier piles (throw).
Feel accomplished and productive.
Become engrossed in old books from childhood—Enid Blyton and L. Frank Baum books dotted with brown spots. These books are quite different from the ones Beanie reads now. Beanie’s books move faster and are written with a knowing wink and jokes that kids don’t have the context to understand—it feels like a nudge to weary parents from the authors. “I get this is tedious, but here’s something for you.” It does amuse, but also leaves me feeling slightly uncomfortable and pandered to. Enid Blyton didn’t seem to do irony, and her books were so clearly for her young readers. I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing. Sometimes I get quite tired by all the action in these modern fast movies and fast books. Because I am 1000 years old.
Pick up daughter’s doll stroller, now a faded and torn sunbleached skeleton. It’s not even nice enough to give away for free anymore. This stroller is destined for the garbage can.
Stare for a long time at the stroller. Give the fabric seat a sad and affectionate little rub.
Think about the toddler, then preschooler, then kindergartener who used this stroller to push her baby dolls all around the neighborhood.
In one of the videos I have of Beanie and her stroller, the stroller is still new and Beanie is about one-and-a-half. She’s strollering her toy monkey and best friend Owl around the family room, with her mouth wide open in an expression of joy she had all the time as a baby. No adult has that kind of pure joy. Not even Beanie does anymore. Life is complicated, even for an 8-year-old. Especially for an 8-year-old, in some ways.
This stroller cannot go in the garbage can.
This stroller will remain in the garage. I’m not throwing it out.
But we have to get rid of more stuff! We can leave some things to store here in the garage while we’re gone, but not the massive unwieldy heaps that we have now. Our future tenants will not enjoy that.
There are so many other boxes in here, full of my old things. Lots of old things. I’ve always been a bit too nostalgic, and it used to be that my nostalgia was cast upon my own childhood and memories. Now it’s cast upon my daughter’s and our family’s. As more new memories—and stuff—move in, I’ve had to let go of some of the old things.
I’d rather let go of my own old things. If I toss an old thing of mine, I can save the stroller and still be winning. Think think think.
I’ve got it—
I digitally scan a bunch of photos from my schooldays that were lying around in boxes, and stuff the paper copies in a big trash bag. I can keep the memories and throw them away at the same time! I am a genius.
Wrap the stroller in plastic, pop it in the closet. It is saved.
Head back into the house to get a snack. A well-deserved snack after a hard morning’s work.
And this is how you get rid of stuff in your garage in preparation for a move (but still end up with quite a lot of storage boxes and one broken but well-loved baby doll stroller).
Pretty Good Things:
An insane story from World War II
I’m not very well-versed—nor, to be honest, especially interested—in World War II history, but the true story of Operation Mincemeat, as told by Ben Macintyre, is so gripping it didn’t matter. Someone left it in our Little Library and I picked it up not knowing anything about this crazy plan conceived by British intelligence to fool the Nazis.
This story has all the elements of a rollicking thriller: a corpse with false papers, spies, moles, Nazis, and the man who would one day create Agent 007 James Bond but at the time was just part of the covert team executing Operation Mincemeat. Bonus that the improbable plot of this thriller actually happened.
A marital tour of misguided medicine…
…is the tagline for the medical history podcast Sawbones, hosted by Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband and podcast veteran Justin McElroy. A fascinating and funny dive into the history of medicine, one ailment at a time. Recent episodes have covered such topics as virology, naloxone, the malaria vaccine, and Havana syndrome. As well as the music of Jimmy Buffett.
Love on the Spectrum
Love on the Spectrum is a little pick-me-up of a show from Australia. People on the spectrum looking for, and sometimes finding, love. The young people featured are charming and forthright about their desire for companionship, and you really root for them. The show is on Netflix, and I recommend it for when you need to add a bit of loveliness to your day.
Non-Pro Tip of the Day
A very simple duvet tip
Button up duvet covers before you put them in the wash, so pillowcases and other smaller items don’t get wadded up in there and damp after several drying cycles. That’s it! Very simple!
Do you have any recommendations or non-pro tips? Please send. I want.
I strongly empathize on cleaning out the garage.