Keep or Toss – Sorting Memories

us footlocker
At 3:00 in the morning I decide to confront a certain foot locker that a year ago took two men to move from the barn to my bedroom. Until now, I did not have the nerve to open it, but I cannot lie in bed and look at it for one more moment.

I turn on a light, pry open the lid and laugh at the perfectly organized assortment of goods.

Now, the rule for this 22nd move in 34 years is to sort every last thing and either keep, toss or give away. Since I’m moving 3000 sq. ft. plus barn into 1600 sq. ft. and a shed, the 3 pile strategy is an absolute must.  But in the wee hours of the morning I am suddenly and adamantly opposed to rules.  And, it appears, I’ve developed a situational case of A.D.D. with a twist.

This is what actually happens…

I don a starched camouflaged jacket, roll up the sleeves and go in search of a bottle of wine and a sturdy glass.

I wander around with an over-sized baggie full of elaborate screws, nails and attachment thingies that appear to be 10 years old just to see if I can use them anywhere. I can’t.

I marvel at an assortment of creative weaponry to include an ancient, but recently sharpened Bolo knife and feel just a little bad ass.  Because I can.

I attempt several PT moves listed in a notepad full of handwritten lists of PT workouts. 4:00 AM Fail.

I wonder: what the hell is a brand new spring miter clamp used for in daily life?

I clip on an ammo belt full of shot gun shells (which would have been useful a few months back when two yahoos entered my yard!) and decide it’s a good O-dark-thirty look.

I am perplexed at the myriad issued green flip-pads held together with rubber bands containing notes to the kids, notes to me, meditation notes and quotes penned in the margins. The man hated to write, which is how he talked me into writing and typing hundreds of papers straight through his MS. Now I’m a little bit pissed.

Then I find a boot box stuffed with every card, letter and note I ever penned to lettersSteve dating back to 1980.

I make coffee, settle in and read every word.

When the sun comes up it finds me sitting in the middle of a circle of memories and smiling from ear to tired ear.


“The depth of the feeling continued to surprise and threaten me, but each time it hit again and I bore it…I would discover that it hadn’t washed me away.”

Lynnette Bukowski  © 2012

4 thoughts on “Keep or Toss – Sorting Memories

  1. Pingback: Keep or Toss – Sorting Memories | grace beyond grace

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