Saturday, August 30, 2014

Downsizing, Part Two

The Past, in Living Color

Very Important Stuff.
Stuff that none of us has looked at in years.
And this was just a small portion of it.

Downsizing. We're still at it. It's the reason I haven't done much writing for the past several months or updated this blog as often as I'd like to. This is the designated summer for the Arvey family to put some real, honest-to-goodness effort into downsizing - at least that's what we're calling the reaming out of the house of all manner of stuff we don't need any more.

We've been at it for months. Here it is, already the next-to-last day of August, and we are still going through the house. We've carefully looked into each box and every closet and drawer and bookshelf, sorting and getting rid of stuff and making some very hard choices along the way. But even with our eleven trips to the Goodwill donation station, there is still a lot of work to be done.

Today's job:  We tackled the old (and wonderful, some of it) school work and artwork from when our three kids were little ... about ten enormous boxes full! Four of us (and a few cats) spread out in the living room and started pulling papers and paintings and hand-drawn cartoons and stapled-together books one at a time out of our designated box, deciding which pieces merited saving and which were destined for the recycling truck. It was tiring, tedious work, interspersed with moments of true delight.

I found it staggering, how much there was. Apparently, we kept all of it, every assignment and drawing and book report and doodle ... all the way up to high school. For three kids. All of it.

Sarah, going through one of her many boxes. She was the homemade card queen!

Micah, considering the fate of the green spiky dinosaur he drew in the fourth grade.

Some memorable lines of dialogue captured by the writer in the room:

1: "What in the hell was I thinking when I did this?"

2: "Do you know what? I was actually pretty good."

3: "You'd have to say I was prolific, wouldn't you?" (Said while contemplating a knee-high stack of papers.)

4: "Ha! Look at this! We were just as awful then as we are now! This PROVES it!" (Accompanied by wild laughter.)

5: "Oh ... I loved this one. I have to keep this one. I'm serious. This one is going with me."

6: "I did this? I don't remember doing this." The drawing is held up to better peer at the name penciled in on the lower left corner. "Are you sure this was mine? I have no memory of it."

Just getting started...

Finding the program for her middle-school play, an exciting moment.

Smokey, with the Devil eyes!
He jumped in a box and was watching Sarah's every move as she worked on her last box of the day. I snapped this cute picture of him - and his eyes flashed just as I clicked the shutter. This is how the image turned out, for real!
I did nothing to it.

That's all for now! Tomorrow, Micah and I will haul all of the reject boxes out to the curb to be taken away by the city recycling. The chosen artworks have been neatly stashed in small, flattish boxes and returned to the basement. (Until the next time we take them out and look through them, I suppose!)

Thanks for reading!

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