Today I managed to fill a large contractor bag with paper scraps that I don’t need. I started with pre-school drawings and finished with fifth grade mathematics. Two small piles on the dining room table bear closer scrutiny, possibly scanning. A huge cardboard box, now empty, has made its way to the recycle bin. Two large plastic tubs hold nothing more than flakes of grime. A few garments still fill a third, but they will go down to the big washer in the morning. Of the six containers carried upstairs by a friend on Wednesday, only two remain to be sorted.
Four down, two to go, not counting the fifteen still weighing down the basement shelves.
I sift through the piles on the table, maybe 10% of the lot. Here a drawing; there a certificate; in this folder, letters from a long-dead aunt. I come across a faded copy of a Star Magazine, Christmas 2008: Letters to Santa Claus from area residents. I’m sure that I must have written one. When I find it, I cannot help but smile.
My scanner will get a lot of use before I finish this purge. I’ve shed a few tears. I’ve taken some snaps with my phone and texted them to my son. It’s slow going, but I’m not complaining. I had my share of sorrows, but I didn’t box those — not many, at least. These bins hold pleasant memories. I take my time.
It’s evening on the twenty-ninth day of the forty-third month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.