Order brings a quiet reassurance that I find soothing, but only to a certain degree. If things are too neat I get the feeling that it’s an antiseptic environment. It seems a little randomness or disorder makes my world complete.
I try to keep my piles of paper, paraphernalia and half-finished projects from getting out of control. However, that seems to be more of challenge these days and I am not sure why. Lately, I have been working to gets odds and ends cleaned up and put away, but I never seem to get as far as I expect. Time seems to be in short supply and it disappears faster than I care to admit.
For example, I began cleaning out and reorganizing our storage shed on Sunday which has been a disaster since last fall (and it’s only partially my fault). It stores everything from all of my wife’s gardening supplies to sports equipment and all the miscellaneous stuff that cannot go into our house (according my wife) or stay outdoors in the rain and snow. The real reason our shed is out of control is because there is far too much stuff in that tiny enclosure. A person cannot move an item to a new location without first making room by moving something else. Therefore, the cleansing and throw-out process began in earnest on the weekend.
Since it was a solo effort as my wife conveniently became busy doing other tasks, I contemplated moving all the unimportant items out of the shed. That list included: all her gardening tools, fertilizer, peat moss, plant and soil supplements, herbicides and a mountain of flower pots, planting trays and boxes for transport. Needless to say my wife did not share my sentiments and therefore only her flower pot collection was relocated to an outdoor location.
As a result, additional cleaning and purging was required. I was forced to make some difficult decision and had to throw out an old golf cart and some clubs that are nearing antique status. Looking through the clubs that our boys left behind as their skill and game improved brought back a lot of memories. I found a FIVE iron that was almost identical to the one that came dangerously close to putting Lisa Baulkham in hospital several years ago. I can still see the look of terror in her eyes as she watched the silver head spinning toward her like a ninja throwing star.
To my surprise, grandpa’s golf club was in still intact. It is unique because grandpa used it to make the shot of the day at the old driving range. He is not much of a golfer – in fact I don’t think he has ever golfed, but that didn’t hold him back from trying. Grandpa teed the ball up high, took a mighty swing and it went up and disappeared. Unfortunately, he had swung under the ball and the resulting back spin caused it to spin upward and loop back over our heads. Not a quitter, grandpa took one more shot and it left the tee like a bullet. Unfortunately, it was 60 degrees off course. The ball struck an old piece of equipment and ricocheted back toward us at high velocity. After we all had a good laugh, grandpa called it quits before something or someone got damaged.
Snapping back to reality, I looked at the golf cart our oldest son, Jordan, had purchased with money he earned from mowing lawns and delivering newspapers. Like the clubs, it too had outlived its life expectancy and needs to be retired.
Trying to make room overhead in the storage shed was a mistake as more items fell down than went up. Fishing rods were the main offenders and they caused a cascade of memories. Our youngest son, Matthew, was always the lucky fisherman of the family. He caught a fish on the first try or when everyone else was ready to give up.
I opened a box of bicycle parts and in the maze of inner tubes and reflectors were decorations from the spokes of our daughter’s first bike. Like most young girls, Amanda liked to dress up everything, even her bicycle.
With our children grown up and moved out, it is amazing how physical items remain connected to good family memories. It’s also amazing I have not turned into a hoarder.