Another Challenge Takes Flight

Clump #176:  Start Bedroom Blast Challenge; sort out electronics.

This is a post about stuck-ness in various forms.  Some readers might remember the goose with the rotating wardrobe I drive past in Strasburg, PA on visits to my mom.  During the end of winter, and what should have been spring, I had begun to worry about the goose’s clothier … the outfit hadn’t changed in weeks … maybe months?  This photo was taken a week ago, at the beginning of our last (LAST) snow.

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An End and A Beginning

Clump #171:  FINAL sorting, filing, shredding, and recycling of household paper.

Okay, folks … this is the last call.  All hidden piles of paper secretly stashed away during bouts of insecurity before guests arrive — come out into the light of day!


This is big … really, really big.  My darling younger daughter (who, you might remember, made this job manageable by sorting through the mammoth paper-glacier on her winter break) is now home for spring break and, fittingly, helped me finish the project.

In an effort to give each piece of paper a home, these were new file folder titles that my papers fell into: How-To; Possible Purchases; Spiritual/Mental First Aid; Travel; and Writing.  I have separate accordion folders for Recipes, Sheet Music, and Instruction Manuals, plus a box in the basement for “Posterity.” (I know, a deferred clump for a future day.)

Once again, the “Do” pile received some more entries.  I won’t need to wonder what to “do” for my next clumps.


Funny and ironic findings kept us laughing, like the to-do list with “bedroom piles” on the top (not crossed off, I might add) …


And a book I had ordered from Chinaberry called Clutter Busting.  I even read it, to the end.  I am much more apt to read about a problem than do something about it … until now, that is!


Another note about the egocentric sense I’ve had that my slow paper-clearing project has been synced with the insufferably long winter we’ve been enduring.  As of yesterday, I am calling that winter finished.  I say this not only because my piles of white have been eradicated or tamed into submission, but because nature is telling me spring is really coming. I drove by a small herd of cattle on the way to see my mom, and they were definitely feisty:


I couldn’t get a shot of one doing a skip and a hop, which happened several times while I watched.


I was also hearing lots of birdsong.  The animals know.


Poor, salt-sprayed roadsides are finally giving way to brown.


An old gentleman with whom my mom and I dined yesterday started a conversation, in a soft, Georgia accent, with: “Did any of you ladies ever go possum hunting when you were in high school?”  It was that kind of a spriny, spunky day.

Sorry for my (even imagined) part in prolonging this way-long white season.  We might get April-fooled by another snow, but it won’t stand a chance.  The living forces have been stirred, and there’s no turning back. 

Spring Greening

Clump #165:  Shred, recycle and file assorted papers.  Only four piles to go!

The daily paper clump was served with tea today.  (Tea and clumpet?) It was a pile of ornery things that hadn’t fit into one category … must have been put together by our cat.


I got around to reading the latest Oprah Magazine which, fittingly, was their “annual guide to clearing some space in your head, your heart, your sock drawer.”  I admit to a high degree of skepticism about such articles (as often as I buy and read them), since they usually contain little more than spiffy new things in which to store your clutter. But, I have to say, these “New Rules of De-Cluttering” made sense.


Here’s an example, Rule Number 10:


Inspired by the Oprah magazine and my green tea, above, I’m devoting another segment of pigment therapy to the color of growth: green!

Even when everything else is dying back, brilliant green moss carries on:


Where might you guess I took the photo below?  If you guessed New York City, you’d be right.  Lovely that the leaves of the forget-me-nots are heart shaped.


Incredible, the tiny buds that grow so large …


For maximum sun collection …


And in amazing variety:


In honor of our son in Norway, a Nordic god from a Montreal Botanical Garden display, whose fine antlers seem to join with the branches of the green, green trees:


After compiling these photos, the song of the day was suddenly obvious: “It’s Not So Easy Being Green” by Kermit The Frog.  Ah, it gets me every time.

But green’s the color of Spring

And green can be cool and friendly-like

And green can be big like an ocean, or important

Like a mountain, or tall like a tree …

Seasonal Journey

Clump #84: Mail card; recycle paper from study.

The greeting card, below, was one I’ve had for quite a while.  I bought it to send to two dear people we know from our Quaker Meeting who have been trying to sell their house and move.  The drawn-out process has allowed us to slip into denial that they would really leave.  But yesterday was officially their last Sunday at Meeting before taking off.  The card is made by a company called quotable cards.


My sense of loss was echoed by a great weeping cherry tree that stands outside our meeting house:


The few leaves left seemed like teardrops.

From the study, where I had recently let clutter creep back in, I pulled out a big pile of papers.  Exhibit “A” of “always some object in the way” from the greeting card quote.


Life’s journey seems easier in the Spring (the same tree earlier this year).


But even in my sad state of mind, I thrilled to the sensation of rustling through fall leaves.  “Happiness is the way.”


Ironing Deficiency

Clump #27:  Ironing pile, take two; ironing solution, take one.

This is an update on the previous post.  Yes, I vanquished the towering ironing pile of yore, but that herculean effort did not cure the underlying problem.   Articles of clothing in need of ironing quickly started attaching themselves — like barnacles — onto a chair in our bedroom.  Just reading the last sentence makes me laugh … as if I had nothing to do with the situation at all.  That naughty laundry!  Here’s a photo of the barnacle-like accumulation.  The longer ignored, the stronger it’s adherence.


When I pried the pile off, this is what the top of the chair looked like.  Crushed (fake) velvet.  Ouch.


Okay.  No further proof needed.  This is, indeed, a very bad plan, if you could call it a plan.  No more!   I am now dedicating this laundry basket to ironing, using the small but powerful talisman(men) of labels.  I love labels.  This one says: Let it be known throughout the land: the ironing pile now has a home of its own … I command!


I cleared out a little bit of cluttered closet for its new home, no longer an eyesore in the bedroom, or an impediment/detriment to furniture.


As proof that good things come to those who declutter, I found my old dictionary in a pile of books in the closet.  It was part of my going-to-college supplies … oh, about a million years ago … back when people looked things up in books, not computers.  The sight of this old friend loyally waiting beside me on my desk is a comfort.


Guess what?  While I’ve been focused indoors, Spring is busting out all over, outside.  Here’s a glimpse.  I love the one fully-open little bloomlet in this picture saying,”Wake up — time to open!” like the power of one clean spot in the clutter of a larger closet mess.


Happy Spring!