Why Not Give It Away?


Four days ago it was fifteen degrees outside. Did I mention that is really cold? Consequently, I’m really confused.  If it was fifteen degrees on Saturday morning, how could it be seasonally appropriate to begin spring-cleaning the following Monday? It wasn’t as though I wasn’t forewarned.  The General mentioned that she was going to do it, but I thought she was joking.  On Sunday afternoon while we were visiting Kevin and Andrea at their home, she noticed they had empty boxes carefully stacked together to take to the recycling bin. She asked if they’d mind if she took the boxes home so she could pack things to take to Goodwill. Her reference to “taking the boxes home” was her clue for me to put the boxes in the car.  I know my rightful place and how things are supposed to work.  I put the boxes in the car.


She obviously had been thinking about it.  Earlier in the day she made some off-the-cuff reference to getting rid of a lot of stuff that we don’t use. I asked what she had in mind and she responded: “I’ve got a lot of stuff in the kitchen”.  She obviously was in a delusional state, because under normal circumstances she wouldn’t consider getting rid of any dishes or anything else in the kitchen.  In fact, I grilled her: “What about the Franciscan Desert Rose dishes?”  I purchased the set from a friend about thirty years ago following the death of his parents. The dishes had belonged to them.  Did I mention I like old stuff?  From my perspective, it is a nice set of dishes and we have a set for twelve along with a host of serving dishes.  Surely, they weren’t on her list for Goodwill? 


Yet, I don’t remember the last time we used those dishes.  Do we really need them?  The answer is “Obviously not”, since we don’t use them.  However, she needs to slow down on what she wants to part with if you ask me. She affirmed that they were not on her list for disposal.  I then asked about the Wedgewood china? No, that wasn’t on the list for Goodwill either.


The next thing I know, the General was talking out of her head. She said something about getting rid of some of the Fiesta dinnerware. “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow” was the song that immediately starting rolling around in my head. If you want to know my two cents worth and I can assure you the General doesn’t, Fiesta dinnerware is nothing but a set of dishes that don’t match.  They remind me of the rainbow song: “Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue, I can sing a rainbow…sing along with me.” 


From my sense of order, the Fiesta dinnerware is a set (a very large set) of dishes that take up a lot of room in our cabinets and they don’t match.   Trust me on this: “The General isn’t going to haul those dishes to Goodwill”.  She isn’t going to haul them to Goodwill because she likes them and we use them on a daily basis.  If you need a plate, you’ve got choices. Pick a color, any color and presto, we’ve got just what you need.  I pressed the General for more information: “What do you me by some of the Fiesta?”  She replied: “The yellow ones.  I don’t like the yellow ones.”  Do you have any idea what getting rid of the yellow dishes would do to the “I can sing a rainbow song?”  It wouldn’t work.  I wanted to say: “It’s all or nothing, but I really didn’t have a vote”.  Who knows if the yellow dishes are still in the cabinet?  I didn’t look.


Last night the General mentioned in passing that I needed to empty the trash container in the garage.  I get it. Taking out the trash is my job.  I don’t have any objections with that.  Monday isn’t a regular trash day for me.  It is usually Wednesday, but “Hey, I can be accommodating”. However, I found the assignment challenging. 


Taking out the garbage may be my job, but her job isn’t to fill the trash container up with things too heavy for me to lift.  It was a “heave-ho kind of experience for me.  I finally got the plastic bag lifted out of the trash container on the third try.  You’re probably wondering what made it so heavy.  So am I; however, once I got the bag out of the container and tied together at the top, I immediately carried it out of the garage and loaded in the back of my car to drive to the trashcan at our gate next to the road.  Whatever it was, “Kudos for her”.  She is getting rid of stuff!  Somehow the whole process is out of sync.  If she reads this blog, no offense is intended. But think about it.  It isn’t even Super Bowl Sunday yet.  Who in their right mind starts tossing stuff out of the closets and cabinets before spring?  We have a lot of winter left to deal with before spring-cleaning is seasonally appropriate.


Who knows, maybe the old gal is disorientated and confused?  I’m sorry, that didn’t sound very respectful. I should never have referred to the General as “the old gal”. That doesn’t resonate with respect, honor and a hope that I’ll live to see tomorrow.  Normal people don’t initiate spring-cleaning the second full week of January.   Just because yesterday’s outdoor temperature reached a high of 78 degrees doesn’t mean that spring-cleaning is necessary.


Yesterday morning I had breakfast with a friend. When he telephoned the night before to ask if I wanted to meet for breakfast, I intuitively thought he meant somewhere in Southwest Austin. I told him I couldn’t because I had an early morning meeting at work.  He said, “I was thinking 7:00 a.m. at Cracker Barrel in Round Rock”.  I had forgotten that he sold his home and moved to North Austin three or four years ago.


He mentioned the move while we were having breakfast.  Actually, some reference he made to his brother was the catalyst to his sharing the story.  He said: “The timing for our move was the worst possible time for me. I was very busy at work”.  He then had an “aha moment” and remembered his younger brother who lived out-of-state was temporarily between jobs.  I guess under the auspices of: “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine”, he offered to fly his brother to Austin and pay him for moving them.  Sounds like a perfect solution, right?


So my friend was busily working, content with the knowledge that his brother was managing the move.  Early in the day, he received a telephone call from his brother.  From his brother’s perspective, the reason for his initiating the call was an ethical issue.  He telephoned to say: “You’ve got too much stuff!  It’s not right for anyone to have this much stuff! You need to have a yard sale or you need to give it away.  What you don’t need is to move it.  I am not going to do it.”


Was his brother joking or was he serious?  He couldn’t have been more serious.  My friend is a “no non-sense” kind of guy and he didn’t have time to play games.  He responded, “You may be right about our having too much stuff, but now is not the time I’m going to deal with that issue. I just need you to move ALL of it.  Can you do that?”  He may have even asked the second time: “Can you do that?”


Long story short, the brother said he couldn’t do that.  Like I said, “too much stuff” was an ethical issue for him.  With so many people “living without”, the folks with “too much stuff” should be sharing with those who don’t have any stuff.  My friend cut to the chase, found someone else to move his stuff and located a place for his brother to volunteer helping people in need while he was in Austin.


The General is right.  We need to get rid of a lot of stuff that we don’t need and don’t use.  For now, I’d prefer she focus on her stuff rather than my stuff.  Like my friend, “I’ll deal with my need to part with things at a later time.”  At least I hope that is the way the scenario plays out.  “Whose to say?”  The General is in the midst of spring-cleaning.


All My Best!


Apple Computer, Inc.




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One thought on “Why Not Give It Away?”

  1. My Sally & I hate to move especially the part that entails cleaning out old unused stuff in the process. We haven’t moved for 21 years, but in the meantime, we’ve “inherited” 6 moves from others. When each of our parents died, which makes 4 and then 2 times for my older daughter. Needless to say, we still have unopened boxes from all 6 moves waiting to be inspected for “keep-sake” purposes. Now that is what I call anything I do not want Sally to discard. You should try that for your stuff. Get a black Sharpie Pen and mark all your stuff in boxes “Keep-Sake-DF” Trust me it works. Or “Until death do us part”. Don’t you like how I segue back to a previous blog post of yours? Ha Ha. BTW, did you see my suggestion for a Facebook page entitled “Carpe Diem – Finding the Adventure in the Common Place” or derivations thereof. But we use AmVets who comes once a month to our front door and hauls whatever we leave in plastic bags. Saves a lot of time loading up the call and then driving to and from Goodwill. For your nearest AmVet, try this link: http://www.amvets.org/amvets-near-you/

    Now that’s “Carpe Diem” at its best.

    Liked by 1 person

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