A friend of mine recently dropped by telling me he was cleaning out his garage. When I asked why he replied,
“Because it’s time to let go!”
Believing I saw tears in the man’s eyes, he suddenly sneezed. Through several attempts to unclog a plugged nose Jerry told me garage dust had rekindled old allergies. I felt sorry for my pal. Not so much for his sinus problem, but for having to get rid of precious junk. I didn’t know how he could do it. I was in that exact situation several years previous.
When we moved from Alaska to Arizona, Joleen and I had lived in the same house for 34 years. Surveying my accumulation of treasure overwhelmed me. I had boxes and boxes of car parts and tools, including plastic milk crates filled with “Hot Rod” magazines. I’d kept the magazines just in case I needed to reference an article. Amazingly throughout the years I’ve never had to reference an article.
I wasn’t sure what direction to go in packing. Calling for a huge dumpster, I knew a majority of the stuff needed to disappear. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t all mine. Thankfully Joleen was in Arizona at that time with our dogs and parrots. I received many calls throughout the two week separation, with her worried about me making the wrong decisions on what to toss. I told her not to worry!
Much of the ‘stuff’ went to Salvation Army as well as Big Brothers – Big Sisters. Those folks were eager to take kitchen items including an old frying pan I deemed unusable. Thoughts of donating my precious magazine collection quickly disappeared. They were way too valuable to simply give away.
Since moving, the majority of our Home-Depot moving boxes sit unopened in a storage complex. Joleen keeps asking what did I do with this or what did I do with that? I tell her I won’t know until we open things. Right now I’m putting that project on hold as long as humanly possible. Unbeknownst to her, most of the boxes contain car parts and tools.
A couple of items she wants me to find is her wedding dress, plus an old frying pan her Grandma Schweitzer owned. I imagine that griddle was put to good use by now. I can mentally smell thick bacon frying alongside scrambled eggs. Most likely the person owning it does not realize its sentimental value.
As far as Joleen’s wedding dress goes, I do remember packing it. I placed it in a thick cardboard box with my digital torque wrench and micrometer. The problem is finding that exact box. Looking back I should have marked ‘Digital Torque Wrench’ on the container instead of tools. I could’ve used that instrument last month.
Standing in my garage drinking a Diet Pepsi, I thought of my friend Jerry and his gut-wrenching decision. Tears came to my eyes yet not the sentimental variety. Dust was especially bad that day because of the wind. Gazing at a shelf full of oil filters and oil cans an important question arose,
“When do we know it’s time to let go?”
I called Jerry intent on asking that question yet quickly changed directions. As soon as he picked up the receiver I instructed my pal,
“If you have more car parts and tools to give away, I’ll take ’em!”
* On a parting note: My wife says next time we move she’s doing the packing. I’ll be the one traveling to our new destination with pets, while she makes the important decisions on what stays and what goes. I’m okay with that as long as she carefully packs my things. Some of those electronic tools are delicate and fragile items!