It isn’t that river otters are unusual here, but this one is present rolling in the grass in the middle of the day. Between the bank and the ferry dock, in Rotary Park. Hoorah for otters and the Rotary, both. Otterly delightful to watch.
My sister freaks out once. “Oh, my gosh. Our parents still have boxes from their last move a decade later. What will we do when they die?”
Me: “Get a storage unit and open a box a year at Christmas for the rest of our lives.”
Her: “That could work.”
I tell my sister that we could start a magazine in response to Real Simple. “We will title it Playful Packrat.” We come from an impressive line of Packr– I mean, Collectors. Collector is honorable and respected. Packrat is, well, unfashionable. Perhaps I should title it Circumspect Collector instead. I know someone who seems to be collecting heavy equipment, which is an interesting choice. One needs more property than I have for parking.
My house would make Marie Kondo shudder. The photograph is the basement: the stack is my mother’s larger artworks. I am moving stuff around now that I am home-on-oxygen instead of running around clinic like a crazy rabbit. And like this writer, https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/maximalist-response-marie-kondo-minimalist-mandate, it ALL gives me joy. Well, ok, not the tiny ants. We are at war. My kitchen may be cluttered but by gosh it’s clean clutter because the tiny ants let me know immediately if I screw up.
Anyhow, my mother died in 2000, my sister in 2012, and my father in 2013. My parents left me their stuff and grandparent stuff, some of which I had never seen, and I still get dead people mail. The colleges and universities are the most persistent. They don’t care if someone is dead, they still mail out the Alumni Magazine. I get U of WI, Cornell, Princeton, U of Oregon, Medical College of VA, OHSU and Williston. Holy moly. U of TN and SUNY Binghamptom have lost track of us, thankfully. I wish I had kept my father’s notes on Beowulf and mailed them to Williston for their library. It would be a sort of just revenge. I still have boxes (my excuse is busy physician) so I will bet that I can find something to mail to each one of those places. Something that they want just as much as I want their Alumni Magazine. With a cover letter that says that my contribution is hidden in the documents. One dollar each.
I have too much stuff but I have now turned middle aged, that is, I am over sixty. So I now am on the downward side and decide, there needs to be outflow rather than inflow. I like my stuff but it’s time to start moving it. My mother was a prolific artist and all of the silent auctions in town will now be blessed by her art. And don’t worry, it is not awful! She has art in the Smithsonian, the National Museum of Women Artists, and a bunch of other places. See my April A to Z for details.
For my father it was books and musical instruments. I still have the guitars. I think there were twelve trumpets? A lute, a harp, a cello — the lute is in very bad shape and the others have gone to someone else and the school, respectively. Recorders, gone. I have flutes, my regular flute and then ones made out of clay, cherry, pvc pipe and bamboo, as well as a Native American flute. I am mostly playing the regular flute, Native American flute and guitar.
I am guilty of books, too. I DO want to read them all, but even if I did nothing but read for the next sixty years, I might not finish. The excuse that some are reference does not fly. Some are pure unsullied entertainment and by gosh, I am keeping those! I am not allowed to go to the book sale next week. I do have a library box but the books are not leaving at the rate they have been arriving in the last year. And it’s my fault.
Anyhow, I am enjoying my clutter. After all, we invented tables to put things on. Sometimes we do have to clear the table for the NEXT project, but no worries! There is always the floor!
Whew! I finished the AprilAtoZ blog challenge even with a wedding and not just a wedding but MY SON’S WEDDING on April 30th! Extra challenging. Two weeks before April 30th I started working on two posts a day, working backwards from the end of the alphabet and forwards from where I was. I set them to post on the appropriate days!
I have until May 7 to write a reflections post, but not today! I got home at 5 pm and it has been terribly exciting and rather complicated too. Weddings during covid turn out to be challenging, but my son and my new daughter are a delightful pair. I said that she has been a daughter for a long time now and she says that she felt like my daughter the first time that she got two pairs of wool socks in her stocking at Christmas….. That has become a family tradition.
Hooray for weddings in spite of pandemics! This one was postponed twice but is now complete! Blessings on everyone and thanks.
1. My plan is that my life should end after a half day of skiing for free at age 125 or older. 2. My wish is to ski quite brilliantly, smoothly and gracefully, though not as aggressively as at age 110 and below. 3. My plan is that other skiers will ask who that brilliant skier is and that all the lift operators will know. 4. My plan is that I will have a delicious lunch, with a glass of champagne, in a condo overlooking the slopes. 5. I plan to have a hot tub and then a massage from one of the many handsome men who flirt with me. 6. My plan is that I will sit in a comfortable leather armchair with my feet on a foot stool, while three of my male friends vie to be the one to bring me the second glass of champagne. 7. My wish is that I will not need any cosmetic surgery or false eyes or ears or teeth or joints or heart valves and will retain my spleen, teeth, gall bladder, appendix and brain in full operating order. 8. My plan is that I will not be on prescriptions, medicines, vitamins, supplements, medical foods, or nutraceuticals nor under the care of any quacks of any sort. 9. My wish is that my male flirts will all think that I am not a day over 75. 10. My wish is that I will be listening to live music, a woodwind quartet or string quartet, just dropped in to say hello, along with three of my great grandchildren, showing off their olympic ski medals, summa cum laude graduation documents, or Nobel prizes. 11. My plan is that after the quartet leaves, I will fall asleep…. 12. ….and not wake up, and that though my attendants are sad, none of them throws themselves off the balcony over the cliff and are all surprised at my true age and at the bountiful gifts I have left to each of them with proof that a long life and compounded interest have excellent results. My children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will live long and prosper as well.
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