Every Spring I endeavor to do the customary spring cleaning. Every spring I vow to throw out the “stuff” I no longer use or need. This year (2012) has been no exception. I decided to start with my bedroom. I’m afraid if I don’t start my children might invite the television people from the “Hoarders” to pay me a visit. I’ve heard from the experts on this same television to pick one small spot and just get started, so this is what I did. The first thing I tackled was the old desk in my room that had been handmade by Fred’s grandfather, Frederick Eugene England. It’s a wonderful old piece of furniture. Looking at it from the front it looks square, but when you see the sides with the beautiful carved hearts and then open it by lifting the front up and laying it back over itself and see all the tiny cubby holes and the slide out writing top with the ancient ink stain you realize what a special item it is. I had moved this desk into my bedroom last year to make myself a special, quiet, peaceful place to write my stories, but somehow over the winter I had abused the desk and used it to lay things on until I get around to putting them away, thus the need to start my spring cleaning in this corner.
I hadn’t realized how much stuff I had stacked on top of the desk. I started by removing these items and putting them away where they belonged. Things like envelopes of pictures I am going to use in the scrapbook I’m making about Mammaw Logan’s side of the family. A number of greeting cards I have amassed over the last year that I can’t make myself throw away. There were a couple of lace doilies I had washed and ironed to use on the top of the desk itself. A pillowcase Fred embroidered for me a year ago Christmas that I’m saving for when company comes. There was a pair of panties, clean and fresh and nicely folded from the laundry I had been looking for those, I put them into their proper drawer. My mother’s beautiful lamp that you could barely see for all the other things sit on the back of the desk. There were other things like Christmas wrapping paper and pens and pencils, ribbons and stickers and this is just the things I can remember.
With the top of the desk cleared off I can now open the front, it lifts up and folds back and sits on the back of the top. That’s when you can see the ten tiny cubby holes and the two places that are for laying sheets of paper. It was like a treasure hunt. I found the little Thomas Kincaid figurine called “The Miller’s House” my sister gave me a long time ago because I love his paintings of light. I found an assortment of Gospel tracts, some poker chips with Bible verses on them a friend from work gave me that I always felt conflicted about, two Marine coasters and one Marine mug Billy gave to his grandpa when he graduated from Camp Lejeune Boot Camp. There were more photos new and old. I found an emery board with fish on it, wonder where that came from? A picture Abby colored with “Hello Kitty” stickers on it. A small envelope yellow with age with slides in it and I don’t know where it came from either, the pictures were mostly of Nina, Fred’s younger sister so we sent them to her. She was happy to get them because as the fourth child she didn’t have many pictures of herself as a baby. There were more greeting cards, several handmade by grandchildren, some postcard sized metal trays with pictures of lighthouses picked up someplace during my lighthouse phase. Copies of receipts for utilities deposits twenty years old, letters, thank you notes and miscellaneous correspondence from various times and places. This is just some of the items I found, I can’t remember them all, but I continued to sort everything out.
I put the greeting cards into a shoebox, I put the pictures and letters I found into a picture box and had Fred put these boxes on to a closet shelf. I did manage to throw away a little bit of “stuff” but not a lot, it’s hard to give up my treasures, but at least they are neater and more manageable now.
The bottom line is now I have a lovely spot to write my stories, but the truth is most of the things I write are done sitting on the couch, my feet curled up under me where I can be close to Fred just like I did before the Spring cleaning ever got started.