Thursday, April 28, 2011

Who Wants A Clean House?

I do, I do!

After 9 months of the renter from hell, we are finally free and clear to pay our mortgage on our own again. Uh, woo hoo...?  Yes, yes, woo hoo!  That woman was a demon and in the end, we lost $5000+ while she 'rented' from us.  So, while it's true that I'd rather have someone else paying my mortgage, I don't want to go through the hell that has been the last nine months ever again.  It is done.  We will not rent again *unless we HAVE to*.

And what does it mean for us to not have a renter?  It means moving all the stuff from my dad's basement back into the house!  It also means that my husband is making me go through each and every box, some of which were boxed from the house on Fern Creek, to decide what to keep and what to throw.  This, if you know me, is a difficult task.  I'm a 'keeper'.  I won't go so far as to say I'm a hoarder, exactly.  But, just as my husband refuses to throw (or give) away DVD's, I'm a paper-hoarder.  In going through the mountains of boxes that now fill my garage, I have discovered journals from 3rd grade, when I loves the H twins and sat in Mrs. T's room.  I have cards, postcards, and letters from people I'd forgotten about... and ones I don't even remember at all (who is Robert and why was he writing me letters?).  One discovery included a Kleenex box that I covered in wrapping paper and used to store all my letters from M, who moved away when I was in the 9th grade (the wrapping paper made it a high-quality letter box).

There are full-year notebooks from high school and college, with every test, paper and assignment that I did (I was exceptionally good in AP Psychology).   There are more journals than I ever imagined.  I have been writing for a long time.  And I apparently saved every card ever given to me, which drives my husband mad... because I still do it!  But there is a reason- someone took the time to pick out a card FOR ME, with ME in mind.  Something they thought I would find funny or meaningful or uplifting.  They (mostly) wrote a little note so I would know they were thinking of me... Cards are a big deal for me.

But I have been tossing them, left and right (not literally- I've been tossing them into the garbage bag).  I have kept a few from Mom and Dad and my grandparents, several from my sister and some from friends who are still important in my life.  I chucked notebooks and letters, though I saved all the journals.  I want to at least read through them... it's funny to look back on how dramatic I was, even at ten.  Maybe, if I'm allowed, I will compile all the journals into one.  Or I'll read through them and toss most of them.  I have always felt that, like many of the great writers, I write better when I'm sad, so a lot of the entries are depressing.  Who needs to remember that?

I have enjoyed digging through my life this past week.  It would've been better if Dave hadn't been standing over me, holding open a garbage bag the whole time... but I also know that very little would have been let go if he wasn't.  I'm not a hoarder.  But I love the memories.  One day, I might not remember which NKOTB member I was in love (that is not true, Joe- I will always remember) or who I was mad at in the 4th grade and why.  I guess that's okay, though.  I'll make new memories.  And that's fun, too.