Search and destroy becomes find and preserve

blog412Everywhere we turned, there was chaos.  The task before us seemed insurmountable, but it was time to roll up our sleeves and face the challenge head on.

It was a dirty job.  It was a tiring task.  It seemed like there was no end in sight.  But, we finally succeeded and conquered after two laboring days of toil.

Yep, hubby and I finally tamed the too-much stuff monster in the basement of our home.  We cleaned, we sorted, we organized, we tossed.

We managed to corral the stuff into four categories: keep and organize; haul out to the garbage for disposal; cart off to GoodWill for someone else’s use; and burn, baby, burn!

I still believe way too many items lurk in storage bins and boxes, but resting on shelves and nesting on top of each other, at least it looks manageable.  And items can be more easily found now.  Our grown-up children’s belongings are neatly stacked in boxes in areas reserved just for them.

Christmas decorations have found a new home, no more climbing up a ladder to retrieve them from the attic.  Come late spring, the basement will look even roomier when all of our deck and front porch furniture move back outside.

This task may not sound like something worthy of writing about on this ninth page of Chapter One (January 9th) in my book of Opportunity, but accomplishing it provided a chance to reflect on some food for thought.

Working side by side, hubby and I tackled the chore together, so much more enjoyable than attacking it alone.  We enjoyed the opportunity to talk as we toiled, we reminisced, we discussed, we laughed, and yes, we even disagreed.  But it felt great to complete the job as a team.

The second opportunity presented itself in boxes of memories.  Hubby discovered a forgotten box of some personal effects from his parents’ house giving him moments to remember and reminisce about his boyhood and his parents, who have been gone for many years now.

My opportunity for blessing came in the form of cherished letters written while hubby served in the military stationed on the other side of the world for a year while I, pregnant with our first child, tried to hold down the home front.  Today I read each of those letters in an effort to decide what to do with them – keep or destroy?

I decided to preserve those priceless memories written on paper, hopeful that someday our adult children (especially oldest daughter since she was born that year) may want to read them and get a glimpse at a year in the life of their parents.  Perhaps my opportunity will become their opportunity to understand how very much their parents loved one another and the struggle we endured being apart for an entire year.

So on this day, in the age of emails and text messaging, I will take the opportunity to save some good old-fashioned hand-written love letters.

©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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6 responses

    • Well, truth be told, I kept more than a box. Some things I just couldn’t part with plus I still have several boxes of my parents’ belongings that my sisters and I need to go through. But it looks soooo much better down there!

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  1. We have been doing the exact same thing today! Not sure there was much laughing going on at our house…definitely some arguing, then peace. We are tackling our kitchen drawers, after I read a professional organizer say to just throw everything out. Can’t quite do that, but made progress.
    So glad you saved your precious letters! And am so envious you have boxes for your children. Help! We need to move from kitchen to attic with great haste.

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  2. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing the link! I loved this line, “We enjoyed the opportunity to talk as we toiled, we reminisced, we discussed, we laughed, and yes, we even disagreed. But it felt great to complete the job as a team.”

    My husband and I have been married 11 years, and dating for longer, and each time we move we — after passing the initial panic — find moments like the one you described. To look back at our life together.

    I’m so happy you saved those letters. I hope you always do! And you know what? I’d love to read them, if you were ever to type them up and post about them.

    You’re a brave woman for undergoing your first pregnancy alone — as is your husband, for serving our country. My thank-yous to him. And my thanks to you for the story.

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    • I hope you and your husband always take those moments to look back at your life together. That’s such a blessing to be able to do that and I think those times as a couple looking back over what you’ve gone through together is what knits the relationship together. It kind of reminds me of putting on a cherished old sweater, it makes you feel warm, safe and secure. I may just have to dig those old letters out some day and post them. Thanks for reading and leaving such a sweet comment!

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