Foil plates and mar­garine tubs might come in handy

Moose Jaw - - News - Joyce Wal­ter can be reached at ron­[email protected]­

Some fact-check­ing is re­quired but if mem­ory isn’t fail­ing me, one of the res­o­lu­tions I made to my­self at the be­gin­ning of 2018 was to be less of a pack-rat to show some mea­sure of the neat­ness passed down from the an­ces­tors.

It is now time to do an anal­y­sis of the suc­cess of that par­tic­u­lar res­o­lu­tion.

Ver­dict, with 1 be­ing poor and 10 be­ing be­yond ex­pec­ta­tions — I’m just lucky a mi­nus 1 wasn’t of­fered as a choice. In other words, I have failed mis­er­ably to down­size the amount of “stuff” that is deemed nec­es­sary to the smooth op­er­a­tion of the house­hold. House­mate has sug­gested my predilec­tion to sav­ing or hoard­ing ev­ery­thing that comes within my sight comes from the fact my par­ents en­dured some very poor and dif­fi­cult times and that waste not, want not men­tal­ity was passed down to me. It was one of the lessons in which I re­ceived top marks.

He might laugh at me for sav­ing what I do, but whereas my Mom would save pieces of foil for use a sec­ond time, my foil fetish is an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of foil pie plates, foil bak­ing dishes, and foil dishes suit­able for car­ry­ing to a potluck sup­per, and home again. He for­gets, in his quest to en­cour­age me to get rid of some of my col­lec­tion, that I did share dozens of pie plates with my friend, who re­turns them to me with pies — so it isn’t en­tirely my fault that my stash stays about the same size.

Plas­tic con­tain­ers have a place of hon­our in our cup­boards, and in bags down­stairs in the stor­age room. House­mate has of­fered to donate some of these con­tain­ers to wor­thy causes and lo­cal char­i­ties and I don’t hes­i­tate to of­fer some, but def­i­nitely not the mar­garine tubs, the sour cream dishes, not even the see-through bins that con­tained glazed fruits and peels. And he def­i­nitely hasn’t con­vinced me to throw out the higher-class brands of con­tain­ers like Glad and Zi­plock and Tup­per Ware. Why just be­fore Christ­mas I dug out some of those con­tain­ers and used 15 of them to make my Christ­mas pud­ding. What would I have done if I hadn’t stashed them away down­stairs? He shakes his head and walks away.

We have tow­els and face cloths and pil­low cases that each of us brought into the mar­riage and some we re­ceived as wed­ding gifts. I have a sen­ti­men­tal at­tach­ment to then, re­mem­ber­ing the names of the old friends who gifted us, and sadly, are no longer with us. Is it too much to hon­our their mem­o­ries by keep­ing a towel with a hole in the mid­dle or a dish towel on which the liq­uid em­broi­dery has faded com­pletely away?

I ad­mit our liv­ing-room is a catch-all for boxes and bags, much of it ma­te­ri­als needed up­stairs on a reg­u­lar ba­sis and brought up from the base­ment to save me from go­ing up and down the steps. Many boxes con­tain printed ma­te­ri­als and pa­pers from some or­ga­ni­za­tions to which I be­long. Even with com­put­ers and dig­i­tal ca­pa­bil­i­ties, I like to have a pa­per copy avail­able, just in case the power goes off. Cer­tainly I am some­what dis­grun­tled at my lack of down­siz­ing suc­cess and do of­fer apolo­gies to any­one who hap­pens to drop by. “Come in if you can get in,” is a com­mon phrase of­fered at the doorstep, usu­ally to peo­ple who have known us for decades and won’t be shocked to see the things I keep, and where I keep them. Oth­ers who drop by might not get off the step. And now they know why. And about the stand-up vac­uum: it is in a handy spot, act­ing as it does as a hanger for a coat or two. And if the urge to clean strikes, I don’t have to search for it or to re­mem­ber in which room it is stored.

So, have I made a sim­i­lar res­o­lu­tion to throw out stuff this new year? Per­haps. A re­port next year at this time will re­veal the full an­swer. For Moose Jaw Ex­press

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