Thursday, June 4, 2009

One Man's Trash?

The house was so warm when I woke up this morning (72 degrees inside and 62 degrees outside). After opening up some of the windows, closing shades on the others, and turning on the fans I was too jittery to sit so I cleaned the kitchen. Did the dishes, cleaned the counter, and wiped down the ledge above the kitchen sink. This is no small task because I have it covered with knick-knacks, clutter, whatever you want to call them. My dad called them dust collectors and they are. They may be a jumbled assortment of odds and ends to other people (you couldn't call it a collection really) but they are really reminders of people and places that are important to me. There's an amber glass that sat on the kitchen window ledge at my mother-in-law's house in Spokane. Rose has been gone almost two years now, and when I look at the glass I can picture her kitchen with the green and white wallpaper and the border of cafe scenes done in pink and green. I can imagine the smell of rising heat and pine sap from the back yard. I have a small Sea World mug that Lisa bought on the trip she took to California with Anne and her grandma and grandpa. I had given the girls matching backpacks to take on their trip filled with lip gloss, fingernail polish, and some spending money. There's a ceramic owl that belonged to Jean, my sister-in-law's mom who died from cancer almost ten years ago. The owl sits on the tin Paul and I purchased in San Francisco. The tin is packed with almost every slip of paper we've removed from a fortune cookie. I have little "presents" stored in a bowl: Pat's lost marble, Kevin's arrowhead, the glass beads that Lisa made me, and the crystal stopper from a bottle of Austrian wine that so fascinated Paul (there was no cork, just the stopper). The Asian spoon that holds my ring while I do the dishes. The glass heart bought on our trip to Canon Beach where we celebrated my 40th birthday. The bottle opener Paul won at The Red Hot. The button I wore as a delegate during the 2008 State Democratic Convention.

Knick-knacks, clutter, dust collectors, whatever you want to call them they are certainly not junk. They're reminders that I've lived a good life, I've known good people, and every day I remember.

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