We have to haul our own garbage from the farm, so about once a month, we carry it to the well-organized landfill in Orofino. They have to pay tonnage to have the refuse trucked away and so they remove anything that might be salvaged or disposed of in another, less costly manner. They even have a “thrift store” of sorts – “Clearmart.”
During our last visit to the landfill, I spied this plywood lumberjack. I'm not sure if this is the lumberjack that was affixed to a service station in Orofino. At any rate, years ago someone cut and painted him and he stood in the weather somewhere. The attendant said she didn’t know anything about it and seemed baffled that I would take pictures.
So it’s come to this, I thought to myself. Something that was once new and shiny has weathered and we don’t want it. We’re trying to get rid of it, and even that is difficult.
I’ve had to adjust my concept with regard to the impact of passing time. I recognize that my grandmother’s and mother’s things are valuable because of they are old, but it’s harder for me to accept as vintage the eras through which I have lived.
For instance, I donated a decorative cut glass bowl to the rummage sale last spring. Several hours into the sale, it was still there and I discovered that someone had priced it at $7.50.
“$7.50,” I exclaimed. “This was a wedding gift, one of those gift items available at a discount store.”
“Tell me,” said another worker, “what year were you married? Whisper it to me.”
So I whispered “1975.”
“Well, it was a long time ago,” she said.
Today I did another big clean out. The stuff wasn’t mine. It belonged to a little girl who came to live with us, grew up, went away, got married. Somehow her little girl stuff stayed in the drawers, and when we moved, she still didn’t want to part with it. Her bedroom suite, which was mine before it was hers, came with us to the modular home, stuff and all, and there it stayed. But something has to happen because time doesn’t stand still and life has to be lived in the now. This furniture that met the needs of young girls now needs to serve a grandmother – or move on.
The challenge is to convert this room into a sewing studio / guest room. Obviously I need shelves and drawer space, but are these the right shelves and the right drawers? We have been considering the options, but no matter what we decide, the drawers had to be cleaned out, and today was the day.
I started at Walmart where I bought storage containers. It’s interesting how they size those bins – 8 quart, 28 quart, 50 quart. How do I know how many quarts of stuff I have? I chose two 50-quart containers but wisely put one back and added a couple of smaller ones for certain collections. That worked well.
It was an afternoon’s labor of love, a trip down a memory lane in which I was a participant, an observer, an influence. But the memories themselves – some happy, some bittersweet – belong to that little girl who grew up. KW