Time for Spring Keeping

By Robert Smyth


pring is in the air. It is a time for renewal. It is the time when the Bear emerges from his recliner, scratches his dry skin areas, and begins foraging for BBQ. Okay, there is no Bear, it’s me. Can you imagine the documentary that would make on Animal Planet?

“It is spring as we watch a middle-aged Bear cautiously rise from his vast recliner where he has parked his keister, spending most of the winter watching sports center. With a hankering for spare ribs deep in his soul, he stretches and begins to scratch everything (some scenes may not be appropriate for our younger viewers). Wait! Out of the bedroom emerges Mrs. Bear, using foul language like “diet and exercise”. Our Bear friend makes a run for the garage where he can hide amongst the lawn tools until Mrs. Bear loses interest in searching for him and turns her attention to the Hallmark channel.”

I’d watch that. At the Smyth home, spring means we start trying to clean out and organize. Well, I try to clean out and organize while I am being told why we need to keep all our junk. I have a bad habit (or good habit depending on how you look at it) of throwing out or donating anything I have not used or went looking for in two years. This does not apply to the stuff in my garage because that’s highly valuable and you can never have too many screwdrivers or sets of pliers.

Just to give you an idea of what I deal with: we needed space in our outbuilding. The stuff that’s in there has been there for who knows how long. I expected to find ancient burials or some sort of critter had taken up residence in it. However, the fact that everything was stacked up so precariously inside probably kept them out from shear instinct for survival. This stuff migrated from my garage in hopes of leaving our premises at some point and got a seven-year layover in the outbuilding.

So, one bright Saturday morning I started stacking it up on the trailer to haul off. There were tubs of clothes that no one in my family could wear or would ever wear again, toys, old luggage, and so forth. There was even a bike rack we bought at a thrift store that never saw the back of a car which we donated back to the same thrift store. I pulled around the house and parked in the yard, at which point I was informed by Mrs. Bear that I was not to do anything until she went through everything to see what valuables I was throwing away willy-nilly.

Let me back up and say this is the farthest that I had ever gotten with this stuff leaving our house. Years past I was told to leave it alone until she could determine what we needed to keep, so I was ahead of the game at this point. The trailer sat covered in the yard for several days. When she did get to it, only a couple of things came off, which was great. I drove off so fast I left ruts the yard.

The odd thing is that the building is full again and she has not been near it. You know, maybe Mr. Bear has a hoarding problem. Nah, couldn’t be that. My stuff is cool. There are still the upstairs and downstairs closets of no return; my children’s bedrooms, which are jobs for a hazmat team; and certain sections of the garage I think Bedouins have made camp in. At least we conquered the outbuilding though, which goes down as a win for 2018. Now back to the recliner to ponder future projects.

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