Sunday, May 20, 2007

Junk, Empathy, and Sadness

There were big happenin's this weekend in Stimeyland. Some good, one sad, some trivial, all of them exhausting.

Jack and His Desire to Write on Everything But Paper: We'll start with the trivial. Jack can make letters on paper, but trying to get him to do it is like pushing a rhinoceros through a cat door. He doesn't like to hold a pen or pencil or marker the way you have to to make it easy to write, so, consequently, writing is really hard for him. He likes to paint letters sometimes. And sometimes he'll write in unexpected places. Please notice that if his leg is straight, the "A" is no longer an "A".

Yard Sales—Or, Watching Strangers Rifle Through Your Stuff: We had our very first yard sale this weekend in Stimeyland. Our whole neighborhood participated, but honestly we could have stocked each neighbor with a good-size sale and still have had enough left for us. We, the Stimeys, own a surprising amount of crap. (Or not so surprising, if you know us.)

We did well, but at the end of the day, we had enough stuff left over to start anew with another large yard sale. By two o'clock I was practically flagging people down on the street to see if they wanted a free couch. My goal with this sale was not so much to make money, but to get shit out of our garage and home. I wish I'd thought to take a before and after picture of said garage, because, my God, it would have been impressive. Everything that wasn't sold either is going to charity or the dump. I am SO thrilled.

The Less Profitable Way to Get Rid of Your Crap: I'm not going to go into the difficulties in actually transporting the stuff there, but quite a few of our former possessions made their way to the dump today. We may not have made money on the stuff I threw away there, but at least they don't charge you to throw things away, like the Oakland, Calif., dump does. They weigh your car on the way in and weigh your car on the way out and make you pay for the difference. Alex and I had many fun experiences there. Hey, Alex, remember the time I was, like, six months pregnant and you made me help you toss a U-haul full of cinderblocks and bricks into the trash pile, making me late for my late shift at work, and thus eliminating time for me to eat dinner before I had to spend four hours taking care of 60 dogs?


I expected to feel a lot of satisfaction by throwing all of this stuff away, but mostly I felt sort of wasteful and ashamed that we had all of this trash that we were just tossing away. I've been working on buying fewer things (for lots of reasons), but this weekend made me really feel the need to step away from the consumer cycle for awhile.

The Sad: Alex's grandfather died this weekend after long illness, and long life. He had loved ones in the room with him, and had just seen Alex, who I believe was one of his greatest sources of joy, a couple weeks prior. When Alex got the news, Jack was in the room with him. And Jack, he who doesn't seem to react much to others' feelings, noticed Alex's sadness and gave him a bear hug, telling him not to be sad.

Alex had a lot of good memories of his grandfather, and I know he will miss him. I also know that he is glad he is no longer in pain, and that he is at peace.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear this.

    Hugs to Alex, and to all....


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