Chocolate Can Kill (Emily Harris Mysteries) by Annie Acorn
I don’t know what it is, but I have been consumed by thoughts of stuff recently.
Perhaps, it’s because my broken foot is finally healing, and I have a lot of cleaning to catch up on. [A Tired Older Woman Talks About Stuff]
Then again, it could be that visions of baby gifts filling the center of a room in a pile as tall as I am still pepper my dreams after my nieces’s baby shower a few weekends ago. Granted these gifts were for two mothers and their expected babies, but still…
When did a Baby Wipe Warmer become necessary to a child’s proper development? And a bath water tester? I mean, really? I distinctly remember testing my sons’ bath water with a knuckle or elbow, whichever was handy, and neither one of them ever came out of the nightly experience with scald marks on their fresh smelling little bodies.
Son #1’s baby bed was “purchased” with books full of S&H Green Stamps, and a car seat, a diaper bag, and a stroller completed his equipment requirements until his arrival, at which point my young husband rushed out and brought back a diaper pail. By the time Son #2 came along six years later, Pampers were being mined from a vein not previously discovered, and we dispensed with the pail.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased for my nieces and great-nephews-to-be. They were thrilled with all of the stuff they received, and they will certainly use it. Like me, when they’re done with it, I’m sure they will pass it on.
Still, how naïve of my husband and me to think we had done well by our children! I must remember to apologize to my sons the next time I see them. It may be one of the World’s Greatest Miracles that they survived the ordeal of their childhood.
With the spring-like weather we’ve been having here in the D.C. area, I suppose it’s possible that subconsciously I’m considering a good toss-out as I peruse all my stuff, but please, don’t let the word out. The last time I proposed to donate a small box of stuff to charity, trucks were lined up in front of my door before sundown.
My neighbors, of course, used the occasion to spawn a block party, and the resultant traffic jam made it onto WETA’s traffic report. Around 10:00 o’clock pm, pizzas and a keg were brought in, and one of the truck drivers got out a guitar. A teenager dragged his electric drums onto the sidewalk. Eventually, the only neighbor who hadn’t looked out his window, called the cops due to the noise.
To say that this was, overall, a bit embarrassing would be one of the World’s Greatest Understatements, but there, again I digress.
Not that I have all that much stuff, you understand. After all, I’ve downsized four times, which means that I had a whole lot more stuff at some point back before time. Entire bedroom sets have gone out my doorways, and a den full of furniture now resides somewhere near Auburn University, where Son #2 left it when he moved to Seattle. Son #1 has pieces from a former home sprinkled around his new house, and just last week, a friend mentioned how much she was still enjoying a used hand mixer that I gave her twenty years ago.
Eventually, I plan to move to Seattle for at least part of the year, and it could be that the specter of moving all or some of my belongings from one coast to the other is hanging over me, especially since books comprise a large part of my accumulated possessions. Do you know how much several million pages of class reading material weighs?
I know, believe me, I know that’s what a Kindle is for, and I do own one. Still, part of me likes the smell of leather bindings and the feel of a good book in my hand, and books that I own are, for the most part, old friends.
When I moved up here from Birmingham ten years ago, I owned 25 bookcases. Today, I own only 16. Now to some folks that may seem a bit obsessive, but remember, I am an author. Writers by definition must read to develop their craft, so in a way you could consider my books office supplies, just like my espresso and my chocolate.
Besides, dropping from 25 bookcases to 16 is a reflection of MAJOR downsizing. Books are like family to me. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have packed them all up and moved them over my lifetime, so I won’t tell you. Just know that it is a number greater than 12 and smaller, not much smaller, than 30.
I do not donate books. One does not throw away friends. For each one, I have found a new owner.
I have shipped books to people I know who were starting a library in a small town. I have posted boxes to another friend on a Native American reservation. Often I provide a bookcase to house my old books in their new home in hopes that their transition will be a bit easier.
These days, I hand bags full of handpicked volumes to friends as they leave my condo like some people pass out party favors. I have one friend who has dibs on all of my Anne Perry’s, when I’m finished with them. Another wants all of my Debbie Macombers. The latter will soon realize that she’s still waiting and may continue to wait for a very long time to come.
Each treasured volume must be matched with a suitable new owner. Slowly, but surely, I’m making progress, and of course, I don’t have to get rid of them all.
Son #2 understands that somehow he has to unobtrusively slip all 79 leather bound volumes of Agatha Christie into my coffin. Oh, and I’d like my Cyril Hares, my Georgette Heyers, and my Dorothy Sayers collection as well. And I think St. Peter would enjoy reading through my Rex Stouts, and my Complete Father Brown might prove to be quite popular up there as well. What do you think?
A Tired Older Woman: Loses Weight and Keeps It Off! by Annie Acorn
Also available for NOOK!
When to Remain Silent (Annie Acorn’s Kindle Short Mysteries) by Annie Acorn
Also available for NOOK!