Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails.
I will believe the Hand which never fails,
From seeming evil, worketh good for me.
And though I weep because those sails are tattered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered:
I trust in Thee.
--Ann Kimmel

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labor of the olive shall fail and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18

Friday, September 12, 2014

Postcard from the Edge

"Having a ghastly time! Wish I weren't here."
All week my husband, son Wyatt, and I have been valiantly attempting to bring order out of chaos: we're doing a thorough barn clean-out. I'm not talking about the kind of barn with horses and cows in it; I'm talking a family's history, clutter, and detritus that has been decades in the making. Years and years of offhandedly cramming sundry items into the out-of-sight, out-of-mind vortex of the big red plywood catch-all have finally caught up with us. It's an utterly depressing undertaking, but I know it will be a huge relief when we're finally done. The folks at Goodwill are practically family, we've been there so often this week, donating our burgeoning box-loads of books, clothing, and housewares. 

It's not to say we haven't ever done this in years past, but this time we're more ruthless. Goodbye to the myriad skit costumes--even the Elvis jumpsuit (yes, we had one!). Farewell to the piano lesson books, and even the stacks of vintage magazines from the 1960s and 1970s that I thought I might want someday for cutting up and making collages. What to do with my daughter's bird nest collection, her mummified cat, and her childhood artwork? Which of the boys' toys to keep for posterity? And what about those ancient, scratched LP's? My brain is utterly scrambled from all this decision-making.

You will notice I've have actually de-stashed a huge bagful of yarn. (Not to worry, I have bins more!) I decided that life is too short to use cheap yarn. I'm keeping my wool yarn and some of my wool-blend yarn, plus a few skeins of synthetic for which I actually have a specific use, but I'm bravely culling the rest. 

Weirdly, though, it seems like the more we load into the pick-up, the more we unearth. I know from experience that, when it comes to reorganizing, it always looks worse before it looks better, so I'm keeping myself plodding along with that in mind. All the while I'm praying that no one I know comes over and sees these piles of rubble stacked and strewn all over the carport. 

One aspect of the job is fascinating, if time-consuming. I found a bunch of old letters belonging to my mom, and I've been poring over those in the evenings when I'm too pounded to do anything else. I was surprised to find these old postcards; I'd never seen them before.

My uncle sent this to my mom for her 13th birthday in 1942, shortly before shipping out to Europe in WWII.
This postcard from Boulder Dam was sent by my dad's parents to my mom's parents. Must have been from about the time my folks got married. It's dated 1949. I never knew they had corresponded.
A linen photograph from about the same time. As near as I can decipher the postmark, it's from September, 1949. My mom and dad must have been on a camping trip as newlyweds. It's addressed to my grandma and grandpa.
Another sorting job of gargantuan proportions is waiting in the wings when I've finished my mom's stuff. I have a plastic bin full of letters and memorabilia dating from my high school years. It's going to be difficult to decide what to keep and what to jettison. I want to keep some of my personal history items, but I do need to pare it down.

Well, back to the fray... we've a lot more sorting and hauling to do, and we don't want to wait too long or it'll start raining eventually. 

And now for today's "Give Twice" treasury:



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