Awhile back, I noticed a little moisture around the base of the hot water heater in the basement.
Not long after my discovery and a quick phone call, a polite man in heavy work boots was at the front door, the name of a plumbing company emblazoned on the side of the truck and a large rectangular cardboard box in the back.
He was quick and efficient, and shortly, I lived once again in a household with hot water. Thanks, Plumbing Guy!
Then the real fun began. Apparently, the hot water heater had been leaking out against the wall where I didn’t see it. The wall against and under which it had been gradually leaking separates the staircase from the mechanical room.
Under the staircase were boxes full of treasures that I’d intended to sort through for a long time. Now I had no choice.
I unlatched the cubby door and began pulling the stuff out from under the staircase.
Wow. What an astonishing array of crap. Don Williams cassette tapes, Grease on VHS, a Clairol footbath, a toilet plunger (I kept that), empty binders and old sheet music, a wrecked suitcase, and about 300 sealer jars.
I wondered if I could special order an extremely localized natural disaster to sweep through and destroy it all so that I could avoid the sorting out the junk.
Got a mess? Call Tim’s Tiny Tornados. He’ll take care of it so you won’t have to.
I got started. It didn’t take long to realize that everything but the plunger must go. So long, Don. I’ll hear you on my MP3 player! Farewell binders, saturated notes, and decrepit suitcase.
It took one phone call to find a neighbour who happily took the 300 jars.
With each toss out, I felt my soul become lighter and lighter.
Why do we drag all this stuff along throughout life? What’s the point of this accumulation when our possessions become burdens?
What is it we’re trying to hold on to? Is it a sense of identity or is it the long dead past? Is it the idea that we might need those Don Williams tapes one day or is it time we want to capture?
Who knows? We’re a complicated bunch who need to a leaky hot water tank once in awhile to remind us that life could be lighter and freer with less clutter in it.
by Lori Knutson