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My Wish for My Future
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My dream: living in a smaller house or condo (lots of them in the Los Angeles area), yard sales and gifting of stuff, stuff, stuff accumulated during 40 years in southern California. I dream of living in a smallish, streamlined place with a few prized possession, a few comfortable clothes, a reliable car and my beloved dog. Too much to ask, I suppose, but a woman can dream, can’t she?

I'd like to get rid of the TVs that don't work, the furniture acquired when my mother-in-law died (no one else in the family wanted French provincial), the kitchen "stuff" that's been in the back of the cupboards forever, the garage filled floor to rafters with storage clutter that I evicted from the house (my husband can't throw anything away, even his clothes from high school).

Books, especially. There are those to keep: classics that I will re-read, books that I haven't read yet, or are in mid-read. Others are on my mental list to give away: read-one-time-only books and other books that found a home here but I will never open, let alone read.

And then there are shelves of VHS tapes, most recorded from TV shows that will never be of interest again. The TV antenna, removed from the roof while roof repairs were being carried out, and never replaced.

And clothes that are miles too big for me, or worn out, or suitable for work but when I retire will be suitable for someone else to wear to work.

And last, but not least, two VW bugs that I can't convince my husband to sell so they sit there and rot. Literally. One had so many black widow spiders nesting in the undercarriage that the tow truck driver refused to mess with 'em.

Oh, well, I can dream, can I not? None of this will happen while I'm married to a pack rat, a pack rat who is too ill to keep any of it clean and organized but who is unwilling to let any of it go. I fight the good fight against dirt and clutter and breakage, but I work full-time and care for an invalid, and my "spare" time is practically non-existent.

My mother would laugh: as a teen, I had the messiest room in the world. She said some day I would learn to love cleanliness and organization. Mama was right; the irony is that now I can't put it into effect.

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