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Cleaning Up, Clearing Out
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Today is trash day and also the day the gardeners do my lawn. All they do is mow a small patch of grass, so it's a quick (and inexpensive job). What they also do for me (and this is a big one) is drag the trash, cans and other stuff, to the curb for tomorrow morning's pickup.

Each week, gardeners or not, I try (and mostly succeed) in adding to the usual weekly refuse an extra amount of stuff that should be thrown out, but a certain packrat (who shall remain nameless) can't bear to get rid of anything. If it sits in the recycle or garbage can for a day or so, he'll start to root through it, retrieving stuff and plunking it down on just any horizontal surface that comes to hand.

The strategy is to fill the trash cans on the day the gardeners come and take the cans to the curb. The Nameless One is too lazy to go to the curb and bundle it all back to the house, so it's gone for good. Today's haul will remove paint cans with a quarter inch of paint dried in the bottom, old paint brushes so brittle the bristles are breaking off or are completely glued together (guess who didn't clean them when he was through), spray paint cans with no spray paint left in them and a tarp that is mostly holes. All deeply decorated with years of greasy garage dust and cat spray.

He will grieve their loss, fuss mightily at me and in a week will have forgotten all about them.

If I live long enough, I might actually be able to clean out the garage, the closets and the cupboards. A little at a time. Even today's little bit makes me feel better, as I look at the cleared-off shelf in the garage.

Cleared off, that is, until he buys something or retrieves some trash to clutter it up again. Sigh.

At least my office can be the way I like it. I work here in lonely splendor (or grubby solitude) and I can arrange it to suit my needs. Another reason not to retire.

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