Purging clutter

Recently, we helped a family member move from a large house into an apartment. Seeing his attachment to things that had no significant value was sobering, and it woke me from a long slumber. Once the move was finished, I started purging stuff from my own life. Too often, we keep things because we may want to … Continue reading

We’re each a link in a chain of help

I shredded one of my journals. Possibly a mistake. When I’m old, I may enjoy reading them; remembering earlier times. Of course, when I get to the point that I’m no longer enjoying new adventures, I probably won’t be able to read what I’ve written anyway.

Besides… as one grows intellectually and spiritually, the old self becomes a faintly-remembered acquaintance. An aside to a new life. The new self is stronger; richer; more developed. And each new moment a chance to truly live. Why would I want to look back when there’s more to the journey ahead.

I met a nice couple yesterday. The woman said she was 65. She looked late 40’s. She and her husband spend their time helping others — their adult children and strangers in need. They voluntarily help people clean out garages and attics; collect items left after garage sales. In exchange for the work, they claim the contents found — then deliver it to Goodwill. Why? “God has been good to us.” They’re paying it forward.

Sam and I spent three weeks in Florida, helping his parents move from a large house into an apartment at an assisted-living facility. Since the housing association where his parents lived permitted neither garage nor estate sales, Sam’s dad found a creative solution. He ordered a pod and placed all of the items he didn’t want inside — then shipped it to us to garage-sale in Arkansas.

As we unpacked the pod, we collected a pile of boxes; plus uncovered flats of boxes never used. I broke the used boxes down, and then stacked all by the curb. I refolded one box; wrote on three sides FREE MOVING BOXES; placed it on top of the others. It was late in the day — only a couple of hours before sunset. Storm clouds were rolling in from the south.

An hour passed. The boxes were still there. A half hour more, and no takers. “God, please send someone by who will be helped by these boxes; and who can help us by taking them.” A few minutes later, I decided that I’d better put the boxes back in the pod, before it started to rain. As I was carrying them, a woman pulled up. She lives a couple of blocks away and is in the process of moving her household. She stacked a large pile of boxes into the back of her car. “This is really a blessing,” she said.

She told me that she’d send her husband for the rest.

“I’ll put the others in the pod,” I said, “in case it rains. I’ll leave the lock off, so he can take them.”

Before bed, I decided that I’d better put the lock back on. An open storage unit might be too tempting for small children, or for teens looking for a place to smoke.  I rolled up the door for a peek; and the boxes were gone. I went to bed thanking God for giving us the ability to help one another.