January 4th, 2017

planet

stuff

you know what really encourages minimalism? when your sweet neighbor lady dies of cancer, and you see the family spend days going through her stuff and taking out a few carloads of things. then they sigh, realize it's too much, and hire a company to just clean it out, and everything starts going out in dumpsters. they're on the third load of semi-truck sized dumpsters just all going away. this has been our break, negotiating with the truck drivers to back out of our shared driveway when they're idling there waiting for the dumpster to get straightened out enough to put a tarp over it.

some of it is still good stuff. we claimed a jar of marbles, a chiefs license plate, a pair of binoculars and two sets of shelves for our garage.

some of it is still good stuff but we don't need it so like everyone on the street, we've gone numb to the sheer amount going into a landfill this week. wobbly side tables, vases, rugs, throw pillows, framed pictures.

In the midst of this we went to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) thrift store down the street because we were out of wine glasses again, we broke some. Wine glasses that end up at DAV are old, sturdy, and narrow... think slightly shorter champagne glasses with fat stems. They're from the days when wine drinkers drank sparingly because there weren't as many $10 sales on 1.5L yellow tail. We were standing in line and a lady behind us was lamenting that she likes the big fishbowl shaped ones, can't find those for 45 cents at a thrift store, I don't blame her but also just don't feel like buying new.

I see thrift store trips as the best we can do to make up for America. It's a drop in the bucket, it doesn't make up for dumpsters of stuff, but it's something.

I freecycled a toddler bed and today we're going to clear off a whole table to freecycle it too, with the four chairs it comes with. Sometimes I thought I might like it but I just realized that someday, I will be like my neighbor, we all will, we're all mortal, and our stuff can't be organized, someone just wants it out of the house. Everything I like will be in a dumpster. That's the end destination. If I can take the time now to find it a home where it'll be used, I am doing my family a favor. And I'm preventing someone else from buying a new thing from a factory that it cranking out more stuff, all bound for dumpsters. I'll turn into a minimalist in a heartbeat, easy, and never look back.