Stuff. Stuff in the closet. Stuff on the shelves. Stuff on the floor. Twenty-six years of accumulated stuff for Cristina. Sixteen years of stuff for me. Years and years of forgotten stuff hidden behind furniture unmoved since Ronald Reagan was President. Lotsa stuff.
I have to pay homage, first, to Cristina. Like the Energizer Bunny, she just keeps plugging away…packing box upon box upon box upon box of the stuff I might have mentioned briefly in a former paragraph. Last night, she was up until 2am packing encyclopedias, and other books, into boxes that I moved (along with the bookcases) this morning into the PODS container now sitting in our driveway. I could only last until 11pm before it all caught up with me. I had filled about 1/3 of the PODS with stuff that Cristina had packed throughout the day. I had to take a shower before I could even go to bed.
There’s a certain something to be said for the bare existence of ascetics, I think. Well, not really, but they don’t have to pack and move stuff when they move from one cave to another. That part actually is inviting. Of course, we’ve been throwing stuff away as we go. Both the trash can and the recycling can are filled completely with stuff. Normally, the only time these containers are so full is at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not this time. Stuff.
What kind of stuff?
Lots of books. Both Cristina and I question the need for so many books from time to time. But, then someone will say that need a reference on this or that, or they heard of some author and would love to read one of their books, and either Cristina and I go to the bookcase and pull out a volume that meets their needs. No, it doesn’t happen that way all the time, but more often than not.
Paper. How many trees have resided in our home over these last few decades? I’ve thrown away bags upon bags of shredded documents, tossed dozens of magazines into recycling, and grunted in frustration when I’ve realized there was yet another box of bills, invoices, or notes that should’ve been thrown away years ago, left to go through.
CDs and vinyl albums. Both Cristina and I are old enough that vinyl comprises a major portion of our music collection. Yes, we’ve switched to CDs, but it’s not as if we’re going to toss my half-speed mastered copy of Blind Faith, complete with the British cover that once was banned in the U.S. Ain’t gonna happen.
DVDs and VHS tapes. Cristina and I, as well as the rest of the family, are all movie freaks. We have seen just about any movie made in the last fifty years that got major release, not to mention a good portion of indie movies and older films that precede the world of Technicolor. And, we own copies of a huge chunk of those movies. Cristina knows – she packed them. I know – I moved the boxes in which she packed them.
Stuff. I guess we all need some stuff. We have some stuff to spare for the homeless children in Bangladesh. Of course, Cristina would have to pack the stuff, and I would have to move the stuff in order for said kids to get it. I’m pretty sure they’ll be waiting for that stuff for a bit longer.
Copyright 2005 by Greg Hubbard.