It began with a shelf.
On that shelf, I discovered a small box that contained some ornaments that I had cut and finished several months ago. I had forgotten that I even made them.
I continued to open small, unmarked boxes. And as I dug deeper into the cabinet, more ‘treasures’ were revealed. Forgotten projects that after being photographed were sentenced to being tucked away in cabinets, on the backs of shelves and even in drawers. Their boxes not unlike nondescript tombs where they were banished after their usefulness was exhausted.
The number of these said boxes were alarming, and as I continued to forge through things, more and more came to light. Was there no end to this travesty? After all, how many could there be? . . .
Such was the start of my ‘deep cleaning’ cycle. After spending a great deal of the day cleaning and organizing my email list and computer, the urge to once again put things in order consumed me.
There is something about organization that gives me a feeling of peace and control. If things get too out of place, I find myself quite a bit more fretful and unsure of myself. Is this some sort of disease that I have acquired? Or has it always been a part of me and I have just been unaware of its existence? But the realization came to me yesterday, as I forged through every cabinet, closet and storage place we had. I could not stop myself, or the increasing urge to sort and clean. As I uncovered one forgotten artifact after another, each one became an aphrodisiac, urging me to continue to the next place, until I exhausted each and every place in our apartment.
Surprisingly, the trash pile was quite small. For many of the items that I came across were still of value, but just in the wrong place.
The ornament and project samples were placed on the kitchen table, and soon spilled over to the kitchen chairs and even into boxes on the floor beneath, where they sit there today. I would take a picture, but there is part of me that is ashamed of where all the beautiful things that Keith and I have made over the past year or so have wound up. It appears that we just keep making things and tuck them away. Our intentions are good, as we plan to either get them to a shop to sell or give them as gifts, but that would involve time that we just don’t have, and they get packed away and forgotten and pushed to the backs of closets, cabinets and shelves.
My cause quickly shifted into giving these items a new life. Getting them to a place where they would be loved and appreciated. After all, they were beautiful and nice and at the time of their conception, created with love and excitement and our best efforts. It is a shame that once their photos are taken, they are filed to a place where they would no longer be appreciated for their beauty. There had to be a better way.
So I came up with an idea . . .
Today I am going to go through all of these treasures and sort and repackage them into sets. I am then going to donate them to a cause I feel worthy. There is an organization nearby that my neighbor Lee is involved in which helps take care of the many cats that are dumped on the wharf here in Clare. I spoke of it before, and I have donated to the cause at times, but I always wished I could do more.
Lee goes to the wharf every single day to feed, play with and care for the cats there. Adele rescues the cats and takes them to the vet and adopts them out to forever homes. They build shelters for them and take them to be spayed and neutered in an effort to control the population in the colony. However, there are always a never ending number of new arrivals, that people dump there like garbage. Many of them sick and injured and scared.
Not only do they care for the animals, but they also hold online auctions and other fundraisers to help defray the huge vet bills and care costs. By donating these pieces for auction, I know that the money that they bring in will be used to help these unfortunate critters and the pieces will be appreciated as they should be. It is a win/win.
So today, I will finish my task of sorting. I will then continue with my original intention of decorating my own tree here, as it sits with only lights on at this moment.
This change of pace is something that I needed. Even if it is just for a few days, it feels wonderful. And seeing the empty cabinet and shelf space, and knowing once again where everything is gives me a good feeling that my life is once again in order. I am getting back in control – something that I felt I was losing a couple of days ago.
In the mean time, I am thinking ahead of what my next project will be. I have a good idea already, and look forward to seeing it come to be. But first I will finish this. (And maybe make some cookies!)
Because of the chaos of our kitchen, Keith offered to take me to dinner last night. We decided to go to the Goodwin Hotel in Weymouth, as I wanted to get a gift certificate for my dear friends Bernie and Ellen as part of their Christmas gift. The hotel is beautiful and the dining there is all home cooked goodness. It is small and lovely and has been there for years and years under the same owners. I haven’t been there in probably five years, and was thrilled to see the beautiful Victorian style hotel beautifully decorated in every room for the holidays. It was like going into another world. I had the best meal that I had in a long time – surf and turf with a small tenderloin steak cooked to perfection and fresh Digby scallops. It was the perfect ending to a great day and as I sat here last night sipping some peppermint tea (with my kitchen table still covered with things!) I couldn’t help but think how good life can be.
Sometimes it is the simple things that make us the happiest.
A couple of pictures of the hotel:
Have a wonderful day!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"