Making good on an old trashy threat
I made good on a threat this past week, telling Better Half that we were going to do some serious damage the next time the city of Steubenville had its annual bulk trash collection, which for us was yesterday.
That’s when you can put out everything except stuff with freon gases and people you’d rather not deal with any longer as tempting as that might be.
Before our personal purging was all said and done, I think Better Half was ready to forget the throw-away restrictions and plunk me out there on the curb, too, especially after a labor-intensive day of cleaning out the attic.
Now there’s a scary place where I’d rather just leave the door closed.
The last time I had poked my head in there was when I had banished some belongings to the depths of its darkness some three or four or five years ago. Or maybe 10. Who knows.
The cleaning project started out OK.
We were actually on the same page making glorious progress, a husband and wife team working in harmony and unison to the tune of tug and toss, tug and toss, tug and toss, out she goes!
Out came one filthy box or bag after another, full of junk we obviously cared about so very deeply that we hadn’t even missed any of it since we’d stashed it in there so many, many moons ago.
Suddenly, we were the poster couple for downsizing and doing away with. Now introducing, Mr. and Mrs. Minimalist.
“That’s junk!” one of us would declare as we looked at a box full of things that neither one of us recognized as anything remotely useful or meaningful.
“Pitch it!” came the command to conquer clutter.
“Who cares!” came the rationale to do away with things that had been in hiding so long, no one knew they were even missing.
“Last call for the landfill!” we congratulated ourselves as the attic was finally starting to have a little wiggle room to it – a hollowness and almost a little bit of an echo.
And then it happened.
I looked inside a box. First one, then another. They were full of what must have been every single piece of artwork our kids had ever done in grade school.
“Oh, no, look,” I said to Better Half, a bit of a whine to my voice as sentiment struck.
I could feel Ridder’s Remorse starting to take hold.
Better Half stopped long enough to shake his head as I lingered over snowmen, stick people, homemade Valentine’s cards, Mother’s Day mementoes and paper plates transformed into flowers.
How wonderfully creative and wildly imaginative my children were, I thought to myself as a mother not at all prejudiced.
“Get rid of it,” Better Half said, reasoning that even the “kids” weren’t interested in such elementary nostalgia.
He was right, regrettably.
So, the bulk trash pile we left was a mighty one.
We trashed memories and eradicated any proof that our children held artistic promise.
But the attic is a way less scary place because of it.
And I escaped sitting on top of the pile another year.
(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .)