If you've read this blog from the start, you know about our history of living on the Meramec River and our experiences with floods. Because floods tend to "clean out your basement" occasionally, we never did acquire the amount of junk over the years like most people do. We've been able to keep things rather stream lined.
When we moved off of the river in 1999, we packed up some boxes that didn't get opened when we moved into the city, and they stayed sealed shut when we moved to our current home over ten years ago. We changed that last night, or at least made a start.
Our condo doesn't have much storage space. We have a storage closet in a community storage area on our floor, and we have a "utility closet" just off the kitchen that houses our furnace and has become the official kingdom of Holly, our puppy. We have a small refrigerator in there, a two drawer file cabinet, all of Holly's necessities, and two wire shelves full of boxes and bags that haven't been opened in ten years.
Swing Set only has so much room. I feel like we have plans for every nook and cranny on board, but last night I found things that I need to make room for, and other things that just had to be thrown away. A lot of cruisers I've read about usually keep their homes intact, along with all of their "stuff", or they rent a storage unit, or leave things with family. Our intention is to get rid of everything except what can fit into a hope chest that Rosie has had since she owned her first bra. The hope chest will stay at her brother's house, and probably won't get opened again until we are dead.
While I started pulling boxes down to open, Rosie pulled out her new vacuum bags she bought and started packing them with beach towels, hand towels, and some miscellaneous clothing we had hanging in our laundry closet. Once packed, the bags get sucked down into packages that resemble extra large portions of freeze dried dinners. We have some areas in mind for these packages of vacuum bags on the boat. We'll add similar packages of clothing too. We figure that we'll open the packages as needed, as our primary clothes and towels that we want to use and wash on a daily basis, wear out. We're going to be wearing some weird stuff in the years to come.
So with Rosie using the vacuum cleaner to suck down her stack of storage bags while driving Holly bonkers, I opened the first box and found a Baby Boomers edition of Trivial Pursuit, a brand new Websters Dictionary, some other board game called Scruples, and some decks of cards.
I had three categories to deposit stuff into; trash, Salvation Army, and Keep. All books I would find, and the board games, were going to our condo library, where all the residents keep puzzles and games, CD's, DVD's, and most of all, books, to share with each other. It's one of the best features of our condo association.
Another box held the first stereo receiver I ever had. It's an old Technics tube type receiver that I bought in 1975 for about $350. It was the first thing I ever financed, and I remember how astounded I was to find out how much the interest rate added to the cost of the thing. The receiver, and the Cerwin Vega speakers with it, got stacked into the Salvation Army pile.
Slipped behind one of the boxes was a pack of glow sticks from one of our New Year's Eve parties. I was about to pitch those, when I heard a frantic, "Don't throw those away!" from the vacuum lady. "We can use them at Mardi Gras this weekend". I guess we can if Mardi Gras is going to extend into the night, but we're starting at 9 A.M., so I don't think either one of us will see the sun go down at Mardi Gras.
Another treasure I found was a box with our school yearbooks and wedding album, plus assorted photographs that never made it to an album. I had already scanned and saved all of our photos, but started a new stack to scan. The wedding album is making it to the hope chest. I've found a home for my school yearbooks with an old classmate, and Rosie's yearbooks were relegated to the trash pile. I should have checked to make sure her picture was really in them.
I pulled a bag down full of coax, stereo cable, speaker wire and computer cable. I salvaged a brand new pack of stereo wire, for what I do not know, and after some reservation, tossed the rest into the trash pile. I'll probably need some coax tomorrow.
How about a box stuffed with big thick binders, chock full of instructional material from various brewing classes I took over the years? In the trash it went.
A box full of old home made videos and an old video camera got sentenced to the trash bin also. I probably should have sent that stuff to a shredder to completely destroy it, but if anyone still has a device with which to play back old C-format video tapes, they are entitled to any jollies they might get from watching those things.
I found a whole bunch of stuff I knew I still had somewhere, but I had lost track of; old English class assignments, elementary school stories from as early as second grade, and some pictures I drew in grade school and junior high school. I gave the stories a last time quick read and pitched them, as well as the "art work". Some of my classmates from school still tell me that I had some talent as an artist back then. Like all things, everything is relative. It's not too hard to shine in the art world if everyone is 8 years old.
One item I found was some teeth from my first pet, our dog Paree, that had to be pulled in his older age, and I found hard to part with. Why would I keep such a thing for all these years? I wondered if Rosie would enjoy a nice necklace made from four teeth extracted from a french poodle, long dead for over 35 years, and decided against it. I chucked those into the trash can, but now I'm thinking about the cloning angle, hmm.
The shelves are clear, I've loaded up our Explorer with stuff to take to the boat and to charity. Now we have another stack of pictures to scan tonight, and we still have some photos on our walls that need to come down and be scanned and saved, but I've tossed out things that I've saved for over 45 years for some reason. I woke up at 5 A.M. this morning and felt I had to tell somebody.