That’s what Dave and I pulled off last weekend. Our guest room had become uninhabitable, a place I didn’t want to set foot in, let along welcome guests to. It had too much furniture to begin with, and then I spread a Total Gym across one end of it and into Dave’s adjoining office. All the to-be-wrapped Christmas presents went in there. All the paperwork I was procrastinating about got piled onto my once-inspiring secretary—the beautiful old desk I had longed for and finally found at Chelsea Antiques—the desk where I started my book, long before I had a Story Shack. And now here she sat, covered with mail and old pictures and anything else I was going to deal with “when I have time.” Every drawer was overflowing with unorganized stuff. Enough.
The two of us got busy. We took the leaf out of our dining room table (because we only need it once a year) to make room for the secretary, which we cleaned out and moved onto a bare wall at one end of our long, narrow dining room. The result was instantly terrific. Suddenly, I had a desk in my dining room—just like Aunt Vivian. When I was a kid, I was fascinated by that big desk, which held years’ worth of National Geographics, neatly lining the back edge of it. I used to explore all kinds of exotic lands, sitting at that desk while the grown folks talked around the dining room table.
But back to the bedroom. We turned the bed in a different direction, moved the afghans that were covering Grandme’s old trunk, stacked the quilt rack on top of the trunk and put them where the secretary used to be. Now we could better see the trunk and the quilt Dave’s mom gave us for our wedding present. And we finally had a wall for one of my sister-friend Missey’s paintings that I’ve kept stored for years because there was no place to hang it. As for the Total Gym, it’s all stretched out at the far end of our dining room, where it’s mostly out of the way. Looks terrible, but we’ll just have to live with it for now and fold it up when we have company (because I learned long ago that, once I fold up fitness equipment, I never unfold it—I just dust it).
So here I sit, writing at my secretary with a Christmas candle burning and Cheeto snoozing and the string of blue icicle lights—I thought I was buying white but I’m not going to the trouble of taking them back so we’ve embraced blue this year—sparkling in the picture window. It’s an inspiring spot on this December morning.
And I don’t know why the clutter in my house always reminds me of the clutter in my life, but it does. Mentally and spiritually, I have some old files I need to let go of, some junk I need to get rid of, and some unappreciated blessings that I need to take much better care of.
Christmas is an annual reminder that it’s possible to start anew, even when we think our personal accumulations are insurmountable. They’re not. We just have to start with one small thing as we celebrate “one small child.”
[Image by Sleepylog at Freerangestock.com]