Sunday, November 28, 2004

Cleaning House & Mind

Today's Top Story:
At the time of this posting, 1235 US soldiers have died in Iraq.

(Why is this "The Top Story"?

1. Each of these soldiers died in a war that was initiated by a President who intentionally misled the American people about the reasons for war in Iraq, (and
2. Like Gen. Anthony Zinni, I believe that this has got to be more important than "American Idol").

Today's Feature: Cleaning House & Mind

I hope I have waited long enough since my last posting that any comments about the election are unnecessary. You've already read it somewhere else...and it was probably funnier/pithier/more insightful there.

But I can't resist just one complaint about the statewide results in Indiana: Joe Kernan seems like a man of tremendous integrity and conscience. It is a terrible shame that we have replaced him as governor. One of my daughters has been working in state government for over a year, and has had lots of opportunity to interact with Mr. Kernan. I haven't met him, but have listened to Sarah's stories and feel like I've come close. I hope he will find a way to remain involved in public life. We need more people like him.

On the home front, we have begun preparations to sell the house next spring. Mary and I have spent two weekends in the basement - purging the bookshelves, painting and cleaning. For the first time in months we filled both trash cans this week. The trunk of Mary's car is full of things to be donated to Goodwill. And we've barely made a dent in it!

My dad used to say that you should move every 7 years to clean out your closets. He was right. We've been here 6 years now, and our closets (and store room and garage) are bulging. We'll take our time this winter and get rid of it, little by little. We'll spackle and paint and generally "spruce up" the place. Then in the spring we'll put it on the market.

We have not made any decisions about where we'll live next, other than to say it will be a smaller place. Our thoughts swing to the extremes. One day we talk about a small country place with room for a big garden. The next day we're thinking about a condo in Indianapolis. Somewhere in between we think about a small house in Indy. The good news is that we don't have to make up our minds anytime soon.

Along with the house cleaning we're also working on "mind cleaning" or mental de-cluttering. We find ourselves awash in printed matter -- newspapers, magazines, and since it's the holiday season -- catalogs by the dozen! And most of it goes unread, sitting in stacks that silently add another "to do" to our already too long lists.

Earlier this week I started downsizing. I'm allowing all my magazine subscriptions to expire. (Most of them I can read online anyway, with the added advantage of a Google search to help me zero in on topics of interest.) I've cancelled the Wall Street Journal. We're going to keep the Sunday New York Times. It's enough newspaper to last a week.

Except for this week. They didn't deliver today! Oh well...just one less thing to do. I feel freer already.

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