Adventures in Housekeeping

Out of the Closet

I won’t even tell you about what didn’t make it back into the closet.

Now that I’m retired, I am finding all manner of diversions to keep me occupied. I weeded our vegetable garden, planted broccoli and cauliflower, took a pick ax to the pampas grass, baked enough cookies to feed an army, re-homed thirty-five pounds of plates, painted sealant on the back porch steps, and tore apart our hall closet.

Everything came out. All boxes exhumed and examined. Decisions were made, items pitched, a portion repackaged and returned to the closet.

This is what made it back into the closet:

  • The kid’s childhood sketch books
  • 42 rolls of toilet paper
  • Hobbles and a green halter in case we need to restrain a wandering horse
  • A vacuum cleaner and a cobweb duster
  • Letters dating back to the 70’s from friends and relatives, living and dead
  • Art, mostly mine, dating back to 1961
  • Four picture frames in case we suddenly notice a bare wall
  • Supplies for water color, candle-making, embroidery, and crochet in case we decide to get crafty
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Three soapstone chops and a tin of orangey-pink chop paste we bought in China twenty years ago

I’ve got a big plastic bag headed for the landfill with stuff I couldn’t imagine ever needing for any reason. Things that had been in our closet for eleven years, and some that were shipped from Colorado to Guam to Oahu to Maui and back to Colorado, then Texas, Oilseed, and Troutsfarm.

Hell is not other people. Hell is the stuff you shackle yourself to and haul around from place to place, carefully placing on shelves in a succession of closets in case you might one day find a use for it.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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