One More Mommy

Thoughts of a mom and her husband, son, daughter, pets, friends, job (or lack thereof), house, family, trying to be more ecologically aware...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Achieving Balance

We continued the clean out effort this weekend in the garage, moving things like the pre-lit Christmas tree we bought on clearance this year to the basement and things like the yellow metal cabinet left behind because it was crap that had to be taped shut to the curb. They also left us a cabinet that had been run into with a car, thank you so much. Gah. The leaving of crap in houses and places that you are moving from is a long-standing tradition that I do not adhere to. When I move out, I clear everything out, even if it involves sneaking garbage into the dumpster behind the convenience store because no one wants to move into a new place with the previous person's garbage. However, the stuffed bird we inherited when we moved into one house in my childhood was treasured for days.

We accumulated a good sized pile of items that are going to be sent to the Vietnam Veterans (they happened to call first, we will leave our stuff for whichever charity phones) and thus removed from our garage. This will leave the garage in a mostly usable state, which is key because we are inviting a good sized number of people over for the festival of Arbor Day. (The pageantry alone makes it worth celebrating.) The garage will hopefully be the main locale for the standing and drinking because it is well known that when people begin articulating with full drinks in their hands that the liquid within the vessel begins to slosh about.

Crap removal is a key component of life, because crap sneaks up on you and insinuates itself into your life. But you can't clear out too much crap because then your home is bleak and lifeless. So the crap must be balanced. Sometimes I have difficulty balancing the crap, and things that I wouldn't necessarily consider crap get downgraded to crap because other things usurp them.

Yesterday I received a package from my first cousin, who is perhaps 10 years older than I. It contained books that my father gave him when he went off to college, one of those being the Handbook of Chemisty and Physics from 1953-1954. Thirty fifth edition. Stamped on the first page of that book is "From the Library of (my grandfather's name)". At work I have the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics from 1969-1970, the 50th edition. Written on the cover, in fading gold marking, is my father's name.

A quick search on eBay tells me that neither book is worth money, though a 1953 edition (same as I have) is listed with the description "packed full of great info great for the collector or the fan"... Fan? Of Chemistry? Out of date chemistry? For those of you not in the High Society of Chemical Nerdiness, the Periodic Table of the Elements (remember that?) is not a static thing. Since 1954, 18 more elements have been added to the list. So the 1953-54 book is indeed out of date.

But to me, the books are not crap. They're connections, however flimsy and tenuous, to people I didn't know at all or very well. They mean that I am the third generation who studied chemistry, without knowing it at the time (I chose my major in college well before I knew that my father and grandfather studied chemistry), so maybe I know them a little bit after all.

But the wood and iron wall hanging candle holders? Crap.


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