Sunday, January 11, 2004


This afternoon TinyTuna uttered words I thought I would never, ever hear: I'm going to go play in the basement. It isn't Shakespeare, but I nearly burst into tears.

For years and years the basement has been the final frontier of clutter. It was so bad at one point; I had to bribe TinyTuna to venture inside. I actually waved United States currency in front of her face and said, "Do see that stack over in the corner? If you can get over there and bring me an empty container, I'll give you this dollar." Never one to turn down cash, she strapped on a GPS device and began the assault. I couldn't do it myself because I wasn't able to negotiate the trail without a Sherpa and oxygen. Mount Messy was a formidable opponent.

Making the rough places plain has been a long, torturous task. Trash bags have begotten trash bags, traveling to destinations far and wide: donation agencies, recycling agencies and dumpsters of friends. Today I am able to see and navigate the floor, all without the benefit of guide-dog or pogo-stick. This is progress in the first degree.

But make no mistake -- I am by no means finished. Realistically I don't think that will ever happen. My basement is the Alpha and Omega of all cleaning projects. It is without beginning or end. Is this upsetting or depressing? Not at all. As long as there is one more pile to plow through, one more toy to toss or one more sock to set free, there is reason to live another day. I have spent many an afternoon surveying the basement sludge and then opting to do something, anything else. Where is it written that from procrastination comes personal growth and diversity?

The answer my friends, is buried in my basement.

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