Then comes: Assign a home, Containerize, and Equalize.  You now have the secret formula for making SPACE in which to live without succumbing to the clutter.  Easier said than done!!!

As Mary Ann and I looked at the symbols of our life as individuals and together, the sorting and purging has had implications beyond the things themselves.  While Mary Ann has been better at letting go of things than have I, I have inferred from a couple of reactions that she struggles with so much of her life being out of her control.  She has to get me to do for her much of which she has always done for herself.  She has an independent streak a mile wide.  It has to frustrate her to no end to have to depend on someone else, someone who gets grumpy and complains far too often.

To have things thrust in front of her with the question, “keep or give away,” can’t have been very easy, especially with an impaired Executive Function (reasoning things out rationally) due to the Parkinson’s Disease Dementia.  We wore her out.  She went to bed early.  We made a point of keeping anything about which there was any hesitance on Mary Ann’s part. She retained the veto power.

As the memories of past times are triggered, there are questions that lurk behind them: Is that all there is?  Is it enough?  Are there more memories to be made?  Does letting go of the symbol diminish or dishonor the past experience symbolized by it?  What on earth is this and when and where did we get it?

Actually, we have only done the relatively easy items.  For me, there will be boxes of ministry related items and memorabilia that have to be dealt with.  What does a person do with forty years of sermons?  Why do I suspect there are a number of smart aleck comments wandering around the minds of readers?

I have mixed feelings about the sorting, purging and organizing that is going on.  The benefit seems to me to be gaining space in which to live, both physically and mentally.  The clutter occupies a lot of space in my world.  On the other side of it, there is a bit of fear that having that job done will remove a goal that helps define my purpose.  I need to clean the basement.  That is a job for retirement.  Once it is done, what will fill its spot in my sense of purpose, my intentions?

Anyway, the task goes on.  While we were in the garage working on that task, a couple of medium-sized, maybe Labrador mix, stray dogs wandered by to visit.  They had no collars.  They were friendly, and appeared to be well-fed and in good health.  They were great with the kids.  We called animal control, but they dogs had wandered away by the time the truck arrived.  After he left, they returned and spent an hour or hour and a half, hanging around, playing with a tennis ball the kids were throwing, lying on the deck as the family sat out there.  I phoned animal control again, but this time no one showed up.  Finally, they wandered off.  I hope they are caught and find a good home.

Well, again, I am too tired to write any more tonight.  It is time to get some sleep.  Hopefully both Mary Ann and I will sleep well.

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