Sunday, September 23, 2018
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Coming out of the closet

altThe tiniest closet in the smallest bedroom of my house contains all the bits and pieces from years of collecting craft supplies.

My “yellow room,” as it’s known, is my creative space. That’s where I do my scrapbooking, sewing, writing and pretty much any other expressive task that takes a bit of imagination or inspiration.

The closet and all of its elements of art have been neglected for quite some time.

In fact, I think cleaning and organizing that closet was on my to-do list for the New Year in 2010.

I finally took the time over the weekend.

There must have been a thousand, if not more, pipe cleaners in one plastic container the size of a shoebox. In the other eight boxes, I found at least 10 jars of glitter, 14 skeins of yarn and more popsicle sticks than I cared to count, not to mention the feathers and beads and rolls of ribbon.

There were also a couple of larger boxes holding what looked like every school paper my youngest son had completed in first and second grades.

I decided I could deliver those simple addition and phonics assignments to the trash gods since my son will be heading to college next month and he didn’t care to take them along for reference.

Beyond the stuff in the closet that was corralled in containers, there was plenty more roaming loose.

By the time I had gotten through each piece, I’d found enough useless junk to fill a big black trash bag.

I should have foreseen a problem early on.

When I tied the red drawstring and lifted the bag off the floor, the black plastic stretched until it was transparent.

I knew I was going to have to hurry down the stairs, out the driveway and around the corner to the dumpster before the tie broke.

But the tie wasn’t the issue.

About halfway to the dumpster, the bottom blew out of the bag, sending Tyler’s elementary homework to the street and ultimately across the neighborhood in the wind.

Also scattered were the remnants of a basket of potpourri along with some worn-out paint brushes and an armload of fabric scraps.

It could have been a “funniest home video” moment for my neighbors but I don’t think anyone caught me on film. At least no one came to offer help chasing my trash down Popleton Street.

I survived the round-up in 100-degree heat and I think I got everything delivered to the dumpster.

When I went back inside and plopped down in the yellow room to cool off and admire my clean closet, I heard my dad’s voice loud and clear in my head, reinforcing one of those “dad lessons”:

“That’s what you get for trying to stuff 50 pounds of crap in a 30-pound bag.”

Yes, Dad, I know.