Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shredding the past

Have you ever wanted to get rid of of some things in your past?  Wouldn't it be easy to simply shred it and forget about it?  Yeah, me too.

Just the beginning
Back in April, a friend told us about a Home Energy Efficiency Program in-home energy audit that OG&E is offering. I called and we were putting on a waiting list.  Finally in the third weekend in June, it was our turn!  We figured our house was pretty bad, but it wasn't as bad as we thought until he crawled up into our attic to evaluate it.Can you imagine 22 years of junk treasures?  The Specialist (sounds covert huh?) explained what they could do to help, but couldn't come back until the attic was cleaned out - completely!!!  It was a MESS! My house feels so incredibly dirty! 

Honey and I got up at 5 a.m. that Saturday (less than a week before his cataract surgery) and started the great ordeal.  Took us only three hours, but our house and garage now looked like it had thrown up! 
OG&E came back two days later, blew 8" more insulation in the attic, installed 3 new smoke alarms (in each bedroom) and a carbon monoxide detector, caulked all our windows, put weather stripping on the outside doors, and sealed up the attic entrance with some fancy zipper thing (our AC was sucking air from the attic).  So now each time we need to get the in attic, we have to unzip it!  Maybe it will keep us from sticking more junk treasures up there!   

We've sorted, de-junked, re-boxed and put some things back into the attic, only 1/4 of what we took out. Really need to have a garage sale to get rid of the rest of the treasures we found, but that is another weekend.  I'm in the process of shredding 12 yrs.of past taxes (in old Mason Shoe boxes) and old cards/letters. Now, Honey doesn't like to throw things away - I call him a "keeper". Since we've under a burn ban, I'm shredding it and taking the stuff to the Humane society. So far I'm up to eleven bags of shredded memories.  Now, Honey's not alone in his "keeping crime."  We found EVERY letter we wrote to each other during our dating years all the way up until a few years ago.  Can we say, some of them NEED to be shredded as well!!!  Oh My!!!  I think some of them still smell of that oh so wonderful Old Spice Musk - that took me back! 

In the process of all this shredding the past, I discovered some interesting memories.  It was incredible to start with pre-dating years (yeah, I know) to track not only our spending habits, but Honey and I's  relationship and marriage. Indulge me for a paragraph, please. 

Receipt and wording of first flowers Honey sent me, phone bills (back when we were charged per phone call for long distance and the phone was attached to the wall), to the first payment on our engagement/wedding rings, and wedding stuff. High school,college, and current jobs, We started our marriage making $28,000 a year, could fill up our car/van for less than $18,  and we paid $260 a month in rent for a 2 bedroom apt. I was reminded of when Honey went to Promise Keepers, kids took swim lessons, when we paid off student loans, went camping, insurance payments for the Green Tank ('72 Chevy Chevelle), tithes made, my surgeries for ovarian tumors (yuck!), what kids I cared for in our home, our first two dogs,  first house and car payments, when Oldest was hospitalized for croup, our home flooded, hospital bills when we had each child, Oldest started playing baseball...

 I know, that's a LOT of paper, cancelled checks, receipts, and memories, and if you think I shredded EVERYTHING, I kept a few things, but not not enough to fill up one shoe box.  I'm going to be so glad when this is done, but it's been nice to remember where we've been and to dream of where we're going. I may have to see about putting a lock on the attic, it really nice to have it so clean.  Cleaning the attic was one of those things on our "Do List" for someday when it got nice and cool.  I can almost hear the attic thanking us.
Have you ever had something on your "Do List" for a LONG time and finally crossed it off your list?  Please help me feel better about the attic fiasco and tell me about your!  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm down to my last box to shred!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keeping some of those items you listed isn't a bad thing. It's a great thing to share w/your kiddos especially when they ask "how much was ... when you were .... age". My father-in-law still has his first car sale bill from his 1st car. The hospital bill of what it cost to have their firstborn, etc. On a different note, you do such a great job in writing. You did that when we were in college and I'm glad you've kept at it. :)