Every year at around this time, as we return home from Christmas celebrations with more gifts and gadgets in toe, I begin to feel cluttered and overwhelmed. And hence, a mass clean-out takes place in the Smith-Cottrell house. I've always felt that I want a simple life, free from clutter, although this doesn't always seem possible. So I've settled for manageable clutter, only keeping things that actually get used. Really pretty things can sometimes be excused from this rule.
The end result is clean/empty cupboards (in our spare rooms) and pile and piles of things on the floor, all with specific destinations. There was a massive piles for the rubbish dump, a large pile for the Op Shop, and multiple piles of things that I need to return to friends and church.
I'm amazed at the things I collect, and they are mostly junk. Pieces of cardboard, and pretty beer bottles and shopping bags, and paints that have set in their tubes.
I also came across all my old books and assignments from school. Most of them have a new home at the rubbish dump, except for this one. A school journal from when I was in grade 3. My spelling is terrible, always has been, but the stories are very cute, and lovely to read. Jamie got great joy out of reading them aloud to me in a silly voice.
Most of my stories involve my big sister Sharolyn, who also features in my secret list of friends who were in "the club." She was in. Definitely in.
I'm glad that finding two crabs at the beach was a highlight for me back then. Still is.