News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Donít throw away the heavy stuff

We are not good at keeping New Year's resolutions, so we adopted a three-day project instead.

All year we moaned that it's time to start ridding ourselves of certain things. No more lick-and-a-promise deals, we were talking getting rid of things.

So from Dec. 29 to Jan 1, we ridded ourselves of useless stuff — two pickup loads.

But how do you decide?

If you saved something for 30 years, it must have been important when you made that decision, and it continued to have value year after year.

So we devised criteria:

(a) We had to identify and give the source of potential victims. If it stayed we had to say something like, "This is a waffle iron from Aunt Emmie Lou."

(b) We had to come up with some plausible use for the item or tell its sentimental value.

(c) If it was clothing, we had to have worn it within the past five years, or promise we would this year.

(d) And if it was a photograph, we had to identify the people in it. We're still debating the two open casket shots I inherited.

The rules were not fast. I cheated and Regina probably did, too. A couple of things outside the guidelines needed to go, so I tossed them when she wasn't looking.

One load of stuff went to the Salvation Army, the other one to a trash bin.

Our three-day resolution completed, we reflected on how we had accumulated so much. We marveled that we now have empty drawers and none of the others oozed useless junk as we closed them. (Some junk is not useless.)

"I'm going to be mad if after all of this a tornado blows the house away," Regina said, while rubbing her aching back.

"The house does seem lighter," I replied, "perhaps we overdid it."

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"I was thinking we might want to get a few old tires filled with concrete and throw them on the roof for anchor."

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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