I had 48 hours before the Red Cross Charity Shop did a collection sweep of my suburb, so I was ready and rarin' to clean out my garage ... I had a mound of plastic rubbish bags, my MP3 player, and a packed lunch. I was set for the whole day.
"But I really don't want to do this," I moaned over the phone to a friend.
"You can so do it," my friend said in that jolly-hockey-sticks sort of rah-rah way your pals often have when trying to egg you on and yet, at the same time, are immensely relieved they don't have to do the work themselves. She was off to town, shopping, didn't give a toss about me and my garage.
After I'd backed my car out, I stood at the entrance of the garage and contemplated all the goodies that over the last two decades had been deemed too important to throw out ...
There were three suitcases crammed full of curtains and table cloths, and doilies. There were loads of photos and negatives, pop star memorabaelia from the sixties, and 21st birthday cards. There were two twiggy broom-sticks, a huuuuge pile of clothes, painted shells, unpainted shells, a toastie-maker, a record player and amps, glass-ware and crystal, a bike seat, half-a-dozen framed pictures, cans of paint, reams of cardboard and typing paper, and my old school shorthand exercise books. There were mystery books, and how-to books, and chiclit books, and a bucket-full of pumice I'd gathered from around Red Rocks. There were dried-up balloons that when you looked real closely read 'Happy Birthday Lorraine', long playing records from the rock'n'roll era, lots of gym stuff, a fold-down Christmas tree, a pair of rugs, a venetian blind, a partridge, a pear tree, the ark of the covenant....
By day's end, my back was hurting, I was exhausted and snarling, and I'd only cleaned three-quarters of the garage. Still, there were eight bags for the Red Cross, half a dozen bags for other charities who weren't as picky as the Red Cross with their request for good goods, and six more bags that were truly meant for the rubbish.
Thank goodness, I don't have to clean the garage again for another twenty years. By then it will probably be up to my heirs to do the deed. Ah, there is light at the end of this tunnel!