Long Story Short: Snowed Under

Written by Mart Allen

martallenjpg-b71d96103834e49b_smallI am snowed under, and it is not because of snow. It is with an embarrassment of riches if you could call them that. I am talking about a plethora of perfectly useful articles I have no use for anymore. And I cannot see where I will in the future. I have always been a pack rat when it comes to saving articles that sometime in the future, perhaps even years, I might possibly have a need for again. At my age the possibility of that happening would be wishful thinking for 90 percent of the items.

It is a quandary everybody is faced with. How do you find room to store all of the paraphernalia you have no use for in the foreseeable future? The answer is you do not and if you do, how do you remember if have you it and where is it stored? How many times have you gone out and bought something because of the two questions posed by the last sentence? The answer to that is many times, only to find out later you had it all along. I have been plagued for years by the problem but guided by the adage it is better to be prepared rather than be caught empty handed. But will no longer, for one simple reason, and that is it is one of the few benefits of old age.

This revelation came about very innocently with a request I made to the Better Half of what has turned out to be the perfect business partnership for fifty seven years. It was, “Could I get you to wash my old Woolrich hunting pants in Wool Lite?” The answer was yes followed by, do we still have those old pants stretchers around yet. My answer was sure, but I am not sure. Neither of us could remember how long it had been since we had any need for them.

A search of the basement found four sets of them stored over-head between the floor joists. Best bet was for as long as the thirty years we have owned the house. I wrestled them down after dueling with the TV cable that ran between them. That of course is a whole other story in itself.

As it happens I have been in the process of unraveling the whole dilemma as outlined above for some-time and found many more examples of items such like the pant stretchers. One of the things that struck me was the many things I have had on hand for years and was not aware that I even had. I mean new tools, maintenance and repair items still in the heavy plastic sealed covers that defy opening without injuring yourself.

Perhaps one of the tools that sets the scene was a pair of snap ring pliers a professional mechanic would be proud to own. They have been hanging on the wall in my shop for at least twenty years while I struggled with a screw driver and thumb nail to remove and replace snap rings, fat dumb and blissful all that while I had the pliers. One of my biggest embarrassments was discovering a new router I had bought, reposing in clutter for who knows how long, I had forgotten ever buying. Of course I was both elated and ashamed. I do not quite know how to phrase it, as I realize I have not used it enough to justify consider buying it in the first place.

As I outlined in the second paragraph the quandaries are over for my part, since that is one of the perks I plan for myself. I mean it, this is no joke and I not only am going to eliminate the need to ever want for anything but not worry about inundating myself with tides of clutter.

Get prepared for Memorial Day and my garage sale because there is going to be a mountain of goodies on sale to some as yet unknown lucky shoppers. My junk can well be your treasures. Not all of my inventory will be offered because I recognize there will still be some need for everyday repairs and maintenance. The best of my tools not needed on a weekly basis will be given to my grandsons. I will not really miss them because I can always borrow them back when the need arises or I cannot con them into doing it for me. They already know how the system works since we have been sharing the fishing, hunting, trapping, boats, tools, boots, shoes etc. for as long as they needed them.

So there you have it. Take heart there will be a light at the end of the tunnel when you get old enough to be able to walk free from clutter. In the meantime feel free to ask me how it’s working out. What can go wrong?

The thought for the week is: A gun is like a parachute. If you need one and don’t have one you’ll probably never need one again.

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Mart Allen lives in Thendara, NY. Through his work at The Adirondack League Club and all over the Central Adirondacks he has been an advocate for Adirondack life for many, many years.