Thursday, April 07, 2016


I’ve splurged and ordered something I’ve wanted for a long time—a four-drawer oak filing cabinet (I’m tired of metal). It’s needed to transfer my files, always overcrowded, to the cottage whenever that happens. Meanwhile I’ve been struggling with overstuffed drawers. So today I started through the first drawer of my two-drawer file, which contains mostly stuff related to my writing. Discovered I could discard quite a bit, but still filled one carton. Lower drawer contains business files and is more of a challenge—plus it’s harder for me to work bent over.

When I filled the first box I had to open a carton of books returned by the restoration company—mostly it was packing paper and then some mass market paperbacks. Whatever they did to them worked because you couldn’t tell they’d had any damage. There were maybe 20 books—I sorted them into “keep” and “not keep” piles. There were also four video tapes—probably from the ‘90s and most likely of my interviews on City Cable TV when I used to interview authors. I doubt they survived moisture plus baking, and besides what would we play them on. The trouble with technology is that things are outmoded so quickly and no longer relevant—or retrievable.

Going through the files was a nostalgia trip, especially those that I discarded. One for Scooby, my ever sweet Aussie who died four years ago; another for a dog that I had to put down because he was a biter and bit Jacob twice—that really tore a new hole in my heart. Jacob asked tonight, “Is he dead?” Jay and I said yes. “Why didn’t you just give him to someone else?” We tried to explain that if a dog bites randomly it isn’t fair to give him to someone else. There were also files about publishing projects that never worked out, companies that I am sure are long out of business. I saved a lot of files about my career that will someday go to my archive at the Southwest Writers Collection but for now will go into my new file cabinet.

Big worry: what if the new file cabinet arrives before I empty the old one? And then there’s the file drawer under my desk, with active files, to sort out.

Believe me, downsizing is an overwhelming task. Meanwhile, they should deliver flooring tomorrow for the sunroom so it can acclimate and perhaps put it in first of next week. Still no city permit for remodeling the cottage.

Life goes on.

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