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The Rake's Progress. Or: How the Purge Goes




Several cubic feet of things chucked chock-a-block into boxes and into the back of my car. An old dog bed--which probably should be just thrown out--and camisole tops and shorts that are years too young for me, which probably also should be thrown out. I pitched some old ceramic top bottles that I was saving for heaven knows what--I think I thought we were going to marinate our own vinegars or some such crafty thing. Duplicate shoes. Ugly toys. And there are so many ugly toys for boys. I worry that the boys will have no toys after I throw out the ugly and annoying ones. You try to throw out your kids' art work and try to explain it to them when they find it in the garbage! How did that get in there???

I gauge my progress on my satisfaction of how I feel at the cubic footage I've freed up. I do a little mathematical equation using our monthly mortgage, our home's square footage, solving for how much per month we've been paying out to store stacks of Yoga Journal magazines and empty Weck jars. And some people think there's no practical use for high school algebra.

The result, I suppose, is nominal. My sons brought in the stacks of art they made at art camp last week. My husband brought in tables from his restaurant and he's refinishing them out on the porch. I'm going to the thrift stores to comb through for more Eileen Fisher and Lilly Pulitzer. Although pickings are getting slim in the midsummer lull, I'd hate to miss another $800.00 coat like the one I found last week for $3.49. It's like unraveling a giant sweater that someone keeps knitting, and knitting, and knitting, and knitting, and knitting, and knitting...

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