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Wayne Post
  • Anne Palumbo: Newest joy is, ahem, a little trashy

  • Take a seat, faithful readers, it is time for my annual column on “joy.”   Every year, as many know, I unveil a new joy, a new “something” that is making my spirit sing in a way it hasn’t sung since I shaped my shrubs into little ducks.

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  • Take a seat, faithful readers, it is time for my annual column on “joy.”   Every year, as many know, I unveil a new joy, a new “something” that is making my spirit sing in a way it hasn’t sung since I shaped my shrubs into little ducks.
    This year’s delight?  The joy of elimination.  Wait, let me restate that.  It’s the joy of reducing clutter – you know, tossing stuff that has been languishing in the attic, basement, or closet for years.
    I first discovered this joy a month ago when I was helping my mother clear out her attic.  Quite conveniently, we were able to install a Dumpster directly below the attic window. 
    Our elimination drill, which took place over seven splendiferous days, went something like this: We would pick up an item, think about its value, quickly decide it had none, and then toss it out the window and into the Dumpster below.
    More often than not, the sound of the object hitting the Dumpster floor made us laugh like wicked hyenas.   I don’t know why this was so, but perhaps it had something to do with the thrill of expeditious decision-making.
    Old luggage?  Yes?  No!  Boom!
    Armless Barbies?  Yes?  No!  Boom!
    Ancient lawn furniture?  Yes?  No!  Boom!
      I came to love that sound.  I found it utterly joyful, more intoxicating than shirring pines, a newborn’s coo, or the twinkling of shells on a sandy beach.
    BOOM!  Another one bites the dust.
    The positive experience inspired me to address my own basement clutter, a frightening accumulation of Too Much Stuff.  Although I don’t have the deadline of a rented Dumpster, I do have the deadline of weekly refuse collection, a.k.a. Trash Day.
    My life is now organized around Trash Day, in that, up to that delightful day, I am obsessed with two things:  what I can toss and what they will take.  I’m forever worried, you see, that my pile will be too overwhelming.
    Fortunately, it never is.  I know this because when I hear the truck coming – another sound that makes my heart skip a beat – I hide behind drapes and watch what they do.  Without exception, they have taken everything I have ever put out by the curb.  Talk about joy! 
    After they are gone, I can’t help but call my husband and gush about all that was hauled away.  “Don’t you have a column to write?  Some spices to organize?” he will ask, mystified by my tremendous enthusiasm.
    What makes me jump for this particular joy is its never-ending quality. I see now that holding on to junk has its own silver lining.  My husband would beg to differ, but what does he know about spying on trash men?  I rest my joyous case.

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