Friday, April 24, 2015

Only the Necessary

Going through my closet, discarding clothing and deciding that I need only a dress or two, a funeral dress or a party dress, for both are indeed the same, decisions were made.  Good Will received a portion, but the garbage pile also took on am embarrassingly large accretion of tee shirts.  Today's wardrobe, for me, consists of pants, long in winter, cropped in summer, and long flowing tops of linen or cotton.

So why on earth did I still hang on to that suit jacket from 15 years ago?  I will never again have an office job, nor will I ever don that expensive wool suit, for I am not of that generation, although time and age is creeping me onward.
A man who has at length found something to do will not need to get a new suit to do it in; for him the old will do, that has lain dusty in the garret for an indeterminate period.[....] I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. If there is not a new man, how can the new clothes be made to fit? If you have any enterprise before you, try it in your old clothes. All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be ... Henry David Thoreau
For I have found something to do, something to love, something to look forward to and some place to be in my old and comfortable clothing.  Gardening, volunteering, reading, writing and painting need only replacement items.

Even our dead wood and other debris placed on our front curb, set out for the annual "Fresh as A Daisy" pickup by the city, funded by tax dollars, was eschewed by several clunker type bashed up pickups.  This was after the old wrought iron paraphernalia and plastics were previously snatched by recyclers seeing gold in our discards.

One decision made last summer regarding our garden was that I would never purchase an accessory for the outside that was not made from natural materials: iron, clay, stone, rock, wood are all acceptable.  Look what I found yesterday while clearing off fallen leaves from our cottonwoods.  It is a tree stump hollowed out over the years by little ants (carpenter ants?) that turned the wood into "frass," something that looks like sawdust.  When I moved the stump and turned it over, the bottom portion turned out half eaten and decayed, a perfect place for planting pansies.  How fortunate when turned upside down, a lucky benevolence!

And now nary a piece of plastic to show in the wildflower garden!

This week a friend whose husband recently passed away gave me a polished rock from his collection.  He was a lapidarist with a massive collection of rocks and equipment that she donated to Ft. Lewis College in Durango where he taught for over two decades.  

This rock has snails embedded in the fossil.  I looked it up and found it is called an "ammonite" and the snails could have lived as long as 415 million years ago.  I am wearing it today and thinking of her and her lovely garden.

My last writing class in April 28, and I will have some readings to share during May.  And for all you Garrison Keillor fans of "A Prairie Home Companion," Sharon Olds will be on his show tomorrow evening, April 25, live from Town Hall.  We have read some of her work in our writing classes, so I am looking forward to hearing her.


  1. I love your tree stump planter it is really pretty. Love the stone you were gifted too - I have a few fossils found on beaches, they are so interesting, yours is a particularly good specimen. I have been decluttering for weeks now and it has become addictive! today I went to the tip with garden stuff, just junk really, plastic pots, broken tools, you name it! even an old Christmas tree that had grown about 7ft tall but was dying as it was potbound - it will be recycled which eases my guilt a little. My wardrobe is so nice and empty I find it so much easier to quickly get dressed every day now! So glad you have 'the bug' too, Betty

  2. It's funny how we hang onto clothing from a previous era of existence isn't it? I had to be very disciplined in our previous house because it was so small and there really wasn't room to store stuff that wasn't being used but I've slipped a bit now that the space pressure is not so acute and I have been trying to declutter on a more regular basis. My brother-in-law has a theory that every week one accumulates some cubic feet of "stuff" that one doesn't really need and I'm sure he's right. But it's not always easy to be streamlined and sometimes i've given things away too quickly and regretted it! Your garden looks delightful as does your new pendant - looks very tactile. Happy Springtime, Nancy! E x

  3. Good for you, getting rid of all the clothes you don't need. I like your stump and your new rock. VERY cool!

  4. Your garden is lovely ... and what a lucky find with the stump!

  5. Our place sorely needs a spring cleaning. That ammonite is seriously cool.

  6. Very nice post. Thank you for Henry Thoreau.

  7. I have SO many things on my "to do" list! You inspire me! Love that planter! Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!


Your comments mean a lot to me. Thank you so much for reading my post, and heaps more hugs and thank you's for leaving a note!