November 15, 2008

Tonight was the night we burned all our junk mail we have received over the past year. I tossed a nice log into the chiminea, got it burning nice and fragrant, and then proceeded to fire up every credit card offer, bill receipt, and junk mail for the past year, and watch it go up in smoke to the tune of surf music. It took two Sam Adams – a lovel Brown Ale and a Boston Lager – to go through the blue laundry basket we use as a junk mail repository to burn the entire contents.

As I tossed each item into the fire, I’d give each a quick glance – the obligatory Capitol One, Chase, and Bank of America credit card offers (I’m thinking Capitol One alone must have razed an entire Brazilian rain forest with all the offers they send out) alone probably made up 1/3 of all the crap I burned. But what I found interesting was some paid bill references from earlier last year that I had completely forgot about; I realize now it wasn’t just nine credit cards that comprised the 65K+ debt we once had in credit cards alone, but twelve – I had completely forgotten about the Dell, Victoria’s Secret, and Firestone cards we once owed money on. The fact that we’re down to less than $12K on our credit cards makes me realize just how hard a grind this year has been.

And just how far we still have to go.

I also found in this pile a whole bunch of receipts left over from some business trips Tracey had taken while she was employed at the University of Louisville – she obviously had cleaned out a file drawer sometime this year. How strange it was to see the memories of those days with our address at 8707-E Big Tree Circle in Louisville come back to me; it really seems like a lifetime ago. The world was a very diffrerent place indeed back in 2000! I thought back to our Louisville apartment, and all the rabbits, cats, and birds we jammed into that 1,100 sq. foot two bath, two bedroom apartment! There was Rascal and Sparkle our cats (now gone), Ferd and Bird (our parakeeets, also gone), and Marble and Pepper (gone also), proud parents of Marble Junior (still with us), Marble Junior Junior (gone), and Li’l Pepper, Mocha, Half N’ Half, Bandit, and Marshmallow (probably gone). To see those years dissipate in flame and smoke in just seconds, well, let’s just say it goes to show just how little time means in the grand scheme of things.

But dissipate they all did. And now we have an empty blue basket, waiting for the next set of credit card offers to come along. To which we’ll just say no.

I wonder what the world will look like a year from now on the next burn night.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:19 | Comments (4)
  1. Oh Doug…that brought back so many memories for me as well. Small though our apartments were, we certainly filled them with laughter and tears and martinis and baked cheese grits (everyone imagine Doug’s face twisting into a huge BLEGGGGHHHHHH).In naming your pets now gone, I want to add Alexander and Elizabeth. I remember how you and Tracey came to his aide when he pooped in his fur…true friends to the “end”. I recycle all the trash mail. I recycle everything I can now and love emptying my trunk monthly at the recycle center. I am going to ask the condo association if there are any limits on solar panels…would love to have them. Condsidering a tankless water heater. Actually I am hooked on the show Living With Ed…I want shredded blue jeans insulation, bamboo floors upstairs, seagrass area rugs. I am all over this sustainable materials. I am saving lots of newpaper for spring. If you plant flowers, then put wet newpaper around them and then mulch, weeds cannot grow through the, huh?

    Comment by Jana — November 16, 2008 @ 6:31 am

  2. Geez Jana, you’re the third person I’ve heard mention tankless water heaters. Anyone else out there thinking about this or knowing anything about it?

    Comment by The Great White Shank — November 16, 2008 @ 11:12 pm

  3. This something Rod McKuen wrote in ’83…thought it is still worth sharing

    One day you wake up sure beyond all wondering that deadlines are the food of stress. Other people’s stopping places. Other people’s deadlines. Other people’s No, you can’t. Yes, you must.

    If you are of good fortune or among the favored few, somewhere between the last pay check and the head exploding, you come upon sweet solitude in all its joy and finery. It is then you understand at once that here is finally friend and lover you went seeking long ago. If not true friend then compliment to same. And no less a lover than the last your arms go ’round as God administers the final count.

    Stress by any handle, tension or tomorrow is the enemy of reason, betrayer of each confidence and harbinger of every trouble laid at the feet of time. Who can sing of solitude enough? Why do we fear the word? Perhaps the answer is the question. Must there always be a why and a why not? Only if within the blood there is no sense of daring-do. Stress will always be the chain that holds us back from solitude, the great adventure.
    -from Folio #40 , 1983

    Comment by Jana — November 17, 2008 @ 6:47 am

  4. “Stress by any handle, tension or tomorrow is the enemy of reason, betrayer of each confidence and harbinger of every trouble laid at the feet of time.” — no wonder any company working with offshore resources is so screwed up. 🙂

    Comment by The Great White Shank — November 19, 2008 @ 3:58 pm

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