Clean Up the Clutter
by Linda C Butler
Sometimes we need a fresh start and a new beginning and we need to create space in our lives for the projects we want to do. We need to prune out the excesses so there is more time and energy for the things we want. For me, I have to cut back on other things to find time to write.
A writer on a blogpost I read recently used the metaphor of pruning a grape vine. The old vine can be many years old, but the grapes only grow on new shoots. Like pruning, I have been going through old papers and sorting out the family-related ones. Like the grape, some of the old photos and stories that I’ve come across have a new life, and are bursting forth as material for our blog. Culling the bad stuff creates room for new inspirations.
One project ahead of me is to transfer family slides to digital. Slides of the extended family are in plastic sheets with pockets, labelled “Dad’s relatives” and I have not looked at them for years. Some of the people are identified and others are not, as there is little room on slides to write names. Also, there are old photos in black and white that I will go through. Other family members are doing the same and we are sharing photos that we never knew existed.
Charlie Vance, my dad left many of his memories on cassette tapes and years ago I typed out the transcripts. I wrote some of the stories, but other material was left for another day. That day has arrived and I’m now going through the transcripts looking for material to share. At some point I will transfer the cassettes to digital to preserve them.
Cleaning up the clutter and sharing old material with the family is a good way to connect with the past and to learn about what our family was like as they settled on the prairies.
Going through old things is also a step to moving on to newer things and it helps to free me from the distraction that clutter causes. I remind myself that my great great grandparents came West from Ontario with very few possessions and I really don’t need all the stuff that has accumulated around me.