On getting rid of skullcaps

By my reckoning, we’ll have eight suitcases to transport our life from this country back to that one. So I've set out on Mission Disappear. I’m obsessed. Just ask Walker who wondered why I was racing around the house cleaning every pair of glasses and sunglasses I could find.

I’m just trying to use up this glasses cleaner so I can throw it out I explained, tiptoed to the trash, dropped the bottle in, and did some mental arm-windmilling. One item down, 435 to go!

I sit on the floor for hours sorting and counting coins. I shred receipts during gaps in conversation. I open the freezer and see a loaf of bread leftover from a dinner party. For a second, I cock my head and then flip the garbage open and in one triumphant arc, vault the loaf over to the trash and listen to it thunk at the bottom in all its crystal-encased glory. I get this surge of exhilaration from freeing myself from stuff, from creating space and quiet. This freedom reminds me of poetry---the space makes what is left resonate more.

Today was a resounding victory when Walker told me I could throw out some radio CDs and a charger for his high school phone. I continue to plot the demise of the freebie stress-relief lions from a bank that make their bed in our office. He’s attached (intriguing since he doesn't know how to be stressed.) I also found 3 pairs of cufflinks that looked like they belonged to Willy Wonka, 4 bottles of cologne, and 2 skullcaps. Wha? He tried one on, informing me they used to be cool, and then whipped it off before I could get the shot.


While all this sounds like the Oscar the Grouch's reincarnation, in reality, I worry. I fall asleep wondering how we're going to get golf clubs back to the State and envisioning carrying elephant-sized umbrellas through security to be rejected. I visit every packing store in town to ask about shipping prices. I make lists of to sell and to keep and try to buy nothing. Every trip to the grocery store is ponderous, and makes me want to pull down the suitcases and load ‘er up right now. Since it’s too early, I resort to carrying around all the weight of the stuff in worry.

All of this is an introduction to the minute I opened the door around 4pm today to feel neutral, not cold, air and see shreds of blue sky. Distraction from stuff! I practically shut Walker’s computer on his hand and pulled him out the door. We took a walk to get his essays and papers (which he’s been totally smashing!). Castlecliffe, Economics building.


I am more than arm-windmilling-excited to share the jaunt. The flowers in Scotland flow over every wall and fence this time of year. It is exuberant.


Because I’ve rambled long enough and the pictures are starting to flow out like the flowers, I present instants of the first half o' this week:

Walker was at a radio event last night, so we had a girls dinner here, and my lovely girls unwittingly brought me my absolutely favorite flowers. White tulips. Thank you, lovelies!


We've had wack-yo weather this week. Scotland's rain is usually timid and fine, but today it rained hard and real. Walker stood by the window in awe. We'd seen it coming in the far-too-early evening light.


Walking down the street that seems as picturesquely collegiate as I can imagine reminded me that beauty stalks this town. We are so, so thankful to have been able to live here.


This afternoon was starbursts of yellow everywhere. In my apron, in the potholder, in the flowers that have lasted almost 2 weeks (turns out plant steroids work), on the street, in the music that is often jamming in our living room.


And today I am thankful that my cousin, who left the week of our wedding, is back safe from Afghanistan. Welcome home, Tom!


We are safe, we live in beauty, we are weighed down with more goodness than we can hold.