I am on a cleaning spree. My husband says I always do this when I’m about to start a new writing project. Goodness knows, after a three year stint of writing this last book and editing and revising it and revising, etc. etc. etc. about the only thing I want is clear space. Both in my head and in my writing room. Ergo, I’m cleaning and tossing.

However, I also had to clean out my laptop. That was not my plan, but it seemed, instead, to be a joke from the Universe in the guise of a new backup program which had bought out my old backup program which I’ve had for, oh, goodness only knows, but I’ll say fifteen years, give or take.

It was a process, as they say.

But new back up is installed and all files are restored (well, I’m not completely done because there’s also files in backup that need to be cleaned out to say nothing of Dropbox which also has files, but I digress. As is often the case these days.)

But what led me on this rant is finding and reloading Trello. Which I’ve had not as long as the previous backup program but long enough to have a lot in it. Trello is really built for groups to work together on projects and add thoughts and changes etc etc and has as many boards as one chooses to have. I have several. The file backup program does not save programs oddly enough so I had to once again download Trello and magically, all my files were still on it.

My reason for Trello is to save the random and overwhelming bits and pieces of paper and Post-Its on which I place random thoughts, seemingly, it seems, that I think important.

Here’s one for you: “Mothers laughing with their children on their backs. And he had come to believe that all men were meant to be wanderers, like them, like Saint Francis, and that by joining the Way of the Universe you could find the Great Spirit everywhere–in the smell of bracken after rain, the buzz of a bee in foxglove, or in the eyes of a mule, looking with love on the blundering movements of his master.” The Way of the Universe. On the Black Hill, Bruce Chatwin.

If you’ve never read Bruce Chatwin, I recommend him highly. He was a wanderer. And I, being a wanderer, appreciate his voice. He died young, at age 48, in 1989, but his voice remains. The first book I read by him was In Patagonia. I have several others in my bookcases.

Here’s another piece in the Memoir board – board is what the separate spaces are called in Trello but I don’t know why except they probably relate to work each group is doing. I’m not a group.

“The Sunderland men, uncles, brothers, grandfather, would circle, telling stories. Dad told stories. Women’s stories are often relegated to mystery. But my mother, against that grain, told stories. I expect the women around the quilting frame with Grandma Sunderland told each other stories, but to each other. Not to us kids. The men’s stories were loud enough for all of us.”

A memory to put into whatever memoir piece I write one day. Maybe, for example, right here, now.

And now I must return to my previous task of gathering the loose bits of post-its and scraps of paper on which interesting thoughts are written or printed. I also, like my mother, have a habit of cutting out bits of newspaper stories – and just found, in this cleaning spree, the story printed in a newspaper of my mother being in the Kansas City Union Station when the Mob shootout of about 1920 happened. I knew that story but now I have the newspaper article, too, although a bit chewed at the edges from long storage.


Maybe I’ll write it up so you have it, too. But not tonight.


12 thoughts on “Cleaning

  1. Lovely “keeping you updated” post Janet. Calling over to check how you are faring with the tornadoes … are they anywhere near you.? … pray you are safe and do not have to go through any or the horrible weather prevailing over area. Hugs and prayers….πŸ€— πŸ™

  2. Wonderful scraps of memory. I’m in awe of how you organized your computer files. Mine are a mystery to me. On the other hand I have bankers boxes full of unfiled memories in the raw in hopes my children may someday find them interesting.

    1. I had to laugh at this one. Yeah, no doubt they will find treasures as I did when going through my mother’s things. Just last week, in fact, I mailed off some cards and letters and photos my siblings had sent her and which, for reasons you mention above, I kept. Now they have them instead of me. However, I still have all the letters she sent me and treasure them.

      1. I like that you keep all her letters. 🧑 I had heaps when I was away from family … only snail mail then and letters from Sri Lanka sometimes took 22 days so EVERYTHING that had to be said before posting made for very lengthy letters. πŸ˜„ So I got rid of some and brought some back. Now I wish I had kept them all … especially the ones from my Dad who is no more.

  3. It’s an oddity, isn’t it? Whenever I have a sense that I’m going to have to evacuate for a hurricane, I experience a compulsion to wash woodwork. Maybe for both of us it’s a longing to impose order when we know a disruptive “storm” of some sort is coming.

    1. Well said! “Order” is one of those things that slips away in a big house. I have, often, envied your small living space in the boat. Quite frankly, cleaning the woodwork may be a lot of work, but at least you don’t have to decide to save something! Thanks so much for replying.

  4. Cleaning up a laptop is not only not fun, but time-consuming. I need to be cleaning up, AKA decluttering, around the house, as we plan to move to Arizona early next year. Lots to do before then. Perhaps I should get up, have breakfast, and get at it. 😊


    1. Oh, my, Janet. I can’t even think of how we’d move out of this house. Along with all my pieces of paper etc. we have furniture and dishes from both my family and my husband’s. As i’m sure you do, too. And will you move your horses?

      Good courage with the decluttering! And the moving.

      1. The horses are in Wyoming so nothing to move. Yes, it will be quite a process, especially when it comes to books. I’ll do my best. πŸ˜‰. When we moved from our first house after 27 years and 4 people, we had to move in a week. It was an experience I prefer never to have again!

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