Guess what happens when the military pays to move your household and you have no kids and heavy objects like pool tables? You move one heck of a lot of paper. Over and over again. They moved us six or seven times over the years. They walk in and if it isn't moving, they pack it. They pack boxes that were packed in the last move. They stick a new shipping sticker on something that wasn't opened since the last move and ship it to the new place. And now we're in something of a final resting place. And the basement is filled with boxes. Like bills from 1979-1981 when we lived in Seattle. Or 1991-1994 when we lived in DC. Paperwork to obtain a mortgage on our first home in 1983. Paperwork on the sale of subsequent homes. And so on. In my search I found boxes from my job at Arthur Andersen. I left them in 1993 and well, you all know what happened to them after that. The research papers I wrote have survived longer than the accounting firm did. I did throw out my old pay stubs though. I think. And the more recent the box, the more harried my life and old bills are just thrown into a heap. No organization at all. You'd think I had enough old phone bills to do the excise tax thing. Nope. Just started a process of shredding all old bills starting with the more recent ones.
So really, other than a stroll down memory lane, there's little of any substance in these piles and piles of paper boxes. Other boxes have baby clothes and baby toys and family heirlooms, the stuff I can't let go. But I was so disgusted by the piles of paper junk that I wanted to throw them out. But I didn't have time to slow down and look at whether I could. I was moving too fast for that. So I'll have to go through these boxes again. But not today. Today I was on 'the search.'
Which was a bust. I have lots of other stories, but no copy anywhere of 'Charity,' a story I wrote I don't remember when. Sometime after Clarion. I remember where I was, but not what year it was. I let someone read a hard copy about 3 years ago and reread it myself. But now I can't find an electronic or hard copy. And of course my lizard brain is telling me this has the potential to be the best story of all time. Ha.
And right now it's tax season and my desk is covered with non-tax crap and I feel another paper box coming on. My system involves throwing the top of the desk into a storage box so I can do tax returns. Problem is, I never really sort the stuff back out of the box. Which is how the boxes pile up.
But hey, I found lots of drafts and notes from my novel several versions back when it was still only a novella.