Jennifer Fulwiler, who writes one of my favorite blogs, Conversion Diary, is pregnant and ill with blood clots in her lungs. She expects to recover, but it will take months. In the meantime, she is reading lots of blogs. If I lived in the same town as Jennifer, I would bring her soup or invite her kids over to my house for an afternoon. I don't live in Jennifer's town, so the next best thing I can do is write frequently on the blog to entertain her. Here we go.
Yesterday I cleaned out the furnace room. We call it the furnace room because it contains the furnace. We're literalists, that way. We could also call it the room of unidentified junk we step over to get to the furnace if it stops working. That would be more accurate. Or maybe the room of the sneaky condenser leak that ran under the basement carpet along the wall for two months until it molded. That gives it some history. Clearly it's a room of adventure.
But I cleaned it out this week. I threw out two suitcases with holes in them. I threw out parts to a stroller we gave away years ago, and empty boxes from appliances that broke five years ago. I threw out styrofoam and plastic sheeting. My husband loaded two headboards, four bed frames, and an old rug into my dad's truck and I drove them to Goodwill. I don't know how we crammed all that junk into the furnace room. I also don't know why.
Besides all the junk, we keep our tools in the furnace room. Most of them. The ones that aren't left under the sink or in a tin can on a shelf or deep down between the couch cushions. After I cleaned out the junk, I started sorting the tools. This was challenging, since I didn't know what several of them were. But I got them more or less organized: things that tighten, things that pound, things that are sharp, things that are rough, things I can't identify.
I cleaned and organized and tried to simplify. Still, I could not bring myself to throw away screws and nails. There are pounds and pounds of screws and nails in that basement. Why do I keep them? Am I planning to begin a rash of home carpentry projects? Perhaps using the tools I can't identify! I bet they take extra screws.
Unless the handful of frames I have hanging on my walls inexplicably increase in mass and require an additional 127 nails apiece to hold them up, I am in no danger of running out.