May 31, 2005

The Odd Things People Do

I processed a new batch of cookbooks today. The previous owner felt compelled to write the date she received the cookbook in the mail somewhere on the book--the cover, the first page, the last page. In ink. Sometimes she wrote how much it cost and how she paid for it. Sometimes she stapled the mailing label from the envelope inside the front cover. This batch came from the estate of a former librarian. Maybe that explains why--it was her nature to keep detailed records.

That reminded me of my grandmother. She kept a spiral notebook on her coffee table that she used to write down the times each day she took her medicine. I understand that. Not good to get confused or forgetful and overmedicate. However, I never understood why she also wrote down the exact times of the sunrise and sunset each day. If she ever told me why she did that, I've forgotten.

Then my mind flitted away from the odd things people write down to the people who pass away and leave behind cabinets full of Tupperware, margarine and Cool Whip containers and the orphan lids that go to nothing. Entire cabinets full of the stuff. Then somebody else has to sort through all of it.

Long ago I decided I wasn't going to check out leaving behind a cabinet full of plastic food storage containers. I got rid of almost all of mine, in case I didn't have the opportunity to dispose of it ahead of time. I'm doing pretty good. For the last year, I've had two GladWare Containers, two Tupperware containers and one margarine bowl. I think I'll go pitch the margarine bowl now. I might leave behind a lot of useless stuff, but it's not going to be plastic.


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