Giving (away) and getting (back)

Wheels up!

I’ve lived in Casa Flor for seven years now, and during that period I’ve ridden this bicycle exactly zero times. Every day I got in my car I would think: “All it needs is new inner tubes and a once-over at the bike shop, and then —”

Then my rational side would take over and remind me that really, I had no intention of riding it anywhere, and if I did, I would have taken care of it a long time ago and pedaled … somewhere, anywhere.

Our garage is a hodgepodge of possessions — I moved into a house that was mostly furnished, so there are boxes of glassware, kitchen stuff and mementos that I’ve opened maybe once or twice, to search for a particular item. (“Where are the beaters to my damn hand mixer?”) CPOS and Mr. Brooks also have their odds and ends out there, as well as power tools and lawn equipment. Oh, and we can wedge two cars in there, too.

Today I took inventory of what was still out there, and whether I needed to hold onto items that I’d visited so rarely over more than half a decade.

  • Some of the things were no-brainers: Tubes of oil paint + 7 years, x 115° = disaster. (They went straight into the trash. I kept the nice brushes, though.)
  • Others inspired twinges of guilt: Why don’t I have these framed photos on display somewhere inside? (Despite this, they stayed in the garage, although incorporated into a new box to save on space.)
  • And others finally made the trek inside: The mandoline that I’ve refused to touch since it severed the tip of my finger years ago is getting one more chance* before I give it up for good.

* And by that, I mean one more chance to kill me. (CJ, please be on the standby for another frantic phone call.)

The bike had already been decided, though: Yesterday, my friend Lorel mentioned on Facebook that a “friend in need” could use some furniture, while the woman’s son had his bike stolen from school.  With just one message, the bicycle was transformed from a burden to a blessing: I was glad to be able to give it to someone who’ll appreciate it.

I was also able to donate a few other things, including a bookcase that also had been sitting in the garage for years. My books are already safely ensconced on shelves inside the house, so this is essentially an extra one, left over from the “furniture duplication” effect when I moved in. (When I eventually do move out, I’ll have different shelves anyway.)

Take a look at what you’ve got lying around, and see if you really use and appreciate it.  If not, chances are someone else would. Plus, you get to feel really good about your largesse — not that that should matter, but it could help take away the sting of parting with possessions, even if they’re not prized ones.

The shirt: Short-sleeved cotton henley by Converse One-Star, from Target.
The shorts: Knee-length jersey shorts, from Uniqlo in New York.
The shoes: Custom Converse All-Star sneakers I created on

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