Let’s talk about “other” stuff first.
As we are preparing to move from our Lafayette house to the newly acquired house in Benton County, Indiana, we have a lot of sorting to do. Margaret and I have been going through file cabinets, bookshelves, other shelves, drawers, and boxes. Many of the boxes had been stored in the basement, some since we moved into the Lafayette house over 12 years ago.
Our efforts are aimed at disposing of stuff including papers that we neither need nor want any longer. Items like receipts for merchandise that is far to old to return, is no longer under warranty or is no longer in our possession. In some cases we are disposing of warranty information on such items. Then there are the manuals for things we no longer have. We don’t need any of these things and are getting rid of them.
Of course we are finding a lot of items that are no longer working and there should be no hesitation in tossing them in the trash. Sometimes the hoarder in me just does not want to let go of an item even if it is no longer functional. Maybe some component is usable for a different purpose. Maybe there is just a fond memory connected that I feel I would be disposing of along with the item.
We keep reminding ourselves that stuff that has no value will be clutter in the new house. But how do you define value? If we have not used an item in a long time, does that mean we will not have a use for it in the future? There is more than monetary value. There is the value of memories such as found in the hundreds of photos we have in albums or loose in envelopes. Photos of ourselves from out respective childhoods and later years. Photos of family members who are no longer among us. Photos of friends and family members who may or may not be people we get to see frequently.
And now about the awards.
In my sorting I have come across a few items that were, supposedly, meant to honor me in some minor way. I’m not a military veteran so there are no purple hearts or other such acknowledgements, nor should there be.
There is one little trophy statue that was “awarded” to both Margaret and me. It has a replica of a 1957 Chevrolet atop a tall pedestal and “2012” on a much shorter pedestal. The label says “Best of Class” and names the event: 5th Annual Cruzin’ On the Colfax Bricks. We had just acquired the Think City electric car and thought it would be fun to enter it into this small town event. The statue, if that is what it should be called, is made entirely of plastic except for the nuts and bolts that hold it together. So, I guess we were the ‘Best of Class’ at the event in 2012. I just don’t know what class we were best of. Electric car? Probably, but it could have been small cars or blue cars or plastic body cars or — well, who knows what? But did we really win this trophy? You see, I found out that there were 48 entrants in the event that year but the sponsors had 50 trophies to award. How could we lose?
Another trophy I found was awarded to me over 40 years ago. It is a four inch high bowling prize. I was on a team which managed to come in second in the league due to the fact that the scores were calculated using a 100 percent handicap. We had a young woman who was a very poor bowler (even worse the I was) at the beginning of the season. She improved drastically during the season and we benefited greatly from her handicap combined with her improved bowling. I had very little to do with our coming in second place.
In my file cabinet I found a few acknowledgements for having perfect attendance at my last pre-retirement employment where I was a security officer. There were also a few letters of nomination for Officer of the Month. Each month the command staff of each of the three shifts would nominate an officer to be considered Officer of the Month. Then one of them would be chosen as the Officer of the Month. I was nominated four or five times and received the honor twice.
As a new year began, there was a vote by all the employees of the security team to choose an Officer of the Year from the previous 12 monthly Officers of the Month. The second time I was Officer of the Month was for February of 2007. It was a shared honor as six other officers were nominated for the same shift. This was because all of us were present when a major snow storm hit the area and we were asked to stay over because the officers who were scheduled to come in were unable to do so. It was nice to receive the honor but, frankly, I don’t think I could have made it home, so why not stay over? That year we, the February Seven, jointly won the Officer of the Year honor. How could we lose when we practically had the other Officers of the Month outnumbered.
Last, but by no means least, is an award received by me from my wife on our sixth anniversary. She awarded me the Husband of the Year award. This certificate lists all of my wonderful characteristics that make me such a great husband. Do I sound a little full of myself? It’s not my fault, I’m just going by what was said and implied on the certificate. Actually, there is one thing that disturbs me about this. We have been married for over 24 years and I keep wondering who Margaret honored with this award the other 23 years.