Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Getting Organized & Rid of Clutter

A Tribute
Before I start talking about organizing my space and getting rid of clutter, I want to pay tribute to my newspaper man Troy. It's been on my mind to do so in some way for some time now. Although I've only been in my apartment for about two years, I'm back in a community that I know well having lived in this area before. So it's like coming back home. But because I'm a few blocks over from where I used to live, new aspects of my community have come into my consciousness and everyday life. One such aspect was the neighborhood newspaper vendor who sold newspapers, rain or shine, hot or cold out of this little shanty of a newspaper stand. As he became more familiar with you, as a regular customer, his grunts of acknowledgement grew to words, like "you have a good day now," or he would honor your request for him to save a special issue of the paper for you. I knew he was old, but it was my daughter who made me realize he must have been really old. He was a tall man. Age made him move slow, but his build had not diminished like that of most older people who start getting shorter, sagging, losing weight, etc., etc. Plus, encounters were usually done through the open window of the passenger side of the car so I never really stood next to him. Then one day he wasn't there. Then the next day, and the next, and the next. I started asking the neighborhood regulars from the "upscale" to the "colorful characters"--"Where's the newspaper man? Anybody seen him?" No one had!!!! Not until my daughter saw the notice of his obituary in the window of the currency exchange a few blocks away did we know what had happened to Troy. That's when I learned what his name was. Troy, who had had no identification on him, had a stroke and laid in Cook County Hospital for nearly five days before his daughter had found him. I struggled with going to the services at the funeral home. I didn't go. Just wanted to remember him the way he was. Everytime I look at the special issues of the newspapers I asked him to save for me, and especially every time I look at the little lopsided, gray shanty of a newsstand he operated out of, I really miss Troy.

My Sanctuary
I love my bedroom. It is where I sleep of course, spend my quiet time, read, knit, spend time on my computer, watch a movie on my computer, entertain the grandkids with their movies--on my computer, just chill. The one room that I should have taken, in my apartment, is the one I gave my Mother (of course she doesn't want to change now, after almost 2 years)--the one that has the attached enclosed backporch!!!! That would have been the perfect, additional space for my studio, computer, etc. But since that's not going to happen, I've planned how to revamp my bedroom. But before I could even consider making a move, I had to get it organized which basically translates into throwing away clutter. Oh you won't see any photos here, yet (laugh). I can tell you, my computer desk is small but this is probably the first time you can see so much of its table top since I bought and assembled it!!! I'm no where near finished with my bedroom, but I've made such a tremendous start until I feel totally uplifted and/or like I've made some major headway. I have! I'm figuratively planning each wall space. Thank goodness it's a nice size room with wonderful walls. There is already the space that my bookshelf takes up with my wonderful books. The next wall is the one for my yarns and knitting supplies with a small rectangular table for my crafts. Thank goodness I don't indulge in many crafts like some of my more talented friends. I don't have the time for one thing. But knitting and counted crossstitch won't take up that much space. So when I've painted the walls, hung pictures and photos, then I will share my prized sanctuary with you.

I keep referring to my knitting. I've enclosed links to my favorite LYSs here in Chicago and other knitting sites. Well, although I do have many OTNs, WIPs, & UFOs (for the knitting challenged--On the Needles, Works in Progress, UnFinished Objects) I do knit. A lack of time is the single most important factor that contributes to my having so many incomplete projects. Okay, here are my excuses! I'm the only caregiver for my 90-year-old Mom; raising a 5-year-old grandson basically; still at the beck and call of my grown kids; and I work nights--at least I get to knit at work. But I do knit. Also, just like the "eyes being bigger than the stomach" syndrome when it comes to food, we knitters just have to have the next project, just have to buy more yarn, even when we have a ton of other things going on, on our needles. I have a large 3-ring binder of patterns I have pulled off the internet that I want to knit. It's no surprise that I discovered I'm not the only one who refers to knitters (myself at the top of the list) as ADHD!!!! But anyway I wanted to share a few photos of some things I'm knitting, have knitted, etc. The basket of pink yarn is for a blanket that I started knitting for my now 5-month-old granddaughter. She'll probably be able to use it for her first-born daughter. The blue garter-stitch sweater was made for Khalil(now almost 6) when he was maybe 3-years-old. I didn't know how to seam it. But I do now. This will now belong to little brother Aiden who turns two on Friday. This little blue garter stitch sweater is from Jill Eaton's book Big Fish, Little Fish, knit in one piece. It's really an easy, fun knit. I started knitting Kathy Zimmerman's sweater, My First Cardigan for my Mother for the 2008 Ravelympics. I suppose I could compete in this year's WIP category. Again, the lack of time knocked me way off track. But I'm determined. I've finished a few hats and scarves. I'll include photos of those things as time goes on. I don't feel like digging it out now, but the item I am most proudest of is a Brown Sheep Lambs Wool Sweater Jacket I made for my Mom. I had it lined and a small fur collar sewn on. I think it's a bit heavy for her 90-year-old frame now. In fact, I think if I threw it at her it would knock her down. But the weather here in Chicago would be perfect for it as opposed to the warm weather she experienced in Arkansas where I think she wore it a few times!

1 comment:

  1. Your story about Troy reminds me of a similar scenario in my neighborhood. I live down the street from a senior assisted living facility that has one of those big green cable boxes out in front of it. Everyday, this little old man that lives there comes out and sits atop this green box and waves at everybody driving down the busy street. People have become so accustomed to this that they now blow their horns at him and wave back. You do become used to things like this and then one day, it's gone...poof, vanished into thin air. I will be sad the day I don't see our friendly little man atop his perch, but I will remember how he thought he brought pleasure to all the busy people passing by.
    Thanks for sharing! :=)