The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 8, 2014

The process of weeding

By Peggy Goodrich, columnist
Enid News and Eagle

— How do you weed stuff out? Think about it.

When I was a kid and helped with the gardening, we pulled the weeds and grass and left only the productive plants.  The same holds true today, although we don’t really raise a garden.  

But, still we need to “weed” occasionally and sort out all the things from our closets and cabinets and gardens and lives, leaving only the things we want or will use.

Here comes the big decisions: what shall we keep and use? Jim and I decided (well, I decided, and Jim went along with it) that we would cull out some things from our closets and house that we did not want, or would not use or wear. Even though we could not wear them now, we hoped and thought we would be able to wear them someday soon. NOT!  When and if we do lose weight, we will want new clothes and not wear the old out-of-date ones.  

Both of us have clothes that either never will go out of style, or they do and we really don’t care, we wear them anyway. It is difficult to decide what to discard and what to keep for another season. We purchase items with the idea that we will keep them forever and we almost do. But we get tired of them in time. Still, when the time comes to pass them on, we are hesitant to do so because “we might want them someday.”

In the clever book “Clutter’s Last Stand,” the author asked these questions: (1) Do you live in fear that someone you respect may someday open one of your closets? (2) Have you ever threatened bodily harm to anyone who opens a drawer in front of company?  (3) Do you wait until dark to pull your car into the garage? (4) Have you ever finally replaced a broken part — then kept the broken part? (5) Do you live with someone who has too much junk, as opposed to your “things?”

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then it is time to weed out. We need to sift, sort and share the things we have so lovingly stored all these years. We need to simplify and get rid of some of the clutter and clothes and collections — and give them away to someone who can use our stuff and “things.”

I would rather  give our things away than make a profit, but I do want them to go to someone deserving and appreciative. Deciding where to give the clothes and things is one thing, but deciding what to give is much harder. We are not greedy, but as I said, we might “just need that someday.” Everything is a decision. Will we wear it again? As soon as it is gone, will we wish we had it back to go with something we still have?  

When I do sort and weed, and de-clutter, I make three piles: keep, give away or throw away. Sometimes, I put things in the throw-away pile and make it a “think about it awhile” pile. If I am not sure, I put it there and go back and review in a week or so. Then I decide  where it goes. There have been a few times I was glad I went back and retrieved it.  

Something else I do that helps me clear things out is to take a shelf or a drawer every day and straighten it. I start New Years Day and by spring every drawer or shelf has been gone over. It works for me. I could do a lot of sorting in the time it takes to write this article,  but it is much easier to talk about weeding than to do it. And much more fun.

In the old days, it was easy to make a decision. We outgrew our clothes and they automatically went to a smaller sister or cousin or neighbor. During the Depression years, everything was shared. We  never thought of “hanging on” to something just because we might need it someday — someone else needed it NOW. There was no decision of giving things away, someone else could use it more than we could. Sharing was just a part of life.   

Back then, we did not have a lot of “things,”  but we did have the things that were necessary. Clothing was always shared as was food and warmth. It didn’t have to be fancy, we  shared our bounty, whether it be a pot of beans or bread or canned goods. We never turned anyone away hungry or cold.  

I have decided to start  weeding now. The older I get, the more I have to weed. I consider need — then weed. When my nieces or  granddaughters come over, I send them home with a box of dishes or old trinkets. Let them dust them awhile. They seem to love them and I enjoy their having “my” things.

I am passing down many things that belonged to my grandma and parents.  Each gift has a story of how I acquired it and how I have enjoyed it. That keeps memories alive and weeds out some more “things.” Knowing they go to good homes brings me pleasure. I have told the recipients that if I get lonesome for  the things I have given them, that I will come over to their house — and I will.  

This recipe has absolutely nothing to do with weeding and cleaning, but it makes a  nice brunch with scrambled eggs and sausage and good hot coffee.  If you have a can of biscuits in your  refrigerator, you can have a pretty fine  meal in a short time. My sister in Albuquerque gave me the recipe.  

Pineapple Biscuits

2 tablespoons butter

1⁄2 cup brown sugar

3⁄4 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 package refrigerated biscuits (10 of the small ones)

Melt butter in cake pan. Add brown sugar, pineapple and cinnamon.  Arrange biscuits on top of mixture.  Bake in 425-degree oven the length of time specified on biscuit package.  Invert on serving platter.  

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.쇓