Christmas Wrapping Paper

Our ‘side project’ early this afternoon was to reclaim our atrium. It’s been in an altered state since the hardwood project started almost two years ago. My husband removed a cat ramp he built when we first moved in to allow the cats access from the upper deck into the atrium attic whose outside wall we cut a catdoor in. There was a corrosponding ramp on the outside of the house. Over the years, the raccoons figured out there was cat food available in the atrium. After a few battles (human verses coons) we boarded up the access, but never took down the ramp. Today was the day. We placed my father’s large ceramic vessels in the garden, took down a few things off the clothes line that were airing out, swept and vacuumed cobwebs out of everything, and returned bits and pieces to where they belonged. We even found a new home for the shop vac, which had been displaced after we bought a real vacuum head for our built-in system.

One of the last things I turned to was a collection of Christmas wrapping paper I brought down from the Island. It was in the atrium to air out. Like everything else from mom’s Island home, it smelled like smoke. After a month the paper was less smelly, but not salvageable. While it made me sad to place it in the garbage (no, not going to donate smoke infused wrapping paper), I am trying to keep in mind that it was on the top shelf of mom’s office closet, and one roll was held together with a rubber band so ancient that it crumbled as I handled it. My guess is that mom lost track of this paper stash a number of years ago. And while that in and of itself is sad, it’s normal for her situation. This ‘sad’ lasted an hour or so. Two years ago, I would have been bummed for a day. I prefer to think that this is  me accepting reality, rather than becoming desensitized or worse, indifferent.

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