Lesson 780 – What’s in a book?

This doesn’t have much to do with chickens (although I suppose it could fall under a feathering the nest category), but I wanted to share this story with you just the same.

Those who know me know that clutter is attracted to me like the squirrels are to the peanut lady in the park. I’ve tried and tried (during one particular life experiment, I even documented the “gutting” of every room in my house and ended up moving out over 5,000 pounds of clutter), but the detritus of life still seems to creep back.

I try to move things out. I make weekly visits to the Goodwill with castoffs that have been thrown into our “to-go” bin as soon as they are discovered and I’ve brought bags and bags of books to our library to be used in book sales. It makes a dent, but not by much.

Just when I think I’ve got a handle on things, things happen, like my chicks return from college and need a place to store their “stuff.” The girls need space for school, soccer, swim team, theater, clubs, and their abundant collection of nail polish bottles. Planned party decorations need a spot to rest until the big day. Odd dishes collect, the surviving parts of one collection being combined with another (honestly, we’ve only *just* moved to glass glasses from those horrid sippy-cup things – I’m kidding, but not by much.)

I’m always looking for advice, a system that will work and move all of this clutter out of my life. I’d like to know what it feels like to walk in a straight line across the TV room floor without having to dodge child-castoff debris just once before I die.

Which is why at our local library book sale this weekend where I worked on Sunday, I was intrigued by a book I found buried in the self-help section. Ah-ha, I thought, this is something I should definitely read. I put it in my bag thinking myself so very clever. Like an alcoholic, I had first admitted I had a problem and now I was taking steps to correct it.


Later that evening, I settled down with my book stash from the sale (most will be returned for the next sale after I read them, I promise you) and I picked up the clutter book and re-read its cover. This book was going to tell me how to “clean it up, clear it out, and keep my life clutter-free.”

“This is *exactly* what I needed!” I thought to myself.

I turned the first page, then I got to the title page and this is what I saw:



Yup, I had purchased a book, donated it to the library and then repurchased it again at the library sale.

You see? This is what happens to your brain when you are the mama hen to a flock of young chicks who move in every direction and who have constant demands. Eventually, if given enough time, they will slowly peck your mind to the point where, even if you admit you have a clutter problem, you are powerless to address it – until, that is, the very last chick leaves the nest and then, look out kids, yard sale at my house.

And this time I’m not kidding.

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.


Filed under Life Lessons, Personal, Points to ponder, Teaching kids, The Family, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Lesson 780 – What’s in a book?

  1. Kristin

    Well there you go! Serendipity?

  2. As a person who constantly struggles not to die in the proverbial pile of **** of a “hoarder,” I resonate to this post.

  3. It could be said you are decluttering one book at a time!

  4. Good grief, I nearly sprayed Diet Pepsi all over my keyboard, I laughed so hard!

    • I laughed so hard when I saw the book with your name inside.I have done the same thing. I make sure now that when I buy a book from a place I donated it to, that I check out the inside to see if my initials are there. I place my initials on page 22. I don’t know why I write it on that page other than the fact that in the early 70’s some places ripped the covers off or the front page is rip out (both after I have donated them.) I started initialing the books I read on page 22. When I borrow or buy books I usually check that page before they come home with me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s