Spring Cleaning

I’m wearing a black silk skirt, a black wool sweater, and a black cat bag from my elementary school days. My mom undertook a spring cleaning at her home in San Diego, and as a result, my phone received photos of over a dozen bags of all shapes and sizes, all belonging to me. Do you want to keep any of these? There was a bright yellow tote bag featuring a screen print of Andy Warhol’s “Giant Size” (college), three different blue Jansport backpacks (middle school), a floral purse from Nordstrom’s BP section (definitely high school), among many others. The cat bag featured above is the only thing I kept for myself, though my mom held onto a few others in the name of memories. I’m not as vulnerable to nostalgia; I have no qualms getting rid of the old and clearing things out. For instance, whenever I survey my wardrobe, I find fewer excuses to keep any given item, so I regularly drop off garbage bags full of clothes at Goodwill. I have always held onto handwritten notes, letters, and cards, but I don’t receive nearly as many as I used to, so the collection I have thus far stuffed into three shoeboxes hasn’t required any new accommodations.
My sister recently moved from Seattle to Toronto with the goal of owning as few things as possible, so though I was encouraged to take anything and everything, I walked away with just four books: Lonely Planet’s Amsterdam guide, And Then There Were None, The Death and Life of Sylvia Plath, and a newer edition of The Catcher in the Rye. I very much want to visit Amsterdam, And Then There Were done is a perennial favorite and Agatha Christie is my mom’s favorite author, I’m as forever curious about Sylvia Plath as everyone else, and I collect any and all Salinger. Hauling these four books onto the flight from Seattle back to the Bay Area, I was faced with the sheer inconvenience of such a thing, and though I’m an advocate of good ole’ books, I’m also practical enough to know that the transition to e-books is largely inevitable. I’m just not there yet and I’m in no rush to get there.
I haven’t gone through any kind of spring cleaning myself, but I have embraced spring with nightly walks, deli sandwiches, last summer’s sandals, trips to the beach, and bike rides instead of car rides. I have two books on the immediate to-read list, both by Virginia Woolf. All is well.

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Labels: Notes, Personal,


  1. I had to read And Then there Were None in high school. I remember reading the last few pages first thing because I do not like mystery books and that was my way to defy the teacher. I wish that I could exercise the same kind of self-control you have about material possessions. Whenever I see books, I get so greedy.


  2. ‘… we dont have spring here in our side of the planet but I’d really like to do general cleaning. Thing is I couldn’t get around to it. But I love how your bags from yesteryears still exist. I’m not into keeping things (too) that is why it’s a wonder for me.

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