Connections: Clearing the Decks

Perhaps it was the high-pressure zone this week or, more likely, that my husband was about to head back to work five days a week in the city after months of recuperation from surgery here, but the sort-it-out, throw-it-away, reorganize-it bug hit me bad this week.
    While others who find themselves with a little time to spare on glorious summer days might head for the beach or hop on the bike, I take pleasure in straightening my nest.
    It’s also true that I have been getting up earlier than usual, ever since my recent trip to Ethiopia, which is seven hours ahead of us. That’s a plus when you’re on a neatness binge. 
    Over all, this sort of clearing of the decks is fun — but I was dismayed to discover exactly how many papers, pamphlets, photographs, folders, magazine clippings, and  other ephemera I had allowed myself to accumulate willy-nilly. All of a sudden, it became obvious that it would have been easy to put them in proper places to begin with.
    I had been piling family photographs in a stack by my desk, without much thought, and forgotten they were there. It felt good, then, to put them into labeled envelopes. (How organized am I?) Just this week I ordered 31 new prints of David Teodros Rattray, the newest member of the family (who has joined us from Ethiopia), and I’m glad they won’t just disappear into an office oblivion.
    During sorting, I took time to frame some photos of my husband’s grandchildren, who had noticed some time ago that they weren’t represented on my desk at The Star. I also found the original photograph of Jeremiah Huntting, my late mother-in-law’s grandfather, standing in front of his Main Street house. That one really deserves a good frame.
    But the real reward is how it feels to have done away with a lot of clutter . . .  at least in one room. A low-pressure zone may well to arrive ter . . .  at least in one room. A low-pressure zone may well arrive some day soon, and it is apt to defeat my intention to move on to other parts of the house.

    For readers who may recall a column I wrote here not long ago about having cleaned up the family barn, the recent death attributed to hantavirus of a young man who had a chiropractic practice in East Hampton and Montauk puts into serious perspective the promise I made in that column to make sure that we all wear masks during future barn forays.
    My condolences go to the family of David Hartstein, who died on June 17 at the age of 35.