Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2018 - 10

MILL CREEK STORIES

Tin Cups
Is this the year for the
resolution to . . . simply
be yourself?
by Molly Dugger Brennan

Well, it's that time of
year again. I'm old
enough now to
call it what it really is, the time
of year when I lie
to myself about getting organized. Nothing
like starting the new year off with
a bit of self-delusion. The chances
that my New Year's resolution to
become organized succeeds are about the same as me
buying a winning lottery ticket. In both cases, I daydream about the lovely life I'll have once it happens and
then wallow in disappointment when it never does.
I don't know why I can't seem to clear clutter out
and keep it out. Why is this so hard? What happens to
flat surfaces in my house? I swear I clean them off, dust
them until they shine, and the clutter fairy drops 10
pounds of papers, bills, and miscellany on them when
my back is turned. The clutter fairy is so sneaky.
My mom was a pack rat, so maybe clutter has a genetic component. I remember the weekend she asked
me to help her organize. I was ecstatic. Finally, she
wanted to pare down the mountains of stuff in her
house. I assumed we would be throwing out boat loads
of clutter. She, on the other hand, thought we would
10 BlueRidgeCountry.com

be keeping every single object but storing it all in pretty, labeled boxes. So clutter mountain did not get any
smaller, it grew by 40 storage boxes and a label maker.
That was a frustrating weekend for us. I would hold
up an item that surely she could part with, only to
have it declared essential. Take for example, two dozen
tiny tin cups. When I asked her if they could go, her
response was, "I got those so when I throw a party I
can serve shrimp cocktails and those darling cups are
perfect for sauce."
Let me explain why that's funny. The only party my
mother ever hosted was my sixth birthday party, which
ended with her declaring she'd never host another. In
my family we refer to this as the "unfortunate pin-thetail-on-the-donkey incident." My juvenile sense of justice was incensed when I caught Betsy cheating and


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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2018 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2018 - Cover4
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