Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 18, 2004
Better Late Than Never
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 18, 2004 – Canadians pay a lot of taxes. We’re also extremely fortunate to have a country with a responsible social safety net – hence the heavy tax burden. It’s coming up to the third week of June and sometime in July we (as a nation) will hit “tax free day”.
What we earn for the rest of the year will actually go into our jeans and not the deep pockets of the government. That day is a cause for celebration. I thought of that today, because for some unknown reason, at four o’clock, armed with plastic garbage bags, leather gloves, an ever-sharp kitchen paring knife and a positive attitude I descended into the bowels of my house – “the basement from hell”.
I’ve just spent the last three hours submerged – taking apart cardboard boxes, sweeping up dust, dirt and cobwebs and encouraging the de-humidifier to struggle through one more summer, with promises of a dignified retirement next year as a garden ornament.
This feels like the start of “basement free day”. I’m encouraged by this spurt of activity, but realistic enough to know that it’s taken me nine months to get this far. Perhaps I should look at this as a gestation period – with the birth of my pristine basement only days away.
I’m not sure what prompted this flurry of activity. I finished work related tasks by about three o’clock today and I was going to drive up to the Danforth and poke about in some of the home decor and garden stores. Then suddenly, there I was instead, deep in the dungeon of my basement, without my Sherpa guide and with only The Alphabet Boys to encourage me onward.
Now that I’m upstairs in my office, typing merrily on my keyboard and enjoying the fading light of this fine June day. I can honestly say that getting started on basement detail wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d thought it would be. I guess the right approach is to treat that clean-up job like any other task, and break it down into workable chores that can be tackled one at a time.
I’ve really only put a little dent in the work to be done down there. The real undertaking is to go through all the “family stuff” that resides in bags and boxes. It’s just waiting to crank up my guilty conscience.
After all, didn’t Janice, a friend from high school whom I haven’t seen for forty years give me that little bauble that says – “better late than never” – today was a start and a damn fine one at that!