‘Winter is coming’

Warning of terrors ahead when cleaning the basement

By CHRIS HAMBLE – Gazette Columnist

Twins win! Twins win! Twins win!

Sorry, Twins victories are a rarity this year so you have to enjoy them when they come. Which, on the plus side, will put me in a better mood than I was in last week. So I’ll keep the lambasting to a minimum and stick to what I know best: quirky quips and junior-high level English. So let’s get too it shall we?

In the current HBO series "Game of Thrones," one of the main "families" the story revolves around has a saying, "Winter is coming." It’s an ominous warning of unseen terrors, and a horrible season to come.

It’s dire, yet ironic, because HBO decided to put the show on in spring. So why bring it up? No reason, I was just watching old episodes on "On Demand" last night after taking a reprieve from one of the two real terrors of the season. I’ve touched on one earlier – severe weather – so it’s time to tackle the worst of the two, one of the banes of my existence. The horrible experience of "spring cleaning."

I’m no hoarder, but I do like old things. So when we decided (or rather, were forced to because of a slight re-modeling) to clean out the basement, it was not only physically exhausting, but my brain’s "nostalgia glands" were completely drained.

Box after box after box came from the deep, dark pits of the basement, also known as "my room," and "the room that’s going to be made into a lounge after we kick out the dead beat" by my parents. After the artful dodging of spiders, mold, my rogue dirty socks, and those gigantic, creepy house centipedes, we have been tasked with the … well, task of sorting through the stuff and getting rid of everything unnecessary.

Considering these things have been in boxes (or "totes," if you want to get really specific,) for the better part of a decade, the term "unnecessary" should apply to just about everything. Oh, but if it was that easy. So the process begins.

The first boxes open and, Christmas decorations. We haven’t used this stuff since I was in elementary school, so trash it right? No, we might use it at some undisclosed date in the future. Better to be prepared for this Christmas I suppose if the Mayans are wrong about that whole "end of the world" thing. Boy, would we look stupid if we were the only ones on the block without Christmas decorations.

Okay, maybe the next set of boxes are easier to toss. So I open them up, and after the requisite dust cloud drifts away, I come to see toys. Not only that, they are Star Wars toys. I was giddy as a schoolgirl (or male nerd finding sci-fi toys, it’s pretty much the same) and put the kibosh on any attempt to even think about selling these things. I came across a box of my old Transformers months ago, and I think that X-Wings and TIE-Fighters would complement them nicely. Sorry Ma, doesn’t look like I’m getting a girlfriend anytime soon.

Let’s move to the next tote. What’s in it? I could only guess. And I never would have. It was a giant green tote containing cardboard boxes. Oh joy, a container holding more containers. This is junk we can get rid of it right? Nope, got to hold on to the boxes in case we need them to help throw out the stuff we have in the basement that are already in boxes.

Ugh, I need a stogie.

Chris Hamble is a freelance writer and humor columnist serving newspapers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is a lifelong Stillwater resident.

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