Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.

Unpacking Rat

A member of the Rat Pack once sang:

And now I think of my life as vintage wine
From fine old kegs,
From the brim to the dregs,
And it poured sweet and clear.
It was a very good year. gives the following definition for a pack rat:

Any of various small North American rodents of the genus Neotoma that collect in or around their nests a great variety of small objects.

Among my many foibles is a reluctance to throw out items I have collected over the years. My posts about “Domestic Archaeology” from a couple years ago confirm that I am the pack rat of my family. Unfortunately, this habit has made unpacking from my recent move more time consuming than I would have liked.

In recent days, I’ve finally accepted the fact that some items must go. As I’ve begun the process of discarding those items, objects have surfaced and triggered memories I think of as “vintage wine / From fine old kegs.” If all goes according to plan, these will be the only objects that remain once the process is over.


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