It’s about this time of year that on a rainy day, like today, I dig through the closets and the drawers and through the unpacked boxes and purge of those things that need a home away from here.
I took on the boxes of clothes that somehow made their way to the attic in my town home. They were all from those days before I decided to be better to my body…eat smarter…try and live longer and with more joy.
I unfolded and re-folded and counted. 14 pair of slacks, 2 pair of jeans, 11 dress shirts, 9 polos, 4 belts, and a pair of cargo shorts (what the hell?). I threw it all in a couple of lawn bags and headed down the road to Goodwill. There was a huge line for the unloading dock. That’s a good thing. A virtual two-fer. The passing of good things for those looking to get bargains or simply get warm this season.
I decided to park and carry it in. The rain was light and the place was packed. I popped the trunk and grabbed the bags. A few pair of slacks fell out and I was picking them up to stuff ’em back. A woman and her teenage son were walking by. She saw the stack in my hands and commented, “Those look really nice.” I turned and smiled and said, “They actually are really good clothes. Most of them new when I started losing a lot of weight.” She asked if I was taking them into the store and I said I was. “I wish my husband was your size…he needs good pants for when we go to church and to my momma’s.” I laughed and said, “What size is he?” She told me and I said, “That’s about the same as I was when I was wearing this stuff.” When she told me he is about my height, I said, “Where’s your car?” Puzzled, she said, “Right over there.” She pointed to an old brown Buick with a cracked windshield and one window duct taped to hold it in place.
“Well, if you don’t want to shop for him this year…they’re all yours,” I said.
“Really…you’re not serious…really?”
“It’s up to you,” I said. Her face lit up like the Christmas tree in the window of the store. Her son ran and opened the trunk. He moved the spare tire to the side, moved some bags over and ran back to me to take the bags.
“Merry Christmas,” I said. You just saved me some time and your husband got a new wardrobe.”
She laughed like a little kid and exclaimed, “I can’t wait to wrap these up and have them under the tree.” We exchanged a hug and I wished them all the best.
As I started my car and cranked the volume of Vertical Horizon, I couldn’t help but think–as I always do during these handoffs at the Goodwill–of just how much I have been blessed with in this life. Relationships, work that means something, and yes…stuff. With each passing year the material things mean less and less to me. Giving them over or throwing them away becomes less of a conflict. I knew someone out there would benefit from this small wardrobe given to this great organization. It was a pleasure to be there for a first-hand exchange.
Merry Christmas, Joan, Andy, and Andy Jr. Thank you for letting my blessings now be yours. Joy.