Tuesday, October 1, 2013

TV Sports, Barbecue, Boxes ... Oh, My!

Every now and then there's a weekend where a constellation of sporting events creates two perfect days. This past weekend was one of those times as Saturday's weather was perfect for grilling pork steaks. The college ball games were exciting; my teams all won; and there was baseball I could follow when the gridiron action went to commercials.

When Saturday ended I was greeted by a deep and restful sleep. With a stomach full of exceptional barbecue and the satisfaction of knowing every team I cheered for walked off the field a winner, falling into a coma-like slumber was only natural.

Sunday proved just as superb. The weather was wonderful, and church was inspiring. Arriving home, the afternoon held the promise of more football and baseball games.

There was one unforeseen event, however. As I was grabbing the barbecue utensils off the wall in a back room, I knocked over a box of files. It hit the floor, spilling its contents: old tax records and paid receipts. A quick date check revealed these items belonged to history and were well beyond my need to keep them.

Now, as I switched channels between football and baseball games, sated from yet another plate of scrumptious victuals, I began emptying boxes. I sifted, sorted, shredded and saved. One box led to three others, and then I opened one that contained a pile of personal goodies: school notebooks, family greeting cards, awards, report cards -- a veritable treasure of significant papers and pictures from years gone by.

I took my time as I pored over these last items, pausing to remember the circumstances in which they were created and the person who made them. I was amazed at the distance that seemed to separate the person I am now from the person I was back then.

Soon the last of the boxes had been excavated and with the games over, I had time to sit and think.

There was also one box I began to update again. In it is a folder I call my "first-stop-when-I-drop" file. You know the one. It has all the papers someone will need -- insurance paperwork, wedding and birth certificates, military records, mortgage information, church records, property distribution plan, funeral options, my last will and testament -- you know, those sorts of things.

It felt good consolidating these necessary items while culling the extraneous paper pile that builds up over the years.

Guys, maybe we need to just take a day and empty all the boxes. Not only did I free up room in the closet to pack more stuff in, I was able to reflect on the person I was and, more importantly, the man I've become.

Not a bad takeaway from a couple of days watching football and eating barbecue.

Next weekend: golf and a fish fry

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