Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Friend with Benefits

Everyone needs a friend with benefits.  Now I certainly don’t mean that in a questionable way.  I have a wonderful friend who I met when we were paired up as visiting teaching companions.  The interesting turn of events is that now I’m supposed to visit teach her although I’ve been a slacker about it because of  various issues like anxiety.  She has been such a great friend to me and I hope I have been as good to her.  We have confided in each other some of our deep dark secrets and been that listening ear for one another through rough times. 

Recently she told me her mom was planning to move to a smaller house and needed to get rid of a lot of stuff.  She asked if I wanted her scrapbooking stuff.  My eyes lit up and I of course said yes.  I was excited to get more scrapbooking stuff because I feel one can never have too much scrapbooking stuff!  Especially paper.  I’m a sucker for paper.  Well, I had no idea what I was in for. 

On Sunday after church I went to her mom’s house while Heath was at a youth meeting.  She took me into her mom’s garage to unearth the treasure trove.  Two huge sets of plastic chests of drawers full of everything a scrapbooker could ever dream of.  My friend quickly dug through the drawers looking for personal items her mom would want to keep.  There were a few pictures, a scrapbook, and a couple miscellaneous items that were taken out.  My eyes kept getting bigger and bigger as my friend left so much stuff I thought her mom may want to keep.  I kept asking over and over, “Are you sure she wants to get rid of all of this?  She doesn’t want to keep any of the tools?”  The response was that it was a hobby she started a long time ago and wasn’t ever going to finish.  She didn’t need it or want it. 

When Heath came home I told him the back of the van was full of scrapbooking supplies and much more than I had ever imagined she would give me.  He was excited for me.  I pulled the chests of drawers out and stacked them in the garage so we could go to Costco.  It wasn’t until the next day that I finally had time to dig in and really see what I got. 

Since the drawers were dusty and covered in cobwebs with dead spiders inside many of the drawers, I took the drawers into the house to vacuum out.  I did an initial vacuuming before removing the items and vacuuming up the rest of the dust and bug graveyard.  Ok, it wasn’t really that bad but it was obvious it had been stored in the garage for a long time without anyone getting into any of it.  I cleaned out the drawers with cleaning wipes and dusted off the items.  Then I took the drawer skeletons outside and hosed them off.  When they were dry I brought them in and wiped them down with more cleaning wipes. 

This whole process was a mixture of Christmas Eve excitement and fully loaded guilt.  One moment I couldn’t believe my good fortune and the next moment I couldn’t imagine keeping it all because it didn’t seem right.  You have to understand that most of this stuff hadn’t even been opened!  Two different packages of embossing tools that hadn’t even been opened!  Seventy five sheets of handmade paper all in the original wrapper times two.  I don’t do math in my head but that is a crazy amount of gorgeous paper!  Full scrapbooking kits and stickers galore.  It was an impressive amount of stuff.  I was picked as the winner because I’m the only local person my friend could think of who still loves traditional scrapbooking and hasn’t gone digital. 

I made sure to ask my friend again if her mom really wants to give it all away.  There is a drawer stuffed full of decorative scissors and a drawer full of nice colored pencils hardly been used and markers and pens.  A lot of those tools are not specific to scrapbooking and I didn’t need to keep it if she wanted some of it.  My friend told me she would check on the pens and pencils but she knew her mom didn’t want the scissors.  Holy what!  Did I mention there are Mickey Mouse ears shaped scissors!!!  And a Disney castle punch still in it’s original sealed package as well as a whole Disney scrapbook kit with paper and stickers.  Yeah, you get why I felt guilty.

I was in heaven sitting in my office with the invisible walls sorting and organizing my new treasure chests and combining it with my eclectic stash.  It was good to organize my stuff since it never really had been organized well.  My love of scrapbooking has evolved over the years as has my collection of supplies.  My humble stack of plastic drawers was soon not enough and Heath bought me another bigger stack of plastic drawers for all my 12 x 12 paper.  But even that was starting to overflow.  Words cannot describe my joy as I organized everything so I will show pictures instead.  Maybe you’ll think I’m crazy and maybe I am!  But I am easily amused and get so much pleasure from the simple things in life. 

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These chests of drawers are new to me and I saw that at Office Max these exact drawers cost over $50 apiece. 

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All labeled and organized.

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This is the storage I started with.  My desk on wheels as I used to call it.  When I taught 4th grade this was literally my desk because I was the roving teacher.  All the other 4th grade teachers had a classroom but I borrowed their classrooms when they were off track (3 week vacation every 9 weeks or so on a year round schedule) and stored my two rolling carts and this “desk” in the ESL room when my class was off track. 

Do you like how I labeled the top drawer “Evidence”?  It’s a drawer full of ticket stubs, pictures, and other random scraps that are evidence of our happy lives.  It’s all stuff I have meant to scrapbook for years and probably never will since I haven’t yet but I can’t bring myself to throw any of it out.  Evidence seemed like an appropriate label. 

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The drawers Heath bought for me shortly before we moved.  Do you think I have enough paper?  The funny thing is these drawers were full before I was blessed with more.  It’s just better organized now without tools and scraps in the same drawers as all my paper. 

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Just for fun I took pictures of Gavin’s haircut tonight.  This would make a fun scrapbook page!  His hair was so long he looked like he had a mullet when Heath shaved the front first.  Heath is convinced that Donald Trump has a hairpiece . . . and it’s in our garbage.  Either that or a small dog died in there.  I hate long hair on boys so this is proof that Gavin hates getting his hair cut.  Now he won’t be mistaken for my daughter! 

2 thoughts:

Grandma W said...

There is no need to adjust the color on your monitor. I really am turning green. I have no idea where I would put all that great new stuff but it would be fun just to go through it all. Lucky girl.

I am thinking you need to give Donald Trump back his hair piece or you may be fired! ;)

The Piquant Storyteller said...

You know Dawn, I'm jealous of myself! It's a scrapper's dream. It makes me wish I lived closer to you and Dayleen so we could all share. Plus, I really want to see the Disneyland pages you guys are making. I did 2 more layouts yesterday.