SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE screams loud and clear in my head and feels more like a command these days than a mere suggestion. I’m making great progress because everything in the house seems to yell at me, “Do I need this? Do I love this?” How many people do you know who can fit their car into the space that was originally built for a car, the garage? It puzzles me why real estate agents don’t list “Charming home in quiet neighborhood, 3 bedroom/2 bath, 1500 sf, gigantic storage room attached.”

Keep-forging-ahead-simplifying-lifeWe’ve been working very hard to cull our lives down to those things that really matter most so imagine my reaction when my beloved Billy added this 175 lb. fire pit to the backyard — raised eyebrows were the least of it. The story: We recently visited good friends whose collection of stuff is starting to close in on them. Like a dog getting a whiff of dinner in the making, my ears antenna suddenly flipped up and I eased myself up onto my soapbox. I’m not obnoxious about it but do lean into the subject at the mere mention of clutter. The nudging must have worked but not in the way I’d hoped, which was to spend a couple of hours together tossing other people’s stuff into a large donation box. This would be fun, but no.

I took a 20-min. walk after breakfast during which time decisions were apparently made! I returned just in time to catch the tail end of a debate on how to heft the Chiminea fire pit they don’t use anymore into the back of OUR car. What? More stuff? And not little stuff that you can shuffle around and ignore, mind you, but a hunk of cast iron that would take three people to lift. I’m guilty once in the while of veering off “the plan”  by adding an earring or two to my collection, but this ain’t no earring! It’s not that I object to this particular possession, it’s just that my heart’s desire is to eliminate. But, oh yeah, I don’t live alone!

Now that we’re home and it’s in place, I’ve calmed down enough to see how perfectly the Chiminea stacked-wood-for-chiminea-fire-pitfits on the corner of our patio. And look at the cutest little niche of miniature logs Bill has created, just waiting to cozy us up, perhaps with a clink of bubbly.

We did have a house once with three wood stoves, two in the house and one in the garage. My husband happily stoked all three, and I can see now how happy he is to get back into the fire game. The urge has, apparently, been smoldering ever since we moved from that first farm house in Oregon. His love of wood and splitting and stoking probably means his caveman roots are showing!

My eye is still on the ball of simplifying life but two steps forward, one step back still gets you moving in the right direction. This latest addition is just a blip in the grand scheme of an imaginary master plan. And anticipating the pleasure the fire pit will bring makes this back step seem trivial. Besides, brilliant ideas might pop into my head as I feel the warmth on a crisp night. Maybe with hot chocolate?

Thank you, John and Robin. I might have frowned at the time, but in the end I’m grateful for the gift! Happy to have helped de-clutter YOUR space. ha

Weeded out this week: Single-minded determination. I shall not be deterred, but easing off on my goal a bit might invite wonders along the way. Flexibility is king.