Ask The Expert

Today I am extremely happy to introduce a special guest. A. Clutterer is a nationally-recognized expert in the field of clutter. A., we’re delighted to have you with us.

A.: Thank you.

Emsch the Mensch: Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t you have a PhD in Clutter?

A.: Actually, three.

Emsch the Mensch: Three! That’s quite extraordinary.

A.: I collect them.

Emsch the Mensch: Do you have all three degrees framed and on display?

A.: Actually, they’re all in a pile…somewhere…

Emsch the Mensch: I’m sure our audience would love to know: how did you get your start? Did you develop your interest at an early age?

A.: Believe it or not, I was a very neat child. I always put away my toys and reshelved my books. I would have continued in this vein, had it not been for my parents. They were my role models, guiding me by example. Over time, their cluttering influenced me.

Emsch the Mensch: Little did they know, their daughter would grow up to be an expert.

A.: Life is certainly full of surprises.

Emsch the Mensch: Tell us about your daily routine.

A.: I spend a good portion of each day gazing with awe at my many piles of stuff.

Emsch the Mensch: Do you ever wonder where you put something?

A.:  Truth is, I specialize in putting something down and forgetting where it is.

Emsch the Mensch: What is your secret to success?

A.: Decluttering. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than finding things I misplaced, whether it was ten seconds or ten years ago. But the funny thing is when things are in my various piles, I seem to know exactly where they are, but if I reorganize the piles—total chaos.

Emsch the Mensch: Ha ha ha. That is funny. If someone wanted to follow in your footsteps, what is your #1 recommendation?

A.: Begin with a clean surface–table, chair, floor, bed, etc. Put down a piece of paper, clothing, a magazine, or book. It really could be anything. Every few hours, add to it, as though you were watering a plant. I guarantee, you will grow your pile of clutter in no time.

Emsch the Mensch: Before we say goodbye, any other words of wisdom?

A.: “A place for everything and everything in its place,” as my friend Mary Poppins used to say.

Emsch the Mensch: Thank you so much for joining us. The first to respond will win an autographed pile of clutter!



Safe & Sound

Thank you to everyone who called, wrote, prayed, and sent support. It was a rough few days. I don’t know what I would have done without you.

But I am happy to report some good news, finally. In today’s mail, I received… my luggage tag!

Thanks to the kindness of one wonderful gentleman, who discovered my tag at his Victoria bakery, my luggage tag made its way home. I am sure it had many adventures on its travels and will tell me in all good time.

Meanwhile, I have a small correction: I had thought my tag depicted three cubs, but it, in fact, shows a mother and her cub. My story was completely true, but for that factoid: I was lion.



Luggage Tag Seeks Same

If you travel at home or abroad, it is wise to attach a luggage tag to your luggage; if your bags go missing, they will find their way to you. But what if your luggage tag gets lost?

After visiting my dear friend in Victoria, B.C. Saturday, I arrived at my B&B, only to discover that my shoulder’s bag luggage tag had fallen off.

Had it stayed in the tea room to indulge more smoked salmon sandwiches? Checked out the Fringe Festival? Wandered Chinatown’s alleyways and indulged in organic dark truffles with maple cream, smoked salt, and orange? Maybe it was hanging out in the shade of the giant acorns in a nearby village.

While I retraced my steps over the next twenty-four hours, I tried to remind myself that losing a luggage tag was minimal compared to, say, losing my passport or I.D. It was even better than losing my sunhat, which I accidentally left behind in the Vancouver airport the last time I was in the area.

But this was no ordinary luggage tag; it was my favorite luggage tag. It showed three lion cubs on one side and my contact info on the other. I felt concerned for it, splat on some unknown sidewalk.

I wondered who my luggage tag was without its attachment to me; I felt lost without it.

Perhaps my luggage tag needed its own tag to find its way back.



Partial Eclipse Of My Floor

I don’t know what came over me, but today I decided to wash my kitchen floor. I had been thinking about the total eclipse; it was funny the way the dirt was creeping along, eclipsing my tiles.

While my urge to wash my floor is rare, it’s not as rare as the total eclipse. The last one was in 1918 and the next will be in 2024.  I hadn’t washed my floor recently because I’ve been busy creating art, writing, and music.

Creating is one of my talents. Another is finding things. A couple of weeks ago, my bf and I were walking to his car. “Hey, look at what I found,” I said, reaching down to pick up a clump of bills. It was a small clump. I thought I had found $4.

I counted. I did a re-count. Re-counts are important, I recounted to my bf. I was off by a few dollars. I had not found $4. I had found 21 times that. On a dirty sidewalk, no less.

So today as I scrub scrub scrubbed, I wondered if the dirt would reveal anything special.

No such luck.

Grime does not pay.