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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stuff Collects

When I first started writing for publication in 1973 my "office" was the kitchen table. I didn't even own a typewriter so I wrote things by hand and then went over to my mom to type the piece for submission. That was too unhandy so I soon bought a used manual typewriter on an auction. That antique Royal typewriter has been resting in the attic for years.
I thought I was really getting up in this world when I bought an electric typewriter. By then I was writing enough that my office had expanded to a card table which was set up wherever it was most convenient at the time---kitchen, bedroom, or basement. When I started writing Sunday school quarterlies I taught myself to compose on the typewriter due to space limitations. Composing on the typewriter saved a lot of time because I knew if I had too much or too little to fill the space alloted for each lesson. After the rough draft was written I spent at least three full days retyping two copies of the manuscript. By the end of three full days of typing I would be typing my dreams at night.
Enter the first computer. It is also an antique by now as computers go. I struggled to learn to use it but was soon hooked. No more retyping when the manuscript was finished. But the card table was not big enough for the computer and all my books and writing aids. So I got a small computer desk which we set up in the bedroom. That was my office for several years.
I dreamed of having a whole room for my office but we needed all the rooms for bedrooms. Then the children began leaving home and one day we were able to move the computer desk into a room of its own. As you might guess, the computer desk and file cabinet were no longer big enough for all my books and papers. I went to an Amish man who built desks and ordered a new desk custom made to fit my room. It included a floor-to-ceiling bookcase, a dozen drawers, and more shelves behind doors in the corner hutch top. At last! My dream was reality and I had lots of room!
Fast forward a couple more years. Today the bookcase is nearly full. The file drawers are bulging, the shelves are rather full. Stuff collects!!
Last week I set about reorganizing my stuff. Believe it or not, I even convinced myself to throw a few things out. I had to go to the store twice for more folders. I finished the job this afternoon. My two hobbies of writing and history & genealogy are now residing in separate file drawers. Things are in hanging files and labeled folders. I hope I will be able to find things more easily in my new filing system. But I wonder what I'll do a couple years from now if I keep on the way I have been. Stuff collects!!

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