Not sure why the print was small yesterday, I didn't change it. Sorry if it was difficult to read.
This afternoon was rather emotional, as it turned out. But I'll go back to the beginning and explain.
We have more rooms in this house than we use, now that the family has grown up and left. There are two specifically, one which the Sage uses to put stuff in, every time it's necessary for him to clear up all his chaos and one which I've stored my late mother's stuff, cleared from her place next door, where Al and his family live. Most of it was put in there about five years ago and I wasn't able to deal with it. But in the last year, I've started to, and now I'm finishing the job. The intention is that the Sage will then take it over, go through all his boxes of stuff and sort it out. Indeed, I'll believe it when I see it too, but I have stipulated that a box may not be taken in unless and until it has been gone through. I'm getting a bit tetchy about this and have hardly a yearsworth of patience left. But in fact, the Sage's room has to be cleared before that, as various things that he wants to do hinge on it.
It didn't start well when I went in to *my* room and found that boxes belonging to the Sage were lining the walls. Only yesterday, he was blaming my dilatoriness for him not being able to do his sorting out, and then I discovered that his junk was the problem more than mine. And here comes a Useful Tip for a tranquil marriage.
Find out really annoying things when you're on your own. Shout and complain, let rip all you want. Once you've done it, you won't have to again and you can be pleasant and constructive when your husband comes home. Nagging is counter-productive and deeply boring. Just listen to yourself, woman. No wonder a man switches off.
So, having got angry and got over it, I went through various boxes. A lot of things could be thrown out/put for recycling, and old photos and papers were put on one side, mostly. But I kept coming upon things that I found very poignant. An old puzzle book with my father's handwriting in. Old Christmas decorations from my childhood that I'd assumed had been broken, but which my mother had carefully packed away, too fragile to use. The newspaper notice of my father's death and a letter of thanks from his Oxford college, thanking my mother for a donation in his memory. Looking through more papers and photos tonight brought back more memories, and I'll scan in some of the pictures tomorrow (you might see some of them, darlings. Z the tomboy, and Z the bride, Z the little girl and Z's school report. I was untidy, unsurprisingly).
It's better not to look back, you know. Memories, even of happy times, don't make you happy. They just fill you with regret for what's gone. Face forward, even if the best is behind you. The present and the future are what matter. The past shapes you, but you shape what is to come.