Something comes over me every year about this time, the urge to clean and organize our house. The month of January is devoted to reading the books I got for Christmas, putting ornaments and decorations away, resting up after the busy holiday season. But by February, I feel restored and ready for change. Some years I follow through, and some years I don’t, being easily distracted. I feel hopeful this year, though, armed with advice from two of my Christmas books — Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and Martha Stewart’s “The Martha Manual: How to Do (Almost) Anything.”*
Yesterday I cleaned my refrigerator, following advice from Martha to use baking soda dissolved in water. It worked. I threw out jars from 2015 or thereabouts. You know, the one with three wizened olives that was hidden in the back of the refrigerator behind a half-used carton of moldy sour cream, and the remains of the jar of maraschino cherries I buy every year for the heart-shaped cherry cake I make for Mike’s Valentine; it only uses part of the smallest jar of cherries, and what else would I ever use maraschino cherries for?
The only negative from all this is that the cleanest thing in my house now is the inside of my refrigerator, somewhere nobody else is likely to notice. It’s definitely inspiring to me. Next is to empty out the cabinets, get rid of some of the way-too-many plates and glasses and bowls. Marie Kondo’s advice is to only keep “what sparks joy,” which seems a bit too dippy for me, but I get that the idea is to keep what you love and will use, then get rid of the rest.** Or pass it along to someone who will use it. Maybe this will be the year I repaint my kitchen cabinets. I’ve been thinking about it.
On to the rest of the column, rather a slim recitation this week. Between work and house projects, I haven’t really been out doing much extra. One can always comment on the weather, which has maintained the pattern of frigid cold followed by unseasonally mild days, then back to wind and cold. Still no snow.
The library has a week’s worth of programs planned. Today, Thursday, Feb. 7, is Harry Potter Book Night, beginning at 3:30 pm. There will be snacks and magical spells, readings from the series. Come in costume if you like.
Friday, Feb. 8, at 3:30 pm is Glow Yoga for tweens and teens, ages 9 to 17. Sign up at the library.
Saturday, Feb. 9, Little Bird MV’s Laura Jordan will lead two programs for children; sign-up is required for “Music and Make Believe” for children 3 years old and up from 10:15 to 10:45 am. No sign-up for her music class for all ages from 10:45 to 11:15 am. At 12:30 pm, M.V. Community Seed Library will screen a documentary about seed savers and activists, with a seed swap following from 2 to 4 pm.
Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3 pm, Jennie Isbell Shinn will lead a Community Dreamwork Circle. Bring notes about your dream to discuss. The Jeremy Berlin Trio will perform at the Second Sunday Jazz Concert, beginning at 3:30 pm.
Monday, Feb. 11, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Class will meet. At 3:30 pm, Kendra Buresch from the Polly Hill Arboretum will present a workshop, Habitat Helpers, for grades 4 to 8. At 7 pm, the monthly meeting of Writers Read. Sign up to read your original fiction or nonfiction at 508 693-4307, or just come to listen.
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 12:30 pm, public health nurse Lila Fischer will speak about techniques and health benefits of mindfulness and meditation.
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 10:30 am, David Rhoderick’s Classical Music class.
West Tisbury appears to be gripped by Super Bowl fever. Janice Haynes and Jeremiah Brown’s Go Pats sign greets me as I drive down Old County Road past their house twice a day. Lots of other Pats signs and pennants in homes and stores, and plans for parties to watch the game. I suspect there won’t be a car on the road, and most homes will show a blueish television glow from their windows.
The game ended up with a win for the Pats. A victory parade is in our future.
Next Thursday is Valentine’s Day. We have a whole week to plan something special for those we love.
* To clarify, I bought these books for myself. They were not a subtle criticism from my husband.
** I had a horrible nightmare last night about living in a tiny one-room house with so much stuff in it that I could hardly move. For anyone who hasn’t purged their possessions in awhile, it really is gratifying to get rid of stuff. My house is nothing like my nightmare, but I definitely have too many clothes that don’t fit any more, kitchenware I rarely or never use, and too many books/magazines/newspapers/piles of mail that need to be culled.