It's calendar season again. Does anyone remember the Andy Williams show when he would introduce the request section with a little ditty, "Letters, I get letters, lots and lots of letters," and they all have a request for him to sing a favorite song?
Well I get Calendars, lots and lots of calendars, and they all have a request to send money. I get notebooks and notepads and greeting cards, and sob stories, all asking for money. I wish I had as much money as these organizations think I have.
I'll admit I am a sucker for two things -- stock market newsletters with the latest hot tip to make me a millionaire, and sob stories about children or animals starving, going blind, needing homes, being abused, or whatever. I have calendars with horses, dogs, cats, and more cats. I'm sure many of these sad stories are true, but I can't save them all.
I shouldn't be so cynical, but pile after pile of these things coming in the mail must be giving my postman a backache. The senders keep coming up with new ways to squeeze money out of me.
One calendar came with a form to confirm receipt of the calendar, and of course to solicit a contribution for $25 or more. I thought that one was pretty sneaky, but they all try to tug at the heartstrings to loosen the purse strings.
My mother, who is always careful where she sends her money, checks the reliability of charities on Charity Navigator. I also use the Better Business Bureau to search for approved charities. I try to send money only to charities with favorable reviews, but I keep all of the calendars.
I'm not quite a hoarder. I've cleaned out my house twice in the last ten years and filled up half a truck load to be hauled away. I still have much more to get rid of, but I am whittling it down each month.
Friday was "Big Trash Day," which is one of two days in the year when Waste Management picks up extra boxes of trash. I put out one box of excess paper and catalogs to be taken away, but I still need to go through all the rest of the stuff in my house and get rid of a lot more. I hope to have it all ready to go by the next Big Trash Day in 2015.
When I moved from Morro Bay to here I left a lot of stuff behind, including seven or eight boxes of vinyl record albums that I just didn't have room for. I don't know what happened to them. They are gone and pretty much forgotten.
Sometimes I just have to cut the cord and leave whatever my past was behind me and move on to whatever my new future is. That's what calendars are good for, planning what to do next in my life. If I really move to Maine in a few years, I will probably leave most of my California self behind, and I probably won't miss it at all. Well, maybe the weather.