My Labor Day was spent in a fairly contemplative manner. I rose early, about the same time that I would normally on a school day. I let the dog out and just as quickly back in to her wagging insistence that I feed her breakfast before anyone else. I moved a couple of loads of laundry through the process of becoming clean, and then went for a run around the neighborhood with my family.
My wife left for the grocery store and I supervised my son as he attempted to sort through the piles of paper, plastic and Legos in his room. The looming spectre of two months without another holiday gave me pause. Did I have everything done that needed to get done before the onslaught of Fall?
When the supply train pulled up, my wife and son carried in three bulging sacks of groceries. I immediately began classifying, categorizing and storing this week's food. Until I got to the refrigerator. It was a jungle in there: lots of menacing things colored green, smells and sounds that were menacing and unfamiliar. When was the last time I saw the back of this major appliance? Would I need a machete to do it?
I set about taking all the truly unrecognizable objects off their shelves and out of the door for closer inspection. A jar of dill pickle juice was the first to go, and the consolidation of three different bottles of barbecue sauce gave me still more recycling. There were a number of plastic tubs that held suspicious samples of what might have been dairy products at one time. The potential benefit of growing our own penicillin crossed my mind, but I chose instead to let them all go. I took some small pride at how little sour cream we had to turn loose, since we often by a small container for burrito bar, but still have to shave the fur off most of it after a few weeks and then toss it. This time the yogurt and cottage cheese casualties were relatively low.
When I was done, there was room on the shelves for the groceries we had just brought home, and I could remember the dates and reasons for the purchase of what was laid out in front of me. I felt a twinge of remorse for the food that we had neglected, but summoned up the strength to turn what was left of my attention to the freezer. Things that we froze had a much more purposeful feel. Virtually everything that I moved and arranged was immediately known to me and had a purpose for our consumption at some later date. Even my wife's coffee popsicles. Even my son's glow-sticks. Peace and order had been restored to that corner of the kitchen. Let the cold cuts and corn chips fall where they may, I'm ready. Catharsis achieved.