I used to dread it. The Christmas Season is supposed to be cold, snowing, warm coats and gloves.
When the kids were young they had grandparents in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Always a struggle as to where to spend the holidays.
Time has passed. Christmas is balmy weather,blue skies, sometimes nightly rain. Dogs and cats run around the house and green grass.
Starting on Friday, we begin cleaning out closets, garages, sheds. Getting ready for a new year and a new life. Making straight the pathway to ....?
And, we are shredding.
Websters On-line Dictionary states that the word shred dates from before the 12th century derived from the Middle English shrede, from Old English scrēade; akin to Old High German scrōt meaning a piece cut off.
According to Wikipedia, the first paper shredder is credited to Abbot Augustus Low, an inventor from Horseshoe, New York. His patent for a “waste paper receptacle” offered an improved method of disposing of waste paper. However, his invention was never manufactured.
Adolf Ehinger's paper shredder, based on a hand-crank pasta maker, was manufactured in 1935 in Germany. Supposedly he needed to shred his anti-Nazi propaganda to avoid the inquiries of the authorities. Later, he marketed his shredders to government agencies and financial institutions converting from hand-crank to electric motor. His company, EBA Maschinenfabrik, manufactured the first cross-cut paper shredders in 1959 and continues to do so to this day as EBA Krug & Priester GmbH & Co.
The U.S. embassy in Iran used strip-cut paper shredders to reduce paper pages to strips before the embassy was taken over in 1979 After Colonel Oliver North told Congress that he used a Schleicher Intimus 007 S cross-cut model to shred Iran-Contra documents, sales for that company increased nearly 20 percent in 1987.
Until the mid-1980s, it was rare for paper shredders to be used by non-government entities. However, after the 1984 Supreme Court decision in California vs. Greenwood, in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the 4th Amendment does not prohibit the warrant less search and seizure of garbage left for collection outside of a home, paper shredders became more popular among US citizens with privacy concerns. Anti-burning laws, concern over landfills, industrial espionage, and identity theft concerns created greater demand for paper shredding.
To shred or not to shred? That is the question.
Anything that had a name, address, social security or account number on it. Into the machine. What comes out is not recognizable as her financial past.
A fan blows on the shredder to keep it cool.
I am the Terminator of shredding and the 90's is the decade that meets its demise.
That said, I will begin the same process when I return home. I find it freeing. Those of us that live in the states know that once one year's tax return is filed, we can shred another.
But, why stop at shredding? Need a wall knocked down? Need closets cleaned out? Call me.
But, keep in mind, if it is your stuff, your memories will not affect what is taken to the Clothing Bank, or Goodwill, or the Public Library.
Now, however, my memories will affect the process. I will remember what occurred, good and not so good.
For me, tearing down is so much easier than building up. My process usually allows for a vacuum to remain and who knows what fills it up. I need to be deliberate about what enters the black hole.
And, I should know this. I am a gardener. I never prepare a garden without knowing what is going to be planted. Why prepare if I am not planting. Sowing and reaping.
A friend, preparing for surgery,writes about getting things done, chores that take two. He also writes that while the head makes lists, the body needs to rest, to store up energy, to prepare for the recovery.
Someone else prepares to leave their home to winter in Florida. Someone else prepares to meet a new friend for lunch.
For who, where, or what do you prepare?