Using Up

Eggs, cheese

Our grocery lists are becoming pretty predictable.

Bacon, salami

That’s understandable.  One month into our three-month stay in Gilbert, we are pretty much provisioned:

  • We have the one-time bulk-buy items: toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels, paper serviettes, paper plates.
  • We have the regularly-used-and-frequently-replenished items: tea, coffee, cooking oil, salsa.
  • We have the might-need-another-because-even-the-largest-size-doesn’t-quite-cover-three-months items: laundry soap, dishwasher detergent, sunblock, Ziploc baggies.
  • We have the essential-to-have-one-but-won’t-possibly-use-up-even-the-smallest-size-while-we’re-here items: balsamic and red wine vinegars, sesame oil, salt, Valentina hot sauce, Comet, tin foil, parchment paper, plastic wrap.

What’s left?  Just the usual consumables: You know, the actual food.  Week to week, that makes for a pretty boring list.

Onions, mushrooms, avocados

Thank goodness for the liveliness provided by the occasional outlier item:

  • Something for a recipe: cumin, mustard, cocoa, unsalted (Why do they bother?) butter
  • Something for the office: Scotch tape
  • Something for the infrastructure: toilet-paper roller

OK, it’s not a lot of liveliness: Colour me easily entertained.

But as I look at the cupboard, the fridge, and the freezer, I realize that we’ve hit That Point.  That Point where we have, pretty much, everything we need for our stay.  That Point where the focus shifts from stocking up to using up: to clearing out said cupboard, fridge, and freezer before we hit the road for home.

I realize, too, that these three-month sojourns mirror my life’s arc: The initial acquisition flurry to provision my life has given way to a dedicated disposal effort.  Whether it’s objects, obligations, or opinions, I realize that I have enough of most things, slightly too much of others, and an embarrassingly large stash of a few.

Yup.  I’ve hit That Point: It’s time to start using up.

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