A Scary Project

Just in time for the full moon and Halloween, when ghouls and ghosts rule our neighborhoods. Mostly inflatable, but still.

What I’m working on, though, will take weeks—probably months—to chip away at this overwhelming project.

I happened to have a work meeting yesterday with someone who suffered a serious house fire a couple of years ago. Fortunately everyone got out safely, but the house and contents were a total loss. As we wrapped up our meeting, he mentioned how he’s still trying to put together, from memory, an accounting of all that they lost to keep the insurance piece moving forward. That triggered the thought that I should proactively assemble that kind of inventory. And then I thought of the horror of trying to remember what pens I own, and providing proof of ownership. YIKES!!

So this morning I began compiling a pen inventory, starting with a single pen case, while trying to track down receipts at the same time. (My husband helpfully suggested that it would’ve been good if I’d done this as I acquired the pens and now he’s buried in the backyard.) Let me tell you, it’s slow going, but I pledge to carry on. My co-worker said that receipts aren’t necessarily required, but if I have them, I might as well organize them in one place.

Then I’ll take pictures of the rest of the house so that I can recall and prove all that we own. Just in case.

But a fire isn’t the only reason to keep such a log. I also worry about when I’ve—shall we say—”moved on.”

Will a niece or nephew hold a garage sale and sell off my collection at $5 a pen? Or less? Gives me chills thinking about it. This record will at least offer some guidance to whoever manages our affairs. Cheery today, aren’t I? (Part of my newfound Memento Mori practice, I guess.)

Another scary piece—maybe the scariest piece—is watching the dollar tally tick upwards on the spreadsheet. This, I’ll admit, is a huge part of why I never attempted this project before. I simply don’t want to know how much I’ve spent on pens.

I’ve only gotten through half of this case so far. There are many more pens to log, but winter is long and cold and will be here soon. This is the perfect indoor project. Even though the whole thing gives me goosebumps thinking about how much time this will take, I feel better having started, and have mentally settled in for the long haul.

Feel the fear. Do it anyway. Or something like that.

(Have you done this? How did it go?)


8 thoughts on “A Scary Project

  1. “My husband helpfully suggested that it would’ve been good if I’d done this as I acquired the pens and now he’s buried in the backyard.”

    *SO* much more efficient than divorce. You are my new role model.

    I have been thinking about this sort of project for a couple of years, since my mother died. I definitely do not want my husband to know how much I have spent — I mean, INVESTED — in pens, especially since the advent of the pandemic. Of course, he spends more than I think he should on motorcycle-related things and very, very few people die from flipping over a cliff while riding a fountain pen, so I totally am the righteous one as far as I’m concerned.

    But one of my kids is coming home in December and I plan to do a fountain pen “tour” with her and show her where the receipts are so she and her brother will know what they’re getting. But I hope to make an inventory, too. Also books.

  2. Inventory? Yikes. No, I’m taking care of my “stuff” with line items in my will specifying where each category of stuff should go (specific favorite hobby-related organizations and nonprofits). Certain special items will go to named individuals. That’s it. I’ll let you know if it works. 😉

    • Tina,

      Ha! I like that idea. I’ll definitely mention to my kids that I’ll be coming back from the dead to make sure they distribute my pens to people who will appreciate them. Brilliant.

      • Ah, ok 😉
        I enjoyed the picture of both of them and the story about the vet, which I found when I was actually looking for a TWSBI Draco review on the net 🙂

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