When we moved last spring, we dumped a lot of stuff on our daughter – things she could probably use, most of it good stuff, but still it was enough stuff to fill her garage, leaving her to park outside. Today we waded through the boxes and bags, tossing, giving, putting up.

Funny how good it makes my daughter and me feel to bring order to the physical chaos that surrounds us . . . now. Up until today, she has scoffed and called me anal. Up until today, I have made unilateral decisions about what stays and what goes, telling myself it was in the name of expediency.

Just at 5 p.m., while my smile remained strong but my energy waned, I looked up to see the sun setting. And just like that I thought of Naples, Florida where people applaud each sunset, dazzling or no. And I thought of Retreat – of the bugle that played every evening at 5 or 6 p.m. (depending on the season), of how everything and everyone came to a halt and stood in silence as the flag was lowered and the cannon fired. And though I am not on a beach and no longer on a military college campus, I stopped, snapped a couple of photographs, and in my own way, saluted the changing of the guard, sun to moon.

It was a good day, a good start. We cleared many layers of junk. We cleared more than a garage. It is a good and satisfying tired, and there is much to place on my altar today.

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