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March 7, 2022: Hoarders Anonymous

Today Milena met me at U-Haul Storage Locker #1483. Last Friday, the Anchorage School District warehouse workers dropped off seven pallets of books. And so today we began sorting and categorizing in earnest.

I pulled up the orange metal door and showed Milena our stash. She was impressed. She immediately stepped into the tight space and began opening the boxes on the left-hand side of the storage unit. And I began opening up boxes on the right-hand side of the storage unit. We were quiet for a few minutes. Then as we pulled forth children and young adult books, our chatter filled the empty hallway.

Our chatter was punctuated by small yelps, as we each came across a particularly good book. Today our focus was on finding suitable books for those who frequent the Mat-Su Health Foundation Building. We also were on the lookout for kids’ books – we are going to do a book swap on Friday with Erin who orchestrates Read on the Fly. Erin gets kids’

Melina and O'Ryan in the U-Haul locker

books into specially designed bookcases at the Airport. Parents and children then gain access to books prior to traveling. Erin exclusively deals with kids’ books – she’s not all over the map as we are. We’ll give her children’s books and she’ll give us adult books.

Milena will be stocking the Mat-Su Foundation bookcases – she’ll put the books that she’ll eventually distribute over at Kid’s Kupboard.

She also took several books for herself and her family today – this included the Cremation of Sam McGee. Milena also read this book out loud to her son O’Ryan and to me. It was a much-needed break. She then explained to O’Ryan what was going on in the mind of the narrator when he cremated Sam McGee.

I realized something today about the process of going through books in a storage locker. This is that if you have a lot of books, and we do, that you cannot initially sort all the boxes of books – there are too many and there is not enough room. The best you can do is get books out of there and get them distributed. You can sort when, finally, there is room to maneuver around.

I’m trying hard not to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of books that we now have on hand. I mean, who would’ve thunk it, that we would continue to get a good number of books each week, then seven pallets additionally?

I have been told that I don’t have to worry about getting all the books out of the storage unit by March 20th, the day we are supposed to call it good. This is because I have been assured by the board as a whole that a board member will pay the next month’s rental fee. Well, it’s now March 7, and we have to be out of there by March 20th. This now leaves us with 13 additional days of storage access.

I have created a never-ending job for me and others. I am hoping that our getting a building will allow me to feel less rushed.

Next: 66. March 7, 2022: Yet another chapter in my dental history

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