Posted by: Louise | October 13, 2010

Day 12 – something you are OCD about

I like organising. It’s not an OCD thing. It’s a genetic thing.

I can pack a mean dishwasher, irritatingly rearranging all the good work of whoever has loaded it up before me. I can fit anything into the back of our car, filling every available nook and cranny with nonchalant precision. My Dad is the same and has passed it down to us, through our genes as much as our observation of the master at work. I know exactly how irritating it is to have someone criticize your dishwasher packing. There was only one, utterly non-negotiable way to pack the dishwasher when we were growing up. And now I am my father.

I organise/re-organise the contents of our cupboards regularly (see 20 things that calm me). I spend way too much time ordering what can’t be seen and not nearly enough on what can be seen. It is gradually dawning on me that people with immaculate houses probably have everything shoved behind closed doors somewhere. Don’t open that!!!! I am the opposite. Close your eyes as you walk through the house. Do you want to see inside my cupboards?

For years I have collected stones, shells and sea glass (jewels) when I wander down a beach (again, see 20 things that calm me). Since my pregnancy with Laura, I have started to organise my collections. I don’t care if it seems anal. I enjoy it. Particular walks, weekends away and holidays are carefully documented in glass jars with paper tags. It’s what I am doing while K is roaming with his camera.

And so it is I have a jar from a walk I took shortly after I discovered I was pregnant. Lots of the stones on that beach had holes all the way through them. I found one stone that was pink and heart shaped. It is still beside my bed.

There is a jar from that Easter weekend when we went down West with my family – a jar full of sea jewels. A jar from the week we went away just after Laura died and return trips to that same place where “Laura’s walk” is.

I love my jars. I love their paper tags. I love how they capture the subtle differences in the beauty each beach offers up. And I love the memories they hold.



  1. Although pictures are one way to remember the beach, your jars are far better. I have never thought of that, but I love it.

    Your creativity is so rich, packed with meaning. Wonderful. The words, pictures, jars, memories; all of it. Wonderful. Thank you for making my day again.

    Now, why can’t there be more people like you in the world? I’ll take your jars of sea memories any day over a bunch of mass-produced, store-bought “decorations.”

    Your blog reminds me of those jars – each post captures its own subtle beauty.

    Thank you,

    Cathy in Missouri

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