Like a rolling stone and a pink basket

How does it feel / How does it feel
To be without a home / Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone? – Bob Dylan

Somehow, I knew when I put the pink wastebasket on the refuse pile by the curb it wouldn’t stay there long.

Those kinds of ties to one’s past never do.

It first came to me when I was around 11 as part of my cabbage rose and Horse Illustrated phase. That shade of mauve matched my decor exactly – and it was wicker. In my juvenile world, that was the killer combo.

Fortunately, the cabbage rose era was just a flash in the pan.

Next came the daisies and a yellow and white color scheme. I loved them daisies. But the small, pink, wicker wastebasket lingered, apparently unaware that it was so 1994 and sadly out of … color.

It lingered on, through high school and college. I can’t even remember where it sat, but it was there. It rode, crammed among my boxes of clothes, books and framed pictures, to Wyoming and back. Still never quite fitting in, it faithfully sat where I placed it, collecting my refuse. When I trekked to New Hampshire, it came too.

So, it’s only natural when I returned to Pennsylvania, that little wastebasket followed. For the next five years, it sat in the cabinet under the bathroom sink, hidden away so as not to clash.

I know what you’re thinking. Ever heard of paint? I know, I thought the same thing myself more than once. But at some point, the basket took on a life of its own, and I never went through with my plans to make it conform.

So it was when I began packing up my life prior to the closing on my house. I pulled the wastebasket out from the cabinet. With a final destination of Kenya and a ruthless eye for what would sit in storage for the time being, the little pink basket didn’t make the cut.

I tossed it out on the curb.

There it sat for the rest of the afternoon. My mom and I loaded the last items into the truck; she scoured the throw-away pile one last time. After arranging some of the boxes, I turned toward the final items waiting to be loaded.

There sat the pink basket. My mom had found it.

I just laughed.

In the flurry of packing, selling off furniture, delivering my cat to a friend, signing papers and the final sprint to be out before the next people moved in, I don’t think I’ve processed the implications.

There were two big hurdles to get to Kenya: my house and the finances. Now, there is only one.

The sorting and downsizing aren’t done yet. But a major milestone is passed. I am thankful; God is so good.

As I think about what is in store in the next couple of months, Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” keeps playing in my mind, and I remember the journey of that little pink basket.

I’m not sure what it all means yet, but I know at least one of the songs I’ll be playing on my way down to North Carolina.


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