Before my wife and I moved to Colorado I used to say we had a ton of "stuff" - our belongings. I was wrong. When the movers weighed everything, I discovered we had three tons of stuff. One ton - 2,000 pounds - was just books.
These days I try not to buy so many. If I want to read something, I get it from the library. Otherwise, I know that sooner or later I will once again have to whittle down my possessions to fit the available space. I hate that. I get enough of it at work.
When I was in library school, there was deep concern about how librarians should change their outdated image. You know the stereotype: the stern, pursed-mouth spinster with a tight bun and a ready shush.
It lingers still, I suppose. But over the years I have formed a different opinion of the past.
I honor the librarians who have gone before us. These service-minded, well-educated women of the past (there were some men, but not many) established an institution of great credibility.
Every couple of years I just can't stand it anymore. There are some phrases or constructions that I strongly disapprove of.
They irritate me. People should stop using them.
That's not to say I consider myself a grammar cop. For instance, you'll note that my second sentence ended with a preposition.
After I graduated from college, I wandered around the country for a couple of years. All of my belongings fit into a small backpack on an aluminum frame. My sleeping bag, my pack, and everything in it, added up to 14 pounds.
It's the last time in my life I knew where everything was.
Part of me looks back at that time with a certain wistfulness. How simple my life was! And how much I learned, as I blundered into one situation after another.
It could be that metaphor -- wanderer with a backpack -- still rules me.