110. We give away nothing so liberally as advice

Army movers don’t see why they should label boxes according to their contents. Bike helmet? Oh, in the towels box, of course. KitchenAid Mixer? Certainly not in the carton marked ‘KitchenAid Mixer’. Cookbooks? Well, those were in a box labeled cookbooks…just not in the first box labeled cookbooks. Or the second. Or the third. 

Unpacking feels like a treasure hunt in the rare moments when it doesn’t feel like torture.

On top of the “guess what’s in the box” game (hint: look at the label and pick something totally unrelated) it’s interesting digging through the items we’ve left stored while in apartments. You know the feeling when you pull on an old pair of jeans and find ten bucks in the pocket? Finding  a good pair of shorts packed up six years ago is the same.

My favorites are the books. We have a lot more books than shelves. Many of our books spend their middle-age languishing in dark stuffy closets. As I empty cartons and sort for giveaway, a place on the shelf, or a home back in the garage I set aside old theology or military history texts of mine that Carl might enjoy, and pull out books I’ve missed from his stacks.  Among others, last week I started La Rochefoucauld’s notoriously wry Maxims

A few favorites from the Maxims:

56. In order to establish themselves in the world, men do all they can to appear established there.

64. Truth does not do so much good in the world as its appearances do evil.

89. Every one complains of his memory, and no one complains of his judgement.

104. Men and things have both their proper points of view. Some require to be seen near to be judged well of; others are never so well judged of as at a distance.

114. We are inconsolable at being deceived by our enemies and betrayed by our friends; and yet we are often content to be so by ourselves.

150. The desire of meriting the praise we receive fortifies our virtue; and that bestowed on talent, courage, and beauty, contributes to augment them.


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