I can’t promise that this will be the last post about infestations, but I will do my best to put pictures in next time.
There are a few more benefits about being at the mercy of carpet beetles, not that I would recommend welcoming them into your home or anything. As I’ve said, we have purged a lot of things in the last two years, most of them still usable and in good order. We’ve been lucky in that we’ve been able to give most of our things to a local parish that has a number of families in need. They will take pretty much anything, and put it to use, including pens, plastic containers, stickers, mismatched socks, and so much else. This is nice, because it means something destined for the landfill gets more use than it otherwise would, plus someone else benefits from having it. Honestly though, you wouldn’t believe how many disposable pens, pencils, and markers we’d accumulated and never used. It was disgraceful, ahem.
Further to my point, though, we actually got to hear some of the stories about the families who got our stuff. There is a family with a daughter who has the same taste as ours, but is a size or two smaller. There was the man who needed a suit for a job interview just when we donated some of Husband’s. It goes on, obviously, but the stories stick in your head, and when you pull something out to decide whether or not you need it, the question becomes whether someone else can get more use out of it. This helps quite a bit with cleaning out Daughter’s things, but the concrete image of someone else in need becomes ingrained in you, it haunts you, and it drives your purchasing and purging decisions.
This past June, Prague and its surrounding areas were severely flooded, though thankfully not as bad as in 2002. Things were a right mess here, and emergency services were stretched to their limit. When the Red Cross put out a call for towel donations, I didn’t have to hem and ha about whether we could live without a few extra towels. I just opened our linen closet, did a quick mental calculation of how many we realistically needed, and dumped everything else into the donation bag. I wouldn’t have done that before the carpet beetle infestation, because I would have been worried about our not having something. Those stupid beetles have freed me from the worry of having to have something, and for that, I am grateful.