Thanks for the tip, Thompson; that looks just the thing for whisking spiderwebs off light fixtures and curtain rods.
Donuel makes an interesting point about respect for objects and records handed down to us from previous generations. Throughout my adult life, I have lived with tension over my ancestors’ stuff, to the extent that I have wondered sometimes whether I am housing humans (and cats) or furniture — especially bookcases.
At my age, and confronted with massive cultural change in my own family and in the nation at large, I know that I should disembarrass myself of most of the hundreds of books in this house. Two large rooms are occupied primarily by books, a situation that is not sustainable in the long term. Books — by which I mean the physical article, dust-catching bricks of paper, glue and cloth — just don’t have the value they did when I was young, and my heirs and assigns will not want to deal with them when I am gone.
With the rest of the stuff now in my sole possession, my policy is to keep only what I can actually use and maintain everything so it is handsome to look at and pleasant to sit on, eat off, etc. I must eventually give up this house, which is far too big for one woman and two cats, and I don’t want to be still dealing with other people’s clag when that day comes.