In the dead of the afternoon, that wasteland of time called 4:00, when my brain doesn't work and the kids are being shuffled here and there I pack boxes and make decisions.
We've all been asked the question, 'What would you take with you if the house was on fire?' Now I'm asking myself the same question with a tweak. 'What could you never replace?'
I'm in the process of discovering most of the things in my home are replaceable. Of course, I've packed away my Great-Grandma Ruth's china and the photograph albums that predate digital pictures uploaded online. There's a chair that's very important to my husband. I've had to take down all the photographs in the upstairs hallway and my bedroom, which makes sense. Even though my children have great smiles, I can't blame my future tenant for not wanting to wake up to them.
What's more interesting is the stuff I'm not taking. My Grandma Peggy's china...didn't make the cut.
I should feel bad, I suppose. But I don't. Even now, as I write this post from my dining room, I can feel it glaring at me with accusations of neglect. The truth is I've never loved it and if a piece gets broken, my heart will remain intact.
The handsome antique clock on the mantelpiece; my parents gave it to us. It's sentimental, but I think it's going to stay and not keep time for my tenants. They too, can be amused when dinner party guests panic at its false advertisements of the lateness of the hour.
All this cleaning out and putting away makes me long for the days when I could move everything I owned in one or two carloads. I hate the way all these possessions press down on me. Sometimes when I'm making my mental tallies at two in the morning, I swear I can feel the physical weight of all the things in this house.
This weekend I packed two large boxes full of my children's possessions; things I think they'll want, but won't miss.
After that I filled two garbage bags with things they'll never know are gone. Just in case I'm keeping the garbage bags in the garage for a while, but the lightness I felt after I went through those things made me want to pare down even more.
Maybe our new house will be sparse and minimalistic!
Maybe we'll be able to control that human impulse to gather things, like squirrels gathering nuts for a long winter.
|It's this size!|
It was a gift to my husband from a family friend. It's cover-the-front-of-the-house enormous with no practical use. It's been in our attic a long time and I'm wondering if it's recent appearance in the basement next to my overpriced pink flats that give me blisters means we're both ready to acknowledge the limited use of certain items and let go.