Letting Go of Things

808-038I’m getting better at it.  This is the shelf that the man we bought our house from had made to rest the window air conditioners on.  We got new air conditioners and couldn’t use the shelves any more.  So I photographed them and then I threw them away. This is huge progress for me.

I’m especially attached to old objects that have family history.  Once my aunt called my house “The _____(grandfather’s name) and _______(grandmother’s name) Museum.”  I have lots of their old stuff and would have more if my mother’s siblings would have parted with more, and if I’d had a house that wasn’t very far away when my grandmother died.  Something I love about this house is that the way the man who lived here took care of it was like my grandfather had done.  He used scraps from everything and made everything himself, like the air conditioner shelves.  Carole and I are not handy at all, and we certainly don’t make things.  But we’re compatible.  Visible in this picture are two of her antiques – the secretary and the umbrella stand.

But, every piece of anything anyone ever gave Carole is here and on display, and that makes me nuts.  New things, given to her by young people, having no sentimental value, cover every surface.  Just about.  OK so I exaggerate.  But she won’t get rid of anything ever.

I’ve gotten better about, though I do love my attic as a place I can store stuff that they’ll have to throw away after I die.  I’ve been to estate sales where it’s obvious that a person’s whole life is up for sale.  That could happen to my stuff.

There aren’t things I mourn, really.  I can’t think of any.  OK spending a moment trying to think of something, I remembered that I left my high school ring in a motel and never got it back.

No, the people and the places are much harder for me to let go of.

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