Last year my folks decided it was time to downsize. So the process began – and I do mean process! During the course of sixty-seven years of marriage you are bound to have quiet a collection of things. And believe me when I tell you my folks had a lot. The storage room shelves were filled with gadgets – some given by us kids at Christmas time as the latest and greatest new thing. Great if you can figure out how to use it! Ha ha! There was an array of cookware used only during the holiday – after all how often does one use a casserole bowl big enough for a 20 pound turkey or a salad bowl big enough to hold 6 heads of lettuce? But, when you need it, that stuff comes in real handy. Then there was the shelves filled with beautiful Christmas decorations and craft supplies. Oh my – what to keep? What to surrender?
Then there was my Dad's office where every drawer was filled with supplies. I'm telling you – enough to open his own office supply store. Boxes and boxes of pencils of all types, index cards and paper clips – oh my. I won't even try to tell you about his supply of tools – but does anyone need an electrical current detector manufactured somewhere around 1940?
Upstairs there were blankets and linens galore. Towels that I remember using when I lived at home 40 years ago – but, really still in good condition. Did I mention that my Mom is meticulous? I think it comes from being raised during the depression when what you had was so hard to come by – so it was treated very carefully. If something had a small tear it was repaired before it was ruined completely. Because you may not be able to get another.
Well Mom spent literally months sorting things. The things she wanted to keep were packed and the things that she intended to get rid of were sorted into various piles. Craft supplies to the Church, and some for friends that could use them in one pile. Blankets, towels and cookware to be donated to charity in another pile.
As the move to their new town home grew closer I started going over to help her pack. And that's when it happened. One look at the “get rid of piles” and my attitude of - “You can't get rid of that – I'll just take it home” kicked in. It all went kind of like this:
“Mom – you can't get rid of that pan! After all it's the pan you've made our traditional Christmas cookies in for the last 50 some years”. Oh I can just taste them now – a delectable maraschino cherry cookie bar with coconut – I'm telling you – just to die for. I remember my brother would find the jar of maraschino cherries in the fridge and scarf them all down, so she would have to hide them. The cookies are one of those things that unless you have them at Christmas time – well, it's just not Christmas! She kept the pan.
Then there were the blankets. “Mom – some of these blankets are brand new – and aren't those over there ones that are hand made?” And she would answer - “Yes, Terri, but I don't need them and I have no use for them.” To which I would respond - “Well we can't get rid of those – I'll just take them home with me. After all some of the hand made quilts have pieces of our pajamas in them – you know the ones – flannel with cowboys or ballerina's on them. Not only that but they were made by my Grandma – that makes it a heirloom. Towels? - Oh don't get rid
of all of those old towels – we can always use those when we wash the car. I'll just take those home with me. That big pile of throw rugs – well I could use some rugs – I'll just take those home with me. The boxes of mechanical pencils and other office supplies – Yep you guessed it – I took those home too!
Do you see the pattern that is emerging here? Every time I would bring another load of things home, my understanding hubby, would just shake his head and ask - “Now where are you going to put that? I really hadn't thought that far. My own store room is already bursting at the seams with stuff. There are boxes in there that I don't even remember having – but there's always the possibility that I will want to use again. Right? Come on, agree with me! Right? In 20 years or so the grand-kids will probably need it for their first place. Well – maybe?!
I also brought home a box full of special............
To be continued...