My sister Jen asked me the other day if we are seriously considering selling our Denver home and moving someplace smaller and easier to manage when we get back this spring. We talk about it all the time, especially now that the houses in our Denver neighborhood are selling for ridiculously high prices. It was a fair question, and I didn’t really have an answer.
There’s one thing I know for sure, though. It is seriously time for us to get rid of stuff. I have written about that on several occasions. It’s easier to write about it than to actually pull up our britches and do it. It’s time.
I was reading an article recently about ideas for blog posts. One idea was writing about something that is practically worthless, but means a lot to me. Frankly, I have a basement full of things like that. I’m not talking about the storage room that holds things like punch bowls and picnic setups for sitting on the grass. Let’s face it, I will never serve punch again and if I sat down to have a picnic, I wouldn’t be able to get back up.
I’m talking about things like my father’s clarinet or the flowered bowl that my mother always served her mashed potatoes in on holidays. The clarinet is worthless. When Addie was playing clarinet in the school band, I offered it to her. She took it in to her teacher, who took one look at it and said the amount of repair required would cost more than a new clarinet. The flowered bowl would probably sell for a buck at Goodwill. But it was a wedding present for my mom and dad, and actually has a china stamp on the back.
When Bill’s mother moved from her home in south Chicago to an independent living facility, Bill ended up with his father’s carving set. It is made from the horn of reindeers. I’m not making this up. It is beautiful, and sits in a lovely padded case IN OUR BASEMENT. I recently approached Bill with the notion of giving the carving set to one of his kids, who actually entertain and, well, carve. He quickly and firmly said no. I tried to argue with him, telling him that we have never used it and never will. My arguments were useless because his decision wasn’t based on reality. It was based on sentiment. “Why do you want to keep it when it sits on the shelf?” I asked him. “Because it was my dad’s,” he responded.
And there you have it. Bill’s reindeer horn carving set is my clarinet. And there are many other examples of such items. Bill’s mom gave me many lovely things over the years, things I used but never will again. But I can’t imagine taking them to Goodwill. They meant something to her, and they mean something to me. What about the Hummel figurines that my mother collected and I got some of? I would like to see the look on any of my daughter-in-laws’ faces if they were given a porcelain statue of a boy wearing lederhosen jumping over a fence.
There is no other option than to bite the bullet and pack these things away. I know it. Bill knows it. But do our hearts know it?