I am at the age that I have accumulated a lifetime of stuff.  A mere sliver of it is use in my day to day existence.  Two years ago, I shipped some of my stuff out to accommodate my mom and dad's stuff-  furniture, collectibles and even a crate of pictures and letters from my grandparents.  I have actively incorporated the furniture, despite the painting and rearranging it required, because I am comforted by the memories of family dinners at the dining table, and I like having things my Mom loved in my house.  My promise to scan and share the photos has gone dormant.  I have a patch of old pictures stacked in front of me as I type- and in fact this blogging is a conscious detour from this task.  I am sad to report that I am also harboring the kids' junk.  In my attic, an aquarium, extinct game systems, an array of ridiculous luggage and countless college collections of dishes and pans are stacked in corners.  Those things I could divert to Purple Hearts or Amvets without a thought.  But what shall I do with Mike's framed fan letter from the Wrestling Reports on WCKG?  His speech contest ribbon?  Matt's Snoopy collection?  Pat's assorted 8mm cameras?  I am an unwilling archivist. I am going to share some nonsense that is in my closets and cupboards.  You will think I am batty.                                                                                              .

The charmer below hung in the hallway in the house I lived in from ages 2-5.  I could see it from my bed.  When I breathed in and out, I thought the mirror's tentacles were moving.  It terrified me, and kept me awake.  I kept telling Mom there was a monster on the wall, and she kept telling me I was silly.  I have kept it as a symbol of how perception can be flawed, yet can terrify.  I also enjoy remembering what a wuss I was, and how my sister was fearless. I hung it for a while, but the antennae are losing their gilt, and it does not match one part of my life.  It does not scare me anymore- but that does not seem to be a reason to keep it stashed in the sunroom closet.  Yet- it was something my parents received when they were married.  Paralysis has occurred. I think I am ready to let it go.  
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The dude below is in our backyard- part of an assemblage of repurposed items that includes a bowling ball admired by a gryphon, a metal tree with dangling candleholders, and more mismatched pots than they sell at Wal Mart.  Once upon a time he decorated the set for "It's Too Early", Steve's 1983 TV experiment.  Of course, in the day he was a delivery system for Jack Daniels.  When the show was cancelled, he came home as a water feature.  The boys could not resist the instinct to push a twig into the plumbing.  Now he just holds forth in the yard, with no function- but with his own spotlight.  I plan to work on the Dogpatch that is my yard this summer.   He stays.   

What do you save?  Why?  Send me pictures, and I will publish them.  Maybe you will get support for a purge.  


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  • Janet, my suggestion is that you photograph the things you wish to pass on, and allow your readers to sign up for them. We can meet for brunch at a local restaurant and you can endow your treasures to those who will appreciate them. Hopefully, all can leave happy.

  • In reply to WstngTme2:

    I think this is a great idea, a swap meet of sorts....

  • You're going to be a Grandma?? That's awesome!! Congratulations!! Who's expecting?

  • Oh Janet! I am the exact same way! It took me until my 50th birthday to get rid of my friggin prom dress, that of course hadn't really fit me since 1974 or so. I know it's wrong, but every time I try to purge clothes or books or bags I manage to convince myself I just might use it again. I don't even have the excuse of kids that I'm saving special stuff for. I too would appreciate any tips people have. Seconding the congrats on upcoming grandma-hood. Do Pat and Rachel know for sure it's a boy yet? I'm kinda of wanting to see how Steve would handle a baby girl.

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