14 March 2010

Heirlooms or just 'stuff'?

How does one know the difference?

Originally, this paragraph began like this...We've made three major moves in the past fifteen years.  Each time we've donated 'stuff' to friends, family and 'worthy causes'.  I sat staring at this paragraph for a long while... Eventually I had to come clean with myself and admit that we've actually made five major, and eight minor moves in the past twenty five years.  It doesn't include saying 'goodbye' to treasured books and photos lost in the flooding of my mother-in-laws basement where I'd stored my 'treasures' while we built a new house.  It also doesn't include helping our children with their various (numerous) moves.  No moss has been allowed to grow under any of this clutches feet.  

It hasn't always been easy parting with 'stuff' I thought was really important, but I'm getting so good at it that I have to wonder what the reason behind all of this is. The message seems to be written in ten foot high neon lighting.  Do not become attached to STUFF.  Which brings me back to my quandary... are they heirlooms or just stuff?

My physical baggage is one whole lot lighter nowadays.  Still, there is 'stuff' that I treasure (one would think I'd have learnt to know better by now!).  My grandmother's favourite ring, some tray clothes she embroidered for my 21st birthday, my christening gown, my daughter's christening gown, books and gifts from my children and now my grandchildren, photographs...  nothing frightfully expensive, but all greatly treasured. Sentimental 'stuff', or heirlooms? 

This constant 'shedding' of 'stuff' was highlighted again yesterday.  I decided to take a look at the wreaths of icing flowers from the cake I made for Arabella's wedding.  Imagine my utter dismay when I found that the extreme heat and humidity we'd experienced recently had turned them into a festering, mouldy mess. I had to throw the entire lot out.  It was hard. 

In the last month, I've pruned my grocery cupboard to a bare minimum in an attempt to get rid of the moths (the bay leaves have worked a treat, by the way); archived paperwork (to file 13); given away clothes and chucked out potplants.  I'm about to shed the last of my daughter's furniture and 'stuff' as she's now moving into a house where she'll have space for the rest of her belongings... again, we're 'lightening up'.

I wonder what's next to go?  Perhaps I'll spend some time sorting through the rest of my cupboards this week...

April Blackbird

No comments: