My church is having its annual “garage” sale next weekend and I’ve been very busy going through the house top to bottom, finding a lot of STUFF to get rid of. I put on my ruthless gloves and whatever they touched, out it went. Except it’s SO HARD! Yes, I know I’m yelling. And I know everyone reading this understands.
Why is it so hard to get rid of things you never use, have outgrown, don’t like, or are tired of looking at? The answer is memories. I still have the flowery cotton summer dress I’ll never fit into again that I wore in photos taken with my firstborn. I have my mother’s peach silk-chanteuse dress she was married in (I’ll never fit in that, either). There’s the Fitz and Floyd parrot luncheon plates I’m tired of using for twenty years (but my stepmom gave them to me!). The wooden painted cats from Hawaii (that’s how I remember my Hawaii trip twenty-two years ago!). Ugh.
My stepmom came to town for a visit and I told her I was weeding out my possessions for the big garage sale. She, who just rented out space for a sales booth to fill with her unwanteds, understood. She said, “Well, you’re welcome to throw out anything I gave you if you’re tired of it. I hope you don’t mind if I do the same for anything you gave me.” I threw the cloak of guilt off my shoulders as I thought of those parrot dishes.
I have a whole lot of garbage bags, paper bags, plastic bags, and cardboard boxes bursting with stuff, stacked in the basement ready to go. Today I took one carload to the church. I need to make a second trip, but the basement looks like nothing was taken and I see plenty of decorator items still on the shelf spaces. I feel ill.
I want to go all sparse Japanese-style like you see in fancy magazines. Sadly, my Japanese mom did not raise me right. Instead, I grew up with American clutter and have a huge collection of Japanese stuff to boot. It’s just too hard to part with the stuff of memories! And heritage, in my case. But, the cats are in a box for the church, and the parrot plates are packed away in the basement because my college girl wants them in her future. And next year I will have another carload of memory stuff to go to the church.