Skip to main content

Downsizing


Every time my ex-husband and I moved, I learned to clean house and sell or give away things I did not want to pack and move to the next house.
The two times I got divorced it was easy to get rid of the ex’s junk. Without his clothes, his collections, and his tools out in the garage, it left lots of room for my stuff.  It also gave me permission to replace all his man cave junk with nice decorations.
When I married HoneyBunch and we had to combine two households, I cut all my possessions in half by offering things to my three kids.  They were just starting their own homes, so some took furniture; others took household items. I had a monster of a garage sale and called the Disabled Vets to come get the rest. Even like that HB and I had doubles of too many things and so the downsizing continued for a year after we married.
We still have two dining tables, two sets of “grandma’s china,” and two truckloads of Christmas decorations that neither one of us will surrender.
As an educator for thirty-seven years, I had boxes and boxes of books and teaching materials, stuff I carted home every summer and stored until the beginning of school the next fall.  Stuff I needed for reference or to decorate sterile classrooms year after year.  When I retired I gave away twenty boxes jammed with expensive books to the school district in which we live and I threw away/recycled bins and bins of paper, but here I am, seven years later and still trying to use up the dozens of pencils and pens, sticky notes and glue, folders and reams of paper I bought on sale way back then.
The same thing happened when I decided to reduce the number of books in my house by half.  I gave books away, sold some, and then donated the rest to our local library, but still here we go again.  Time to downsize again. 
HoneyBunch and I have decided that as we grow older, we need to have some say about what happens to our “treasures.” We shouldn’t wait until we have to downsize and have no options because of time restraints. We don’t want to leave too much of a mess for our kids after we are gone. We know that most of what we consider valuable will be thrown away or given away, so we might as well and try to do some of that ourselves.   
I hate dusting so the knickknacks will be the first to go.  I am only going to keep the most valuable, those I cannot do without. I guess the piggy bank I had since college and the Buddha I bought when I was a hippy will have to go. I own more sets of dishes than I will ever wear out in the time I have left so they too will be history.  And I really, really do not need two blenders, two mixers, and two punch bowls.
It might be time to throw away all the plastic containers without lids or give away my collection of Wilton cake pans to the granddaughter who aspires to be a chef.  Maybe I can toss the bag of squashed bows I keep in the closet for emergency gift wrapping.
Both my ex-grandmother-in-law and my ex-mother-in-law gave me their Jewel T dishes for safekeeping. I have never used them except for display, so now may be the time to pass those on to my daughter.
I pray (fervently) that my kids think twice before buying me a knickknack for Christmas.  I like chocolate and cash. A gift card would be nice.  
Downsizing will be difficult for HB and me, but it makes us realize that things are just that – things. They might have memories attached to them, reminders of the person who gave the gift, mementos of places and times in our lives, but it would be wonderful to be unencumbered.  It would be nice to own things and not let them own us.

Did I mention how much I HATE dusting? 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dating Challenged

I stink at dating – always have.I sputter.I hyperventilate.I fail miserably every time. I blame a pathetically underdeveloped gene that got little use before I married in my early twenties, then atrophied, gathering dust and rust, until I became single again in my fifties. I decided to use this defect to my advantage when I needed to do some investigative reporting a few years back.While on a newspaper writing assignment on Boomer-aged dating, I sacrificed my dignity and my vanity for the sake of the story (and I got several).

Thank goodness, HoneyBunch saved me from all this when we married.  (He comes up with the best dates.) I’ve decided I will “show you mine if you show me yours.”I will swap dating horror stories with you, but you have to promise to play along. The trick here is to tell about your worst date in 25 words or less.You must keep it clean and you cannot name names. Our little contest will run only this week and before my next blogger posting. Me first: The facts:My mom f…

Twelve Female Hero Authors Who Influenced Me to be an Author

In honor of Women’s History Month, I decided to share twelve female authors who changed my life forever and who influenced me to try my hand at writing. Some are not widely popular so you might want to try them out.
1.Charlotte Bronté – English – Her plotting and characters - Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester – are immortal. 
2.Louisa May Alcott – American – I loved how she created a family of Little Women that reminded me of my sisters. 
3.Jane Austen – English – Another author who knew how to build immortal characters. Two words:  Mr. Darcy. Two more words:  hubba hubba.
4.Emily Dickinson – American - What a poet! Her innovation was pooh-poohed at first, but now we owe her for breaking all those punctuation barriers.
5.Beverly Cleary – American – She created a little girl in Ramona that reminded me of me when I was a little girl.  I wish I had met Ms. Cleary’s books sooner instead of when I was in my 30’s.
6.Judy Blume – American - Her female characters said all the outrageous things I thou…

Happy Breastday to Me!

I gave myself a very special birthday present this year – I had surgery. Before you think it was to increase, decrease, or “lift” something, let me tell you it was not cosmetic (though I could probably use a few nips and tucks at my age; the infinite number of creams I buy OTC are not working their promised magic). About four or five months ago, I discovered a hard lump about the size of a large marble in my left armpit.  I had been feeling small pangs of pain in my left chest for several months, but I figured it was just my turn to dance with heart disease.  Everyone in my immediate family is diabetic and suffers from strokes or heart attacks, so I thought – here we go; my turn. I was going to tell my internist about the pangs during my next visit, so imagine my surprise when I discovered the lump. The Drama Queen in me immediately manifested herself – cancer, I thought.  I have cancer. I searched some more and found that the texture on the left side of my left breast felt different t…