As those of you who are my facebook peoples know, I recently cleaned out my furnace room. Again.
I've done it before. I hope I won't have to do it again. I didn't mean for it it get that bad, but for way too long I just threw things in there or put them on the floor until it was piled up with just a path to get to the freezer and closet. And even then if something slid off the pile, it was stepping over STUFF. It was pretty bad before I was diagnosed with cancer. I had big plans to really clean up that room and the rest of the basement and was eager to start. Well, that train derailed and I finally found the energy to tackle it a little at a time. It took me at least a week, and with the last trip to the Good Will this morning, it is done.
I tried to be ruthless in my tossing, some things I couldn't remember why I saved them. Some things were trash, some things I had too many of. I didn't get rid of everything I should have but I got rid of enough to have a place for everything that belongs there and a little room left over.
I wondered, why is it so hard to get rid of things? So, I've been thinking of why I kept some of the things that I got rid of, and why I kept them in the first place.
The piles of boxes, mostly shoe boxes. Why do I like to keep them? I think it is because they are such sturdy boxes with well fitting lids. I kept them in case I would give a gift in them.
I use gift bags.
Jars that aren't canning jars, gone.
Toddler jeans, gone, to a toddler.
Baby clothes, meant for gifts, gone to a baby that needs clothes.
Kerosene lamp, gone to a friend.
Racks from the old freezer, spices leftover from co-op days, baby quilts I don't know the maker of, gone.
There's the bag I carried all my medical supplies and toiletry items for the kids and I when we went on trips. It's a lovely bag, but too big now, and I have others I like better. It's hard to give up something with a lot of memories.
It's gone now.
And the "bun warmer" I found at a junk shop. It's a round aluminum pan like a round casserole dish with rounded lid, meant to put on a stove burner with a little water under the steamer basket to warm bread, and was used before microwaves were in common use in the home. I bought one when we had to wait several weeks to get a new microwave. I bought it because when I was a girl at home, I warmed leftovers in it. I didn't like to eat breakfast, but at our house you didn't go to school without eating something, so mom let me eat whatever I could get down, and it was often warmed over last night's supper.
In the bun warmer.
I like that memory, so I wanted one.
It's gone. I don't need a bun warmer to remember those times.
I had a lovely visit with a cousin this week, and we remembered some things that belonged to our grandparents. It is nice to remember them, but we can't keep everything, and we don't need things to remember them. We made memories there than no one can take away, and they weren't about things.
There are a lot of other things that I can't remember and I don't want to in case I might miss them, gone.
And it feels really, really good.