Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Things We Hang Onto!

As I've mentioned here for a while, I'm in the process of making room for my DIL and two grandchildren while they are in transition. I absolutely can't wait for them to be here. It's so exciting for me that they will be living in this area so that I can spend more time with them. I've missed so much time with the little ones and I can't wait to start making up for it.

I realize that so many grandparents never get to have that time with their grandkids as we are such a mobile society. And this has always been something we have had to deal with. In the early days of this country, immigrants brought their children and possessions to a new world and never once did they get to go back and visit with loved ones. What separation anxiety they must have felt.

While this country was being settled, many young families moved west, never again to be able to be with their families. What now takes only hours to travel, took them weeks and months. We take our mobility for granted much of the time. There are no destinations we cannot reach within short periods of time; money and possibly government restrictions aside.

But I am getting to be one of the lucky few who will have all my children within minutes of my home. I'll be able to spend time with them. I'll be able to help get them to school. I'll be able to have them spend the night whenever I want them to. If one of them calls, I can be with them in a matter of minutes. I am truly blessed.

I started this post to complain about how I have accumulated so much stuff. I got a bit side tracked, but that's ok. As I go through this 'stuff', I am having an opportunity to take a trip down memory lane. But as I look at some of the things I have kept, I am amazed at some of it. I have three nice sized closets in this house. Living by myself, I have managed to fill them all. Of the three closets, only a small amount of space in one has clothes that fit me. Some of these clothes have been in these closets for the entire seven years I've lived here.

I should have gotten rid of them long ago. But clothes aren't the only thing I've found. I've found bank account records that date back 15 years. Some on accounts that have long been closed. I did manage to pitch them. And as you know, I've gone through pictures. I threw away a lot of blurry pictures. Thank goodness for digital cameras. You don't have to print anything that isn't good. I'd like to know how much money I've spent over the years printing pictures of people and things that are almost unrecognizable.

I also found a letter an uncle sent to my dad a few months after my mother died encouraging him to date and to get married again. I think that one has given me nightmares. No one really likes to think of their parents being back in the dating pool. But he was only 54 when mother died so he didn't need to spend the rest of his life alone. And he married a lady who was very good to him and they spent 24 years together before he died.

But most of what I'm throwing away is junk, was always junk, and forever would be junk. Why have I kept all this junk you ask? I don't have a clue. Part of it is that pack rat mentality. Some if it is being too lazy to sort through and get rid of it. And I don't know what the rest is. But I'm going to get rid of a bunch of it. I promise. I joke and say that I'm keeping all this stuff for my kids to have to go through when I'm gone. In order to get them to fo that, I'd have to hint there is money hidden in it. But they wouldn't believe that. They know too well to fall for such a tactic. They say if you haven't used it in five years, you should get rid of it. That's the rule of thumb I plan to use. That will be my measure of worth. And hopefully with all that said, there'll be a lot of room for my family when it's all said and done.


Mary Alice said...

One good thing about moving so much, is you are constantly throwing things out.

#1daughter said...

Since you are so excited to have Angela and kids move in with you for awhile, I think the boys and I will move home too! Maybe we can talk Tara and her family into moving home and then we'll all be there all the time. Won't take you long to find the nearest nervous hospital, will it?

#1's mother said...

Dear #1 daughter:

I attempted to do this very thing a couple of years back. Joey was going to build us a compound where we could all have our own space, but have a common area for cooking, watching tv, etc. If I remember correctly, your comment was and I paraphrase, 'I'm not living with my siblings'.

Amy said...

Way to go on throwing out junk! I try to convince my mother that junk at her house is still junk at my house. For some reason when she gets into one of her cleaning closet moods, she seems to think that either I or my kids would want her junk - so she brings it to me! UH... NO.... it's still JUNK! LOL

Lisa J said...

My husband is the worse about hanging on to things. I have no idea why except he thinks he MIGHT need it someday so why throw it away and have to buy another one? Well in theory that sounds good, but in reality it doesn't work. I agree with Mary Alice, moving does tend to help one clean things out and trash what is not needed. Well except when you box it up and store it in the garage, attic, storage unit.........

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