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My mother is a great collector of stuff. Her home is full of it. Every nook and cranny, is covered-- Framed photographs-- art work-- baskets-- glass/porcelain/crystal/china... Stuff, stuff, stuff-- All with just a hint of dust to qualify as "patina". From side tables, and book shelves, to cabinets and window sills, a look around her house will leaving you wondering....
Where in the heck did all this stuff come from?
First let me say, even with all this stuff, a good deal of which is breakable, my folk's home is VERY livable and childproof. It's a home you can put your feet up and enjoy, not a museum/don't touch anything kind of place. That said....
Every visible space has something on it. But the interesting thing is that Mom remembers the story behind every item (all trillion)-- A nic-nak that one of her five kids gave her when they were in 2nd grade, a vintage basket she found at a long lost friend's garage sale in 1962, a birthday present from a grandchild a decade ago, Mom knows the story behind it all.
So imagine my surprise when, during my visit home last week, Mom handed me a box and told me to take whatever I wanted-- That she was getting rid of the stuff cluttering up her house. And yes, she actually used the word "clutter". I didn't know that word existed in her vocabulary!
Aside from the shock that she was willing to unload everything including stuff I'd seen since I was a baby, and aside from the fact that for the first time ever, Mom was referring to her "mementos" as "clutter"-- I was more than uncomfortable at the notion of pillaging my folk's home for family treasures, items that reminded me of my youth, and *ahem*cough*err* things I've had my eye on for sometime now.
Knowing my mother, I knew reading between the lines was probably in order so I immediately asked if she was sick and/or had anything to tell me about her health. She assured me she as not about to kick the bucket, but she was ready to start "decluttering" and figured I might as well take what I wanted rather than "being stuck" with the stuff she would pack up for me and stick a bow on for Christmas.
After much prodding and a few days of stalling, I finally started filling the box. Mom and I both collect blue glass so those were the things she pointed me in the direction of first. Then she "suggested" the lavender glass, then the crystal, then the rose glass, then the milk glass, then, then, then.
If Mom had her way, I'd have needed a U-Haul for all the "stuff" she wanted me to bring back to Los Angeles, but in the end, she was happy with the single box I filled with blue and lavender glass. Along the way however, she did managed to include a huge wool blanket claiming it would help against breakage, but I think she really just wanted to empty a shelf in the linen closet.
All kidding aside, I'm thrilled to have the mementos I remember since I was a kid. Hubby on the other hand, is still grumbling about where we're going to put it all. And, I'm pretty sure the words "you've become your mother" actually escaped his lips but he's not copping to the charge.
Do you have too much "stuff"?
Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins