The folks are in bed, and I'm wandering the house, cleaning a bit, picking up papers - packing up for a Tuesday AM departure. I went into the garage to look for a cardboard box to send some books home in (Main Street Bookstore - don't miss it!) and found the usual flotsam and jetsom of family life. I started thinking about what gets thrown away thru the years and what doesn't...and what should and shouldn't. Both of my parents are pack rats, but unorganized ones. I can find a pile of old envelopes - odd sizes; in the same box as an old tape recording of me singing at "4 yrs old".
Mom has her old tap shoes in the garage closet - she started tap dancing at 70 or 75 and kept it up for a few years. She won't do it anymore, her balance isn't good enought. Why keep these shoes? This was a short stint on the local community stage, there can't be too many memories involved in these shoes. Should I sneak them to Goodwill? Someone could probably use them.
A needlepoint that I did when I was about 13 is carefully wrapped up with "Miri's needlepoint - green frame" on it. I'd throw it out but appreciate that my mom wants to keep it. It's a clumsy needlepoint, not worth keeping even for sentimental reasons in my view point.
My grandmother started painting when she was 62 and newly widowed and we must have 30 REALLY BAD paintings of her's in the closet - the better ones hang on the walls. Are we hoping that she can become the next Grandma Moses, or can we simply not get rid of these paintings by a well loved mom and grandma. I may take pictures of all of her painting and follow one of Lynn's idea and do some kind of a quilt.
I keep momento's too, and also like to keep them in unorganized fashion but for a reason. I like to stumble upon lost moments. I open a drawer and find a diary with the date circled of my first date with Tony - I'll always remember that night. I know that I should be a bit more organized about keeping things in some order, but most of my life is ordered and this is my secret and loved chaos.
When my sister in law died two years ago, we didn't go to help clean out the house, which I really regret. Not because we were really needed - there were a ton of people there, but because MIL is NOT a pack rat and she threw out so many potential cherished items. She just told me the other day that she threw out 30 years worth of letters that Lucile kept from friends and boyfriends. I was literally heartsick to hear this, what a legacy this could have been for her children - for them to continue to learn about their mother in later years. MIL only kept things that she felt were "valuable" or that she knew the provence of. That's the type of throw away that I don't understand. Yes, keeping valuable things is good, but keeping priceless items and memories is even better. Sorry Lu - I wish I could have prevented that random toss. I love MIL but she does do random tosses yet goes to flea markets and buys chipped china. Go figure.
So OK, this is another end of year, end of trip review. Sorry. But it all had to come out.