Monday, December 31, 2007

More late Sunday night

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.


Debra Kay said...

We're both up late tonight. It's the time of year when the world is on the same vibe.

Is that bookstore right across from a movie theater? If so, I've been there, love it.

I had to clean out Uncle John's apartment and finally my brother and I took what we couldn't stand to part with, what we thought he might still want, and paid someone to do the rest.

The vintage radios I found homes for on Craigslist. I still have a couple of boxes that need to be dispersed.

It was so odd to go through 20 years of clutter-and silicone valley history. Commodore computers, drawings for things that are now obsolete, coin collections.

I felt closer to my brother than I ever have before, because we both "got it" why John saved this or that and we both tried to touch everything at least once to hopefully better understand the man we knew and why he left us for so long.

I still carry John's dogtags in my purse. He wouldn't keep them with him at the home, he is afraid someone will take the and they are government property. But it keeps him close to me and I like to think it helps him in some way too even though he doesn't know that I have them.

Sentimental lot aren't we?

ElizT said...

I could go on for pages about this topic but won't. I do find that taking photos helps to let things go.
Keep meaning to say how much I like your little 'Me Drawn By Me'

kj said...

hello mim, i'm just stopping by for a quick hello but i've skimmed many of your posts and i will be back for sure. look forward to it!


Sarah said...

How much does order really matter I wonder? Obviously, when the purpose is to make life a little less stressful and easier to manage it's good, but otherwise a little chaos is rebellion for the soul ;-)! Happy New Year, my friend, may it be full of good things.

ksklein said...

what size are the shoes?? ;) i have been wanting to learn to tap dance forever. wow. your mom started with it when she was 70 years old?

oh boy, the lost letters... sad! one of my best friends mom died last year. she just couldn´t sort out her mom´s stuff. whenever she started doing so, she couldn´t stop crying. so her sister did everything by herself. now she really regrets it, because there were some pieces with a lot of memories which her sister threw out.

i have only experienced this once, when benjamins grandma died. maybe 20 people ina tiny, tiny appartment searching for valuable stuff. it felt very strange going through all the personal stuff. the books were on a huge pile to be thrown out. so all i did was go through the books. i felt like keeping a part of her with me when saving some of the books.

Michele said...

I too took tap lessons a few years back and I have to say, I regret throwing out my tap shoes. I know it's crazy but I was just thinking how much fun it would be to put them on again and tap dance for my daughter : ) It's so hard to know what and what not to get rid of. If I had the space, I'd probably keep everything. Happy New Year.

Lynn said...

Well it's about time I came back here and then to find myself mentioned in a post for an IDEA, OHMYGOSH, I feel guilty!

I am listening to your reactions to pack rat-parents and toss away- MIL. Oh how mixed my feelings are and how similiar too.

In my garage I have a pair of old worn tennis shoes that my son (now 43 yr old) wore when he walked across the USA on a Peace Walk around 1987. Maybe I'll give them to him when he marries for the 2nd time in August 08.

I rant at my DH for SAVING EVERYTHING and he seems to emote Pain when he has to throw anything away.

I have on my stove top a spoon rest that my now 39 yr daughter gave me when she was a child.
I still use it! It's shaped like a carrot and has been glued together at least once.

I love that your mother took up Tap in her 70's and Grandmother painting in her sixties. One day DD will be saying "What are we going to do with all these old quilts?" (that her mom/me started making in her sixties). She might even say "ugly" as they are not her cupoftea/taste.

Obviously this post really got to me. Not sure what's ending here, I hope not your blog site. I feel like I just got here.

I do appreciate all your input on mine. And do wish you a very Happy New Year and a wonderful day!

Mim said...

Great comments from everyone. Now that I'm home after a week I can see all the stuff that I collect too - ah well, it's great to be a human with normal human faults.