Saturday, May 19, 2012

God is in the details, not the minutia

I'm as guilty of this as anyone. But as of today, I am going to change my ways.
I am speaking about what we now term as ' hording'. Not animal hording, but just plain old keeping-stuff around-because-you-might-have-a-use-for-it-someday-and-it-is-just-too-good-to-throw-it-away type of hording.
What has brought me to this major life decision? Working as a receiver for the auction house. There is nothing like going through someone elses' 'stuff ' that will change your mind about keeping things.
Case in point: the 'collection' I am working on right now,(and this is not unusual for this type of work).

They had a happy life, full of travel and adventure and maybe a few kids and grand kids. They were well read and I think they leaned a little toward pretentious. For whatever reason, all of their earthly belongings have landed in my receiving dock. Stacks of stuff. And almost all of it in multiples. That's right- more than one of every item.
If they had one alarm clock, they had three. Of the same type, age,vintage...They had cartons and cartons of books, in multiples. They had every bread wrapper and twisty tie and glass jar (the kind that had jam or pickles or chili sauce in them) they had EVER bought. Really.

He considered him self a great chronicler,there were boxes of onion skin paper manuscripts carefully typed out and edited and 'final' drafts. She collected items that started with the first letter of her name. Thousands of them. And boxes and boxes and boxes of saran wrap and zip-lock type baggies.

This is only scratching the surface. There are photos and postcards and matchbook covers and brochures of ships they sailed with, people they met, swizzle sticks, shampoo bottles and hotel shower hats. Bath mats and soap, cleaner and toilet brushes-in multiples-all new.

Now I come home at night and I throw stuff into a big box. All of the broken watches, and boxes of paper that are too good to throw away, I throw away. The pieces of brick-a-brack, the broken sunglasses I intend to fix someday- I throw away. The old towels that are frayed, the comforters that I don't need, the blouses I won't wear because they are still in good condition but out of style- I am giving to charity. The stacks of books that are very old and of now interest to anyone, I am giving to the library. I am divesting myself- but more importantly- I am saving my children and any family I will leave behind - from having to make the choice to box every single thing and let someone else decide what is worthy and what is not. I am making the choice. And I am deciding what is worthy to leave behind- so that when I finally do go to the great Rodeo in the sky (or in the ground) my family will know what I deemed important- and they will deem it important too.