Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Stuff Happens

      When the dread pirate and I came out to Cali, ('s been over 3 years!! Yikes!) We didn't bring anything with us.  I mean nothing, nada, ze-ro.   We were not sure where we were going to live, or how it was all going to play out.  So, we left everything we owned in a storage unit in Ogden.  Over the years, every time we went home I would go through and bring a few things back with me that I needed.  A car load here, a few boxes there. And it still didn't seem to make a dent in all that was in there!  I mean was the bottomless pit.  It didn't help that all the "wedding stuff" that I had used forever was all over the place, either.  Every time someone needed anything, I would send one of the girls into the black hole to gather iron stakes and lanterns or votives to lend to the friend in need of "wedding stuff".  Digging....and more digging, then throwing it all back on top at the end.
      I held on as long as I could people...with an iron fist...protecting my earthly treasures.   But slowly, I have been loosening my grip and letting go.  I have been offering up furniture and dishes and things to my kids, who actually had homes.  While their vagabond parents had a transient life.  I was surprised to find out that most of my stuff wasn't that exciting to my kids....What?  You don't want all this lovely crap?  In April, when I was there babysitting for Kindle, I opened the big door of the unit, and it looked like someone had picked it up and shaken it.  It was time.
     Rob and I flew back a few weeks ago to unleash the beast.  This is where you can hear the music start...."So we loaded up the truck, and moved to Beverly....Hills that is...Swimming stars..."  (love that banjo music).   Imagine a huge truck with plastic bags and mattresses tied on with rope and you would not be far off!  OK, I'm exaggerating....but I felt a bit hill-billy-ish.  We took it all up to Claire's house (dear-heart) and put it on her back patio.  Then I spent the next 3 days going through every box and separating it out into piles.   It was totally like an episode of hoarders.  The thing is this, though....I AM NOT A HOARDER!  (say it with me now...)  I AM NOT A HOARDER!  I just happened to have a lot of stuff.  Does this sound like denial?
     What I can't deny is that it was super emotional.  I did a lot of crying...because it felt like each box that I opened revealed a certain memory from my life. If I get rid of that thing....will I forget the memory of my wonderful, beautiful, life that was?  Is my life about what I have or don't have?  Will my life ever be the same as it was?  I started thinking about Sariah, moving into the wilderness leaving everything she had behind.  Even she murmured a bit.  It was hard.
     After the separation of the wheat from the tares....we had a big yard sale on Claire's front lawn.  I have to say was therapeutic.  Kit said it best, "There is nothing like having complete strangers turn their noses up at your stuff, to make you realize that it's really not that great."  She was right.  It was good to let go.  My life won't be the same as it was....and I think that's OK.  Change is inevitable, not impossible, and not always bad.
     We were able to sell/donate at least half of what we had...33 years worth of accumulated stuff.  Then rented a small truck to bring the rest back to California.  I've been finding places to put what I brought back, but have been looking at it with a different eye.  Do I really need this, want this, or love this?  Or am I just hanging on from fear of letting go of a former life?  Besides, my life right now is pretty darn good....even without all the "stuff".


Toni Marie said...

Reading this post was like reading my mind.. living in the military and not knowing what size house you'll get when you get wherever has made me go through my 'stuff' multiple times and fearing i will lost a memory is what makes me keep stuff. But, I am learning to live with less..i mean if I can't use it daily, do I really want to move it??
Great post Denise, tell Kindle congrats on her new baby boy!

Toni Marie said...

Actually this one is from Deb. I envy your freedom. Miss you both. Deb