Selling Memories at a Garage Sale
This weekend was full of moving, cleaning and reorganizing rooms, in an attempt to better utilize the space that we have. In the process, we had to evaluate a variety of items to determine if they were something we needed, or were just taking up space. Now, I'm not a pack rat, and am usually more than happy to get rid of things. However, when it comes to items once owned by loved ones who have now passed away, it's a lot harder for me to let them go.
I've long shared the importance of remembering those who have gone before. Knowing where we came from helps us to understand part of who we are. There are mementos and heirlooms that need to be preserved and passed through the generations. Then, there are those items that may invoke a memory, but don't serve much of a purpose now. It was a few of these items that left me debating whether the time had come to let them go.
As difficult as it was, I made the choice to part with a few items, but I thought I'd give them "eternal life" (on the internet) before they pass from my hands.
Opa's magnifying glass:
This belonged to my grandfather. When it was fully operational, several D batteries in the handle would power a small bulb, adding light to his crossword puzzles and reference books. The daily routine of filling out this box of letters helped keep him learning. Try as I might, I'm just no good at the darn things.
Opa's desk lamp:
I don't actually remember where in his house this used to sit. It works, and reminds me of him because of the style. I simply don't need it, and yet I hate to let it go. But I'll be brave and let someone else use it, letting Opa's light shine elsewhere.
A box of recipes:
There are actually two boxes that belonged to Meredith Davis, my piano teacher of over 10 years. Many are hand written and many are cut from magazines and newspapers. To be reminded of the small treats, mini pecan pies, cookies and bars that were always served at piano recitals brings a smile to my face. With the internet, there's practically no recipe I can't access. I'm hopeful to give these "hard copies" to someone who will appreciate the nostalgia.
Knick knacks from Paul's house:
Thinking I might use/need them some day, I took several items from the house of Paul C. This man was a high-school friend of my father. He was a hoarder and the discovery of the condition of his home and the process of cleaning and transforming his house after is death is another story for another times. However, the expression "one man's trash is another man's treasure" can be true, but it can also be true that items that once cluttered a hoarder's house, can now clutter my own.
Childhood books and toys:
The "death" of my own childhood, and that of my children is a simple fact. I (and they) have grown, and there is no need to keep everything from a stage of life that we'll never be able to get back to. Yes, we are going to sell books and toys that were once a special part of our lives. However, there is comfort in knowing someone else's children can enjoy something that once brought laughter and pleasure to us. Before you scold me for getting rid of too much, know that I did set aside select items to preserve for memory's sake (or to pass to grandchildren one day).
I think I'm ready for that moment (at an upcoming garage sale) when someone walks down my driveway and takes these things away. It's a piece of my past that will live on in someone else's future.