11 June 2012


Heaven is an empty house. The other members of the household left me home alone yesterday, for a couple of blissful hours, while the girlie went and tried out for the swim team. Other people might use the time to take a nap, or catch up on Desperate Housewives. I embraced the chance for a bit of time to putter around my cellar.

There was a box in a corner, a box of odds and ends that I'd brought home from my mother's house a month or more ago. I emptied it, and put away the odd bits of fabric and paper, a jar full of paper fasteners, a small bone crochet hook. I was about to take the box upstairs, for the recycling bin, when I noticed that it wasn't just a plain white box that 10 reams of copier paper had come in. No, she'd decorated the side of the box, with a collage of paint chips, purples and teals and blues. A bit of matte board, cut to a small rectangle, labeled it "Patterns".

These are the things that rend the heart. This, this box, is a microcosm of her time, her sensibility. Someone else would have scribbled "patterns" with a black Sharpie. Who else would have used the paint chips for d├ęcoupage?

Now I have a 9" x 17" piece of corrugated cardboard, propped up against the wall by my desk. I can't keep everything. Where do I stop?

Or, where do I start?


susan said...

I am glad that one of your starting places is stories. I love hearing about your mother.

Janet said...

Things like this...a nice photo would work, no?

readersguide said...


I don't know.

Jeanne said...

My family always liked to keep cardboard boxes. So at Christmas we would exchange gifts--and boxes. I still have one my great-Aunt decorated with a picture of a cat, and we still exchange it at Christmas, when we can find something that fits in it.

Kizz said...

Janet's way is smarter than mine.

My mother is a hoarder. I know I have the tendencies but still get a thrill out of pitching stuff so figure I am not a goner yet.

With sentimental stuff I keep it, no questions asked. Over time it often feels less sentimental so it's easier to let it go.

Full confession: I still haven't washed the scuff marks off the wall where my German Shepherd used to sleep because every time I try to do it I cry. They aren't very photogenic so I'm not sure how I'm going to get past it. (She died in 2009.)

slow panic said...

i think you keep what touches you and brings her closer. you'll know when to let go of things.

mayberry said...

Yes, I love Janet's and Susan's idea that this blog is a place to start, with stories and pictures. But oof, I can only imagine how hard it is to think about parting with some of the actual stuff.

Liz Miller said...

Yes. My thought is, frame this and hang it in your craft room?