I Love You For Sentimental Reasons

I am a saver. On the border of a hoarder, but still safely on the saver side. Regardless, it’s clear some culling needs to be done. It’s best to have someone stern and unattached help you with this project because there’s nothing more clarifying than having that somebody snatch the third identical teapot from your gooey grip and slap you upside the head.

But I collect them! I complain.

Try collecting common sense. You’re giving them away, says the indifferent voice dishing sage advice.

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Harsh, but true. And harsh is what’s needed when trying to part with things you’ve imprinted memories and value onto. Every morning, as I rummage around in my drawer for something to wear, I lay eyes on my “Polish Princess” t-shirt from eighth grade. I remember wearing that top to school as a thirteen-year old, catching the eye of my science teacher whose ancestry was Bohemian, and starting a two year Slavic supremacy war with the man—each of us determined to ethnically best one another. I therefore became wholly determined to prove my people’s intellectual preeminence and studied like a madman. Without that shirt I would likely never have received such stellar grades in his class. That shirt was a foundation of who I was. How could I give it away?

Then wear it, I hear my unsympathetic cleansing cohort say.

What, are you kidding? It’s so tacky. Never.

There are other things. Like one rolodex card holder and four old address books all clinging to the whereabouts of people from my past. My brain has rationally argued that it is wholly likely most of these folks have moved at least two or three times since we originally exchanged info twenty or thirty years ago. True, it might be filled with outdated home and telephone data, but my childhood dentist PROMISED he would be here for me if anything should go wrong with that thirty-five year old filling and I needed to come back to see him.

It may require the assistance of a séance, but I bet he wouldn’t be the slightest bit miffed to rise for the occasion. Dr. Fenske was dedicated soul. Or maybe is a dedicated soul.

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And how about the big tubs that hold my high school homework, exams and term papers? Or the shoeboxes full of Valentine’s Day cards I received while in my elementary years? Plus the hundreds of blurry photos my kids took from their first disposable cameras? Is the Voldemort of fun expecting me to shuffle those off into the recycling heap?




We form piles: Giveaway. Sell. Burn. Keep.

The giveaway mound is mammoth and growing, as if it’s being fed by some underwater vitamin filled stream.

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The sell stack is so beautiful, all shiny and new and incredibly useful—surely we can keep just this—ow! Fine, fine, I’ll put it back! The burn heap could be fun if we had marshmallows and hot dogs. And invited the local fire department to keep it under control. But the keep pile? These items are deemed useful. Not sexy or chic, charming or covetable. Just useful. They feed you, clothe you, bathe you or rest you. They are practical objects with nearly no maudlin attachments.

I glower and envision putting my assistant onto the burn pile.

And then there is the no one needs to know about this pile pile. And fairly soon this secret mass has swollen to the dimensions of a mid-sized village and somebody is growing suspicious as to my frequent sojourns down the hallway with the sudden admittance to owning an M&M sized bladder. But it seems my years of developing the fine skills of thriftiness might have benefited from a few minutes spent practicing the art of deception. I am found out.

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Take a picture, the old grump insists.

And how does one take pictures of eighteen years worth of Food & Wine cooking magazines, huh? I NEED those magazines because one day I may NEED to make a dish of reindeer jerky drizzled with seaweed syrup lying atop a bed of Isle of Skye moss covered with a sprinkling of powdered blowfish fins. Then where do I go?

To a psychiatrist.

The old grouch must go, but she stays firm. One hundred percent cruel and uncaring. Her rule for my future is thus: if you cannot read it, eat it, or drink it—do not buy it.

I point out to her that technically my nearly two decades’ worth of Food & Wine fall under all three categories. She points out to me that technically I should be on medication.

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It is a long and grueling week of cleansing, hours upon hours of arguments, tug of wars, and failed smuggling. But I am glad of it in the end. It was worth all the angst and effort.

The front hall coat closet looks amazing.



September Gotta Have a Gott 

In January, Rob and I announced that his sketches will be available toward the end of the year in the form of a 2015 calendar! And our readers would get to be the judges and voters for which doodles they’d like to see selected for each month. We’ll reveal the winners one by one, and come November, If you’ve Gotta have a GOTT, you can place your order. See the cartoons in competition and to cast your vote.

Don’t forget to check out what we’re cookin’ in the Scullery and what we all talked about down in the pub. Plus, you can see more of Robin Gott‘s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone.

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97 thoughts on “I Love You For Sentimental Reasons

  1. If an object that you no longer use still gives you a good memory or feeling, take some nice photographs of it and start an electronic scrapbook titled Nostalgia. Then, donate the original object.

    It’s the feeling you really want, not the thing, and all you need to get that feeling back is to focus upon it briefly. A photo does it, without taking up space. For added effect, write a blurb under the photo waxing poetic about your memories of it. Hell, you could even open a private WordPress blog.

    Celebrate giving away each nostalgic item by remembering that you have just cleared that much more space for new good stuff in your life, you’re creating little vacuums for happiness to fill.

      • Oooh, Tana, that wise woman is a total gem. I hope you still have her hanging round and that these little pearls keep slipping out occasionally.
        That’s Confucius worthy.
        PS. Do NOT take a picture of her and give her away to someone else. 😛

    • You’re spot on. It most certainly is the memory, and the feelings those memories evoke that are the actual things I’m clinging to. And Operation Optics Only is in full swing. I’m determined that a little more elbow room might be a lovely thing in the end.
      And I’m guessing you and my drill Sargent have met and strategized together? Two peas in a pod. 😛

  2. Next time someone calls me a hoarder, I will merely say ‘I am a saver’. I wish I had never read this excellent/confronting post as now I am feeling slightly uncomfortable in my own skin. What, I don’t really need my 1990’s all in one floral bodysuit that reminds me of dancing and singing karaoke in my heyday or my Charles and Diana royal wedding cut out paperdolls? One of my sisters is my chosen helpers whenever I know a cull is in order but man, is she a toughnut and she is on to all my ‘saving’ tricks. (She will never find my paper dolls though…ahhh..don’t tell her…). Nice work Mrs P. 😁

    • An all in one floral bodysuit?? Man! How can you give that away? That is totally priceless, and will surely be coming round and back in fashion shortly. I’d struggle with that one. Okay, yes, and the paper dolls.
      I’m right there with you, Cheergerm. It will NOT be easy. You’ll need some comfort food following the ordeal. 😛

  3. Shelley~As you know from my posts, I am into clutter clearing. Still don’t have the nerve to simply put whatever I can in my vehicle and drive off … however, I am about to purchase a new-to-me vehicle which is much larger than the one I drive now. Two thoughts ran through my mind when I first saw it:
    1. Since it’s larger, I can rationalize cramming more stuff in it, should I do the extreme, and
    2. In a worse case scenario, it’d be more comfortable for sleeping.
    (Not sure what that has to do with anything, but there you have it. Maybe I need to clutter clear my comment. :-))
    Enjoy your not-so-crammed-full closet. Clapping and cheering for you friend.

    • Thank you, Tana. And the thought of bundling up whatever is critically important and making off for the wilds for an adventure sounds awesome. I hope you do get a chance to experience this–even for just a little while. What a lifetime of memories you will make.
      I’m getting out my pom poms for you too!

  4. I forced myself to be cruel recently with clearing out and managed a carrier bag full, unfortunately my helper stepped in too soon and I ended up with 3 black bin bags. My place is so empty now that my daughter says she’s coming to do another sweep before my grandson starts walking round. Minimalism she calls it. I wonder if I can hide everything in the loft first.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • Yes, the loft is good, David, but the neighbor’s loft might be better. 😛
      And I’d say Reuben could use a little challenge and would probably love an obstacle course.
      “Discovering” things at my grandparents house was one of the best parts of my childhood. TREASURES!

  5. Oh, know where you’re coming from Shelley!
    Our rule was if we hadn’t used it/looked at it/worn it for 6 months, we obviously didn’t need it.
    Thing is, we are a nation of collectors, as most of those ‘little things’ mean a lot due to the memories that go with it.
    Having dispose of 99% of our ‘stuff’, we are looking again at a sort out.
    The boat is lopsided, which is parially due to the design (the majority of storage space is all on one side, how silly) and the heaviness of the kept favoured books, DVDs and a few other odds and ends.
    Oh to have a shrink ray! 🙂

    • Tilting? What a visual. But you guys really had to go to town on whittling down what was deemed need-worthy. And I’m still amazed at the sharp skills and determination you displayed. Maybe I’ll just keep the three of you in mind on my next go round.
      Surely science will come up with a shrink ray sooner or later, right? We just have to wait it out and be patient. (And squish our restiveness into a tiny ball and set it aside–hence further need for a shrink ray.) 😀

      • It’s not uncommon to have imbalances in boats (and you often see caravans ‘wagging the dog’ when it’s been loaded incorrectly), though at least we aren’t going to sink!
        A bit like going uphill in a full car and asking all passengers to sit forward please!
        Some people re-jig the interior to suit their own personal needs, and we are also looking at that, especially our seating area as it’s vital we keep all the storage space we’ve got.

    • That is a perfect description of how I feel when asked to “move that one on.” I curl up reflexively over the bone-chilling thought of not having whatever ‘it’ is anymore.
      There must be some great psychology here.
      And why am I not surprised that Alex would be the task master? I bet she’s incredibly efficient with the work though. Lucky you.

      • Yes, she is. It’s like something clicks in her and she doesn’t stop until the task is done. It’s frightening and awe inspiring at the same time.

        For me, I think it’s because my father was always threatening a big family move when I was young, and these threats would always come before a huge downsize in the stuff we had, so large clean outs to me have always come with the threat of even greater, larger scale life changes. The two have become interconnected in me.

        • Oh, wow, NJ, I think you totally nailed it. The big family move. It happened to me too! I remember my dad making an announcement at dinner one day when I was six, asking our large family of six what we all thought about moving. Being a master of misinterpretation, I thought he was suggesting we pick up the kitchen table and shift it over to the living room for some novelty. Then the next thing I know, it’s the middle of the night, I’m tossed into the back of a station wagon, and I wake up on the other side of the state, rolling up somebody else’s driveway. I couldn’t find half my stuff because my mom did all the “packing.”
          This explains everything.
          I’m going to have to bring this up in therapy.

  6. Feeling your pain, Shelley. The only good thing about decluttering is the sense of freedom I get from having more space. The rest is agony!

    Loving that last line tremendously. You are the master of words, my friend.

  7. Oh, I’m a SAVER also! Thanks for the new word. The only thing I miss was 1 box of old school work. It got lost by the movers. I’m ok tho, closet doors still shut… It’s the opening of them that’s tricky =-O

    • Maybe it’s a Midwestern thriftiness thing? I was raised surrounded by folks who found uses for everything and didn’t spend a penny unless there was a true and dire need for it. I simply look at things and see a future for them somewhere. Okay, except for things like school work. That’s just a pat on the back for seeing just how far I’ve come, although it’s probably not as far as I’d like just yet. So maybe it’s MOTIVATION, right? And one needs that in one’s life.
      Yes, I’ll take a picture of it. o_O
      And yeah, I say we stick with ‘saver.’

  8. Ah, when I saw your title, it brought Nat King Cole to mind. Such a pleasure 🙂
    I am a mood-swing “saver.” I accumulate things and then go all Nurse Ratchet and toss them out. The Long-Suffering Husband is more conservative. He surreptitiously goes through all the things I have put in the “toss” pile and retrieves whatever he feels should be given a stay of execution. We have achieved a certain equilibrium this way.

  9. Wow! My dearest Shelley (with two e’s),

    I hope you were successful in your Dartmouth of needed cleansing. Yes, just as the comparison considers, think of living in a space the size of a 6’x9′ sleeping quarters, thus, along with several other ambitious shipmates clinging to what little possessions they are allowed in their small portal on board the Queen’s Naval fleet.

    Spring cleaning. Be it on the opposite side of the calendar year, let it commence. It can be quite a spiritual awakening. I too understand what it is like to now have to pick and choose the difference between wants and needs… to go from a house filled with rooms, closets and storage conundrums to deciding what really fits in a backpack, well, you get my gist.

    On the funny side, during my “cleaning” I did come to realize one glitch that proved I haven’t taken inventory in quite the while; I hunt, or, I at least I did several years ago and have put it off for other reasons; however, the collection of shells I have gathered, be it purchased, given as a gift, payment for cleaning someone else’s foul, deer or other… made me realize that I would almost look as if I am beyond the hoarder stage and ventured unknowingly into the survivalist level. Scary. Hence, my decision to donate two-thirds of my stash to the local DNR for educational use. It was if I almost had my own armory. Good riddance.

    Good luck, don’t get lost in the piles and remember… you can always put off today what you can do tomorrow… or something like that. Off to forage for the last batch of tomatoes and squash before our first freeze.

    Much love,

    Stoshu 🙂

    • I’m laughing at the idea of folks bartering with ammunition, buddy. “Thanks for butchering up all the turkey and venison for my winter provisions, now here’s another box of bullets. Can you go get us more?”
      Not that ammunition is something to laugh over, but growing up as and where we did, you knew what it was for. Food. Period. Bonus equaled antlers, but that was never the point (ha! Point!)
      Boy, you should see the bucks up here at the moment. What a display they’re putting on. It’s been a National Geographic special playing out for the last three or four weeks. Amazing.
      And you of all people are fastidious about order and no clutter. I should envision you in the kitchen as I make my next sweep through. That’d be super helpful. And painful. But mostly helpful in the end.
      Squishes to you and the girls, ❤ ❤

  10. Almost forgot,

    We should consider another food article as this morning’s breakfast was beyond unbelievable (yes, I’m slightly bias). After making my own cherry-applewood smoked venison bacon, I poached duck eggs, topped it with my fresh local peach-cherry chervil chutney, placed it upon a thin layer of King salmon tartar with a caramelized Saffron béchamel and served it with a piece of sheep’s milk toast. Fresh squeezed peach juice to boot was the topper.



  11. I feel your pain, Shelley. Oh how I feel your pain. I’m down to just the furnace/utility room and the garage. The house looks amazing, but it actually echoes from lack of stuff to buffer noise.

    p.s. The “try collecting some common sense” line made me snort!

    • Well done, Nancy! Although your determined efforts are not at all unexpected. You’re one of the most tenacious, and driven women I’ve come to admire. I sure hope it gets easier as you move along. I’ve got a bit of an uphill climb.

  12. I used to be the same way.From big sleeved silk shirts and platform shoes to letters from old girl friends, I kept it all. I mean you never know when a pair of two toned patent leather alligator shoes might come in handy.Losing a house and all the contents cured that malady. Now I try to control my addiction. I try not to let stuff control me, too much. I think memories are grand and there’s nothing wrong with “collections”. It seems to me you are going about down sizing in the most logical and sane way you can. I admire that. Sane and logical. Words that are often strangers to some folks. I really enjoyed reading your slightly neurotic story. You are indeed a clever and crafty wordsmith. Add in Rob’s art and your blog is a doubly enjoyable. I think you should keep the shirt. Get a legless and headless mannequin and put the shirt on it, or at least frame it. I think the tale of the shirt would be inspirational to all

    • What a vision you must have been, Benson–‘specially with that fancy footwear. 😀 And sorry about the losing of a home bit. Sounds a somewhat traumatic way to end the affliction.
      Thank you for the encouraging words of ‘sane and logical.’ Now if I can keep it all up, we can add “consistently methodical” to the heap. Tall order, but necessary I suppose.
      Love the idea of the mannequin. Although I wonder if the hound would mind sporting it for me occasionally. We’re about the same size. His reading skills aren’t up to snuff, so chances are he’d not notice the gender confusion. 😛

  13. Brilliant. I like that – collect common sense. Some one told me that common sense is a strange thing, because it is so rare! For the rest, I collect and save my old cameras! Rob is your husband? Are these his sketches?

    • Nope, Rob is somebody else’s husband and the two of us have never met. Which makes for a very modern day working partnership that I think is wonderfully fun. And yes, the sketches are all entirely his. They come from a deeply rooted, unmatchable English sense of humor (and perhaps something in the water source of Great Britain in general).

        • Rob,

          For gosh sakes, we truly should consider meeting even if you and Shelley cannot. Outside of us both in-vigorously enjoying Shelley’s fantastic blog (with many many kudo’s to your contributions sir), your taste for Monty Python and a great brew… (ugg, I miss great brew, but that’s another story, I digress yet again), your brew may have been born from the mighty and famous Thames River but in NW Wisconsin, our Leinenkugel’s brewery in Chippewa Falls WI water basis is from one of the worlds most purest spring taps. Truly. I tip my hat to German brew (and I’ve lived there for four or so years to consume enough brew to satisfy more than my share for a life time of a family of 9), but the water up north here is what makes purity God’s gift. The taste, the ahh… especially after a half marathon sponsored by the brewery. Sad, yes, but just prior deer season.

          Oh the sport we undertake where we live to, well… live.

          As they say, their is a loaf of bread in every bottle of fresh made Leinie’s brew.

          Keep those charcoal drawings a’com’n sir Rob. My best to you and your kin.

          BTW, what are whelks? To late to google it sir.

          Best regards,

          Stoshu 🙂

          • Whelks are small sea snails, and in some of the pubs close to the Thames, especially in the “Cockney” East End of London, a little plate of salty whelks or cockles served with some malt vinegar makes an ideal playmate for a pint of ale 🙂

            • ROB: um, OOM …
              Stosh: tho’ i live(id) in micro (µ) brew (ha) intensive colorawdough, i’ve got Leininkugel mugs! for the occasional L’s my in-laws sometimes bring!

  14. Ha Ha. Great essay. This is where you and I are complete opposites. In fact, I throw everything away and never save anything! Except for a wall clock received as a present from the 1990s. My kids wonder of all the stuff from the family I could have held on to, why would I hold on to a clock? (Well, you have to know what time it is!) Too many moves for me. To decide what fits in a car for a cross-country move is therapeutic. You really come to know yourself and what it’s important. 😉

    • I think maybe you have hit upon a good source of inspiration, Cindy. Go through the house, and determine what would come with me if I could only fill my car. Wow. That’s going to be hard. On second thought … I should probably get another car.

    • And massive cat fight ensues! Now that could make for a dreadful (and probably really popular) bad American reality TV show. Two hoarders trying to “help” one another out. Ha!
      Thanks for commenting, Kami.

  15. I love the pile of Mammoth pile! As I write there is another in a long line of boxes behind me, awaiting being filled with things to move on. It feels to me as if I simply must divest myself of ‘stuff’ that I no longer use but it is difficult to stay motivated. Does your Grouch travel?? Perhaps YOU would like to come and help, that sounds much more fun!! X

    • YES! I will take the Grouch’s horse crop and mosey on down to help you sort thru the detritus. After all, it’s time for a SPRING CLEANING in the southern hemisphere, right? Much more fun doing yours than mine. Plus there will be adventurous walks and fantastic food–yes? 😀

  16. Shelly, I’m a Feng Shui wench. If I had my way, Hubby’s model car collection would be gone. I’d settle for it being in the shed, but only if he got rid of 50% of the junk that’s in there. About 75% of the DVDs we have, haven’t been watched in over two years. Why do we have them if we’re not watching them? Because Hubby is the opposite of me, a pack rat.

    • I think that maybe what you’ve got going on is a little yin yang situation. You and your husband totally balance one another. Well, I say that, but in truth, you may have to up your game if he’s hanging on to all those beautiful movie memories. I’ve done that too–for the one day (or week) that I fall ill in bed with a bad flu or cold and can do nothing more energetic than press play on the remote control. Problem is, I’ve not been sick for the last five year or so. Damn vitamins.
      Yeah, you’ve got your hands full, Glynis. I wish you some serious luck. 😉

  17. Really shouldn’t have read this today Shelley. Ten ton of guilt sitting on my back now for not getting on and clearing my “saved” items. I suppose i can do it next weekend……
    Super as always and love the mammoth heap :))

    • Whoops. Sorry, Janice. Yeah, I’m pretty familiar with the guilt backpack. That guy’s been slung around my shoulders for eons. How bout I absolve you of your weekend to do list, and you can wave off my guilt. Sound good?
      And yes, now I want a woolly mammoth …

  18. Oh do I have the have same dilemma. My “getting rid of stuff” becomes a seasonal disorder, and in the meantime I am saving just in case we need- which most of the crap we won’t “need”. Great article and hit home today as I have been piling things to give away.

    • It feels good to be in the company of others who are plodding along on the same wretched course. We a big group of folks who are wandering down this road together, lugging all our treasures for that ‘just in case’ moment. I wish you luck with your pile, Heidi and I’ll be thinking of you as I tackle mine. 😛

  19. First off, please tell me you did not get rid of your Polish Princess t-shirt! That is seriously a keeper. Either tuck it away somewhere safe, or send it to me, and I’ll keep it for you for safekeeping. 🙂 That just can’t end up on the discard pile. I try to keep clutter to a minimum, seeing as how I’m limited on space, but there are some things I can’t part with. My mother’s wedding veil. (No one knows what the heck happened to her dress.) The stuffed animal my dad won for me at an amusement park when I was seven. Ribbons I won for Field Day in elementary school, because I NEVER won anything sports-related. I rarely look at these things; they’re packed away, but I know exactly where they are and I’m glad I still have them. But I do understand the need to get rid of the clutter. And now when I’m shopping and see something I’d like to buy, I ask myself, “Where am I going to put this when I get home?” That normally makes me change my mind about purchasing the item. I’m also pretty good about getting rid of my old craptacular writing. I’ve shredded the first drafts of entire novels before, and these were hand-written, so I had no backup on the computer. Keep up the good work, Shelley, and keep the stuff that’s important (including that t-shirt! 🙂 )

    • The t-shirt is STILL on the premises. Along with the ribbon I too won during Field Day–but that happened strictly because I was paired with a bruiser of a guy for the three legged race and we didn’t really end up using the one leg I contributed.
      Yes, comfort is the perfect word to describe exactly the feeling these things produce. How can you give that up? I’m not sure a photo of my shirt would give me as many warm fuzzies as actually putting on the old ratty thing and brushing my teeth in it.
      I suppose it’s more a matter of narrowing down the most important. So even though I’m a total book hog, and would practically lose a friendship over the fact that one lent out was not returned (gasp!), there is THE LIBRARY. (That sentence was kinda painful to write.) I love the library. But it’s not MY library. But the stories are there. (I’m sweating bullets just thinking about giving up my books.)
      Okay, maybe I just need to move into a trailer that’s about the size of the sheep barn.
      I can’t believe you shredded your words. I will pray for your dark and desperate soul, Sister.

      • Whew! Now I’m relieved to know that the shirt is still where it rightfully belongs. And wow, I’m glad we got to pick our partners for Field Day, or I would have ended up getting dragged around the field during the three-legged race. (That’s not an activity I won a ribbon for. 😦 )

        I used to hang onto my books forever until I finally had to start asking myself, “Are you ever going to read this book again?” When I could honestly answer no, I would be willing to part with the book so I could make room for new ones.

        Yes, one summer I decided to shred all kinds of stuff–unfinished stories, a couple of novels, and a ton of journals. It really was for the best, because the writing was AWFUL.

  20. I just don’t get the hoarder instinct. I grew up with 2 parents who were ‘savers’ … and as a result, I’m not. I’m pretty vicious about getting rid of stuff … although I admit to a few scary storage areas 😉

    • It’s a mystery, isn’t it Joanne? Nature vs nurture. But it’s clear, there is a line where one must take a hard look at what you have and make sense of it–or rather make sense of keeping it. It just gets super challenging if you’re an incredibly sappy, sentimental fool such as myself. o_O

  21. As usual Shelley, I find I relate completely! Having once been a chronic hoarder I now consider myself a recovering hoarder, liable to fall off the waste wagon at any moment! Moving to France was a major breakthrough as we just had to be ruthless about bringing unnecessary stuff – still managed 83 very large cardboard boxes though, mainly full of books, just cannot bring myself to part with a book! 🙂 Now I find I collect ‘objects of interest for my photography’ I can get away with quite a lot like that!! :/ Anyway, it seems to me we are our memories, so hanging onto to souvenirs is part of being human. 🙂

    • And there’s another grand idea: I simply need to pack up and move to the south of France. Now THERE’S some motivation for hacking my way through the growing piles. Only take what you can squish inside a suitcase or two, for in truth, living in such a resplendant and plentiful place, what more could you really want or need? 😀

  22. lol I laughed so hard. Just spoke about this to my daughter (about myself) and then to my husband after not doing this. hehehe I just don’t look forward to this task which I have needed to do for…um… well let’s not go there. One day someone will step forward and help me with this if I don’t get my butt in gear. SO next time the picture falls off the wall above my dresser I will perhaps not blame the spirits that reside here and don’t look my hair in that picture- almost as much as me. I may possibly admit that the pile of sweatshirts and assorted clothes that is partially obscuring the framed photo of my husband and I at my son’s wedding, has actually become out of hand. Instead of grumpy old lady, I likely will have the daughter who has the firm position on nearly everything helping me. It will be a blast- if we don’t compromise- I’ll warn the neighborhood. Love the sketches as well.

    • Oh, yes, Bettemae, I agree. If you can find yourself a sweet and caring young thing to assist you in your efforts, the whole project will be an absolute picnic. Especially if you take a spa vacation while she does it all on her own. At least then you’ll come back and feel too well rested to pop your top. And maybe all those spirits will finally have a little more elbow room and will stop bumping into your walled photographs.

  23. Bahaha!! The last line did me in! You sound more and more like my husband every new post I read. Perhaps it is why I am drawn to liking you so much–he is a really great guy, although a hoarder. I am the awful “grouch” it seems. The new thing I have learned though, is to throw it out when he is gone. If he ever goes looking for that teddy bear they gave to his mom at the hospital where he was born, I will just play ignorance. 🙂

    • You and my mom have a lot in common too, Sasha. It seemed at least once a month there was a “garage sale,” and all starting and ending while her four kids were in school. I lost waaayy too many treasures with her method of housecleaning. Perhaps that’s why I cling to them all so fervently now.
      Glad to hear the husband’s such a lovable fellow, but then again, I can’t imagine you’d settle for anything less than stellar.

  24. A kindred spirit ( although I like to smugly think you are worse than me 😉 I’m still vowing to do the spring cleaning of the closets – oh I have LOOKED at them many times – this year , last year, the year before. I even took everything OUT of my closet in January a wall repair included the closet – alas most everything went back in – with a vow to take it out again and cull.

    • Oh, Cinda, what an exhausting effort – and now to have to do it again? I feel weakened just thinking about it. But we kindred spirits must encourage one another to plow through and get the task done. So you have my support–and my sympathy. On the bright side, spring cleaning season isn’t for another 6 months or so, so you’ve got plenty of time to rest up for the undertaking.

  25. PHURST uvawl: seventy-ate kawmints over junque?! the (un)common denominator is YOU: with your almost-impossible-to-ferret invisible hypnotic spell (the “schpell spell”) over all who’ve ventured to enmesh themselves into your exotic enticing verbiose web. tho’, i’m, uhm, 87% sure, you don’t INTEND THAT.
    regardless (oar izzit regard-more?) i think we all have that tendency: what to do with it?! you’re lucky and/or truthful (hmmm) and/or impartial, but “b” ‘n me know that we’re PAST that: we are planning 1st THING when “retirement” is to activate Craig’s List and Ebay … and after a while, with less stuff, we can load it all into the van and go away. end of story. for now.

    • Wow, what incredibly kind and gracious words, Betunada. However you spell them, they still spell out big-hearted compliments, and for that I’m hugely touched. In fact, I’m planning to print out your comment and put it at the top of my latest heaping mound of “I CANNOT GIVE THIS AWAY IT’S TOO IMPORTANT!”
      And the ideas of Craig’s List and Ebay are right at the tip of my fingers if I can only get away from doing other computer related things like blogging and writing all day. I need to get into selling and donating. It’ll happen. Hopefully I’ll not finally get around to it by the time I retire. The loading it all into the van and going away is a tempting and heavenly idea. Colorado sounds nice. Supposedly good grub and hot tubs up that way. 😛

  26. I love Rob’s teapots insinuated into his wonderful, humorous sketches. Reminds me of the Australian cartoonist, Leunig, and his teapots.
    What about the ‘if I die ‘ embarrassing pile of stuff? I will have to gird my loins and cull that one day, old love letters, diaries, poetry, report cards, death certificates, music cassettes etc.
    Do you have clothes in your wardrobe a few dress sizes either way, no longer in fashion, in case….
    Don’t throw away that t-shirt, it’s gold. Can you wear it to bed?

    • Yes, Susan, you are so right. I totally forgot about that pile, because no one is supposed to know about it. Out of sight out of mind, right? Egads, that one definitely needs to be culled. Not looking forward to it.
      And the only variation on sizes I have in my closet are maternity clothes. And why I’m hanging on to any of those is SOOOO beyond my ken! This is a issue that needs to addressing asap.
      And I think you’ve made a lovely suggestion about my t-shirt. I shall go to bed tonight looking smart and feeling smart. 😛

    • I had a tiny taste of that in August this year while I was “helping” my daughter get ready for college. It’s so much easier to get rid of other people’s belongings than your own. Which is, I suppose, why I’m employing someone to “help” me. But yes, there are still gobs of her things hanging about that I think would be better off used as nesting material for the wildlife in our forests. I’ll put a sign at the edge of the woods and see if I’ve got any takers. 😛

    • MINDFUL: THAT is a major part of our dilemma! the kidz left, took what they considered essential, now have accumulated replacement junk to that they left, and …

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