belonging, at a garage sale.

this weekend has been about two words:  GARAGE and SALE.  (well, this & three kids running around playing with duct-taped helmets, opening the “hi-ho cherry-o” box in the middle of the driveway to play a quick game, coming to ask me for a soda, going out to jump on the trampoline, asking for candy, finding a gun in the sale pile, & coming to ask me for a soda.  or candy.  or a popscicle.  again.  🙂  apparently GARAGE SALE equates with TREATS.  i didin’t know that:  excuse me while i have some skittles. . . .)

since christmas (& quite probably because of the christmas onslaught) thalia & i have been pricing backpacks & bandanas, star wars bobble heads & magnifying glasses.  (& let me tell you, this girl is a voracious pricer;  her enthusiasm kept us plowing through the house, roguely in search of “what else we can sell”.  ).  our house is for sale, & unless the apocalypse beats us, packing all our worldly goods into liquor boxes one more time is inevitable.

SO.  i am bound & determined to take less (& HOPEFULLY progressively less & less & less & less. . . .you get the idea) with us.  which means a’purging we will go.

thursday morning was the beginning of our sale, & as we hauled boxes out of the garage & into towers on the driveway, as we began setting out every piece of clothing the kids no longer need, every craft gone undone, every candle in excess, i was STAGGERED by the amount of “stuff” rolled out in front of our house like a walkway to clutterdom.  & i kept saying so to anyone who would listen.  HOLY MALONEY.  andy said, “this looks like a multi-family garage sale.”  we are five people.  going on six.  no reason for this.

but, as much as i wanted to declutter, as much as i want a simple, tidy home, as much as i don’t want to keep kicking hot wheels & stepping on legos in the night, there are some things i JUST HAD A HARD TIME GETTING RID OF.

exhibit A:

vintage dresser from my grandmother’s old farm house. the house i played in every summer day as a child, where i went for peanut butter captain crunch & sewing lessons.

& i love everything about this dresser except the truth of it.  the drawers are too hard to open.  they stick when you attempt to shove them back in.  (more than once i’ve side-punched one end of the dresser, and then the other, like a whacked-out teeter totter you have to finagle yourself.)  & truthfullly, having this dresser & her sister in our house only allowed me to house more “treasures” that weren’t.

so the dresser had to go.  &  it did, after i marked it down three times & came to the heart-filling realization that the only reason i WANTED that dresser was for the connection with my grandma, & my dad.  quite possibly, my grandmother hated those dressers.  i have no idea.  but to hang onto something for purely emotional reasons just fills ME with clutter. just as i need space in my house, on my desk, around me, i need margin & empty edges in my own belly.

so the dresser went.  & ya know what?  since i took her picture & waved goodbye in my heart, i’ve been noticing the other true treasures i have from my grandma that i love:  vintage vases to put wildflowers from my daughter in.  the old typewriter i poked at that now sits in my living room where thalia is transcribing a shel silverstein poem.  the dressing table with big round mirror that waits for her to grow a bit & own herself.

these are the things i love;  these are the things that add meaning to my life, that root me in the past while inspiring me now.  these are the pieces that are authentic treasures, & that i look forward to passing on as heirlooms to my kiddos.  by allowing myself to dismiss those i don’t need or like, those that just don’t work for us, i open up a big meadow of space for what does belong.

& that feels right.

2 thoughts on “belonging, at a garage sale.

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