Thursday, September 17, 2009

too much stuff ...

i love the way my apartment smells of cinnamon, nutmeg and apples after i've baked an apple pie in my oven. it reminds me of my mom's kitchen when she was cooking and baking. funny how certain smells can set off certain memories in ur head ...

the last couple of days i've had this itch to move -- well, not really the moving process itself, because truly, i've moved enough times to know that packing and unpacking basically sucks (sorry for the language folks but that's the only word that describes my feelings on that topic). before i was married, i had moved 7 times. once i got married i was dragged from state to state and several places within one state to the tune of exactly 9 times. its amazing how well u learn to pack and unpack when u have to do it that many times. i've been in this last place for 5 years. before that, i had lived in the same place for 12 years or so. that was a record for me considering the longest stay in one place prior to that was 9 years (when i was a kid).

i digress. so i have this itch to move -- but not really -- i mean i have this itch to go somewhere else and set up shop -- but without all the packing and unpacking part. and i'm beginning to see the benefits of not being a pack rat (which i so obviously am), or to not getting attached to things that belonged to other ppl in my life (my mom's, my grandmother's, etc.), or to not wanting to keep a pictorial record of every blasted thing my kids have ever done (maybe they will appreciate it some day but really, who knows).

part of this feeling came over me when i looked around my tiny apartment and realized that at some point, i'm not going to be able to stay here anymore (once my daughter goes off to college) and that i'm going to have to find a probably even smaller place to live or move into that house that my brother wants to buy in PA (which may or may not become a reality -- not holding my breath on this one). but it also came from digging through scrapbooks and boxes of photos to find photos for my daughter's graduation scrapbooks and realizing that i couldn't find what i was looking for if i tried and those two areas of my life r pretty well organized -- believe it or not. so the unorganized bits could do with a little work (or a lot, depending upon ur viewpoint).

and then, of course, we add to this the fact that the shelf in one of my cupboards came out and dumped its contents on the kitchen floor in front of me. i realized after digging the remainders out (so that the shelf could be fixed) and scattering them on the floor and very small kitchen table that there was a lot of stuff i wasn't using and hadn't used in eons (now that my family was no longer 4 but 2) and that perhaps i should get rid of a LOT of those things. but where to start -- and where to put the stuff i was getting rid of (considering there is little space) until i had enough to warrant a yard sale.

this all got me to thinking about jesus telling the disciples to leave their families and possessions and go out to tell others about the good news. they were to take nothing but the clothes on their backs. they weren't even supposed to take food with them -- the hope was that ppl in the lands they were traveling to would be hospitable and offer them food and shelter. i'm sure that on their travels that it didn't always work out that way, but nevertheless, the basic concept was that u can't take anything with u when u die, so don't get attached to anything while ur here.

so i'm pretty sure that as a disciple of jesus i'm failing abysmally in the area of not being attached -- because there r lots of things that i can't seem to live without -- like this computer for instance -- or pen and paper (for my writings if i didn't have the computer) and those photos in those albums -- yeah, i love looking at them and remembering the good times. when my mom passed away my dad handed over a ton of stuff (owls and such) that she collected over the years. for a long time, i kept it all, because somewhere inside of me i felt like if i got rid of it, it was like i was casting off my mom. eventually, i came to realize that i couldn't cast off my mom if i wanted to because so much of what she was had become a part of me. that realization helped me to let go of a lot of stuff. i still have a few items that were her's, but i know i could let go of them if i had to. still, those pics ... yeah, not so much.

they r, after all, just "things". but they have so much meaning and hold so much of our history -- bits and pieces picked up along the way as momentos of happy times we want to hold on to. is that a bad thing?? perhaps not the gathering of them, but certainly putting them so high up on the "can't live without" chain is. i know that there r ppl who have gone off to live in some other far off place and only taken a suitcase or two. i even have known one or two of those ppl. and that is essentially how i went off to texas when i finally left home. with a couple of suitcases. however, once i was firmly planted there, boxes of "things" started to arrive or were brought down by my parents. that began this whole life of pat rackery. don't get rid of it because some day u might have a need for it. but who could ever really NEED this stuff?? maybe its just more a WANT -- i want this stuff. i want my momentos around me because it makes it feel like home.

and then there is the whole ideal of what is actually home. that's a topic for another day ... in the meantime, i just need to get rid of some STUFF so that when the day comes to move, i won't be overwhelmed -- well, u know i probably will be anyhow!

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