My mom had been bugging me for some time to "come and get your crap" and I kept saying "yeah, yeah, just throw the crap out, I don't want it." Thankfully she persevered.
Mom has a big house with a big, dry basement. Because of this, all her three lovely children and their assorted sundry children, former husbands and heretofore unknown acquaintances have stored their junk there. I was the worst offender. Because of my marriage break-up and multitude of moves I had a lot of boxes in that basement. As far as I was concerned, if I hadn't used anything in those boxes for the last eight years, I didn't need it and therefore didn't want it. I am NOT a hoarder. I detest yard sales. Generally speaking old junk makes me gag.
"Mom, just take the damned crap to the dump! Or leave it there and I'll take it to the dump!"
"But Cathy, there's some really nice crap in there ..."
My mom, my lovely mom, was near tears.
Last week Dave and I went to my mom's house and collected all my "crap." What a revelation! There was all kinds of really cool crap in those boxes, crap I LOVE, crap I had forgotten all about, crap I wouldn't part with for anything, now that I remember I have it! I have had so much fun going through those boxes. Each item has a special memory or a story attached. In fact, I had such a good time that I thought I'd share my
The photo on top is a cheese dish that used to sit on my Grandma Hazel's farmhouse kitchen table. Grandma and Grandpa Hooper had aged cheddar cheese at every meal so the cheese dish was never put away. I loved that dish. Years later, after Grandpa died and Grandma was "downsizing" into an apartment, she gave a lot of stuff away, including this cheese dish. She gave it back to my mom, who had, I just found out, gave it to Grandma after she had babysat us brats one weekend many, many moons ago. I was probably still a toddler, which makes the cheese dish nearly 50 years old. A while back Mom gave me the dish because I loved it so. Can you imagine me wanting to throw it out? Sometimes I'm such a fool.
Which reminds me of a story my father used to love to tell. He was also a great lover of aged cheddar cheese. One day he was at the farmer's co-op buying something for his hobby farm, when he spied a fresh shipment of artisan cheese in the co-op fridge. He wanted to know what kind of cheese it was, since it wasn't labeled, so he said to the teenager behind the counter, "Is that old cheese?" And the kid said, "No sir, it just came in yesterday."
My mom, who turns 75 this month (happy birthday, Mom!), is in the process of "downsizing" and is giving away stuff she doesn't use anymore. A lifetime of stuff. Incredibly sad, isn't it? We spend a lifetime accumulating "stuff," only to have to give it away again. Makes you wonder how important "stuff is in the first place. Anyway, without further adieu, some stuff:
|I just wanted to show you the evil grin on the mouse's face. Hilarious, eh?|
|My mom has a tremendous collection of china knick-knacks, including many fancy miniature cups and saucers. This one came from China, before the days of Communism and, as well as being beautiful, it's old as the hills.|
|I remember Old Mother Hubbard in the parlour of our home in Midland, Ontario, when I was just a squirt. Mom also had an Old King Cole figurine. I have both now. She gave them to me decades ago because she thought they were "ugly." Not me.|
|My father was a railroad engineer with the CPR. I spied this bean bag doll in a gift store years ago and gave it to him on Father's Day. After he died Mom returned the gift to me and I have it in a place of pride on my bookshelf.|
|HA! I love this bobble-head salt and pepper shaker set. It's the main reason I got into collecting salt and pepper shakers. Whenever there's any kind of breeze the porcelain skeleton heads rock on their bony hinges, clacking against their bottom teeth. This is an old and extremely collectible piece. I think it was originally sold in a tacky souvenir shop in Niagara Falls. No, Laura Eno, you can't have it but I can will it to you if you really want...|