Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Life For Sale, Cheap.

The garage sale is Saturday, and I am engaged in disengaging from my worldly goods. And my mother's worldly goods. This is such a strange, surreal experience, especially doing it while she still lives.

I have my mother's crystal. She gave it to me years ago because she was tired of feeling responsible for it and never used it. So now I feel responsible for it and never use it. It's not Baccarat or Waterford, it's nice, but the kind of stuff you'd find in any "vintage stuff" store. And it has been sitting in a china cabinet I bought at a flea market for at least 8 years, and a few pieces get used maybe once a year. And it is going out to the garage sale. I decided that today. I don't know when I'll ever get to move, but moving costs money and the more stuff, the more money, and this is stuff I do not use. The kids get first dibs, of course, but if there is no interest there, garage sale it goes. I'm keeping the china and silver flatware of course, but the "vintage" crystal isn't really useful to me and isn't special enough to hawk on eBay.

Same with my uncle's camera. My father's brother was an avid amateur photographer and all around cool guy. I am tickled to have his camera, but I will price it online and see if it has any value, price it accordingly, put it out and let it go. I will never use it, and I would rather see someone who loves old cameras have it. I am not a great photographer and digital is my ideal media. Love that delete button.

I am keeping his dog tags and photos, and my grandfather's pocket watch, and stuff like that. I will get it all down to photos and a memorabilia box.

I now have two American flags presented at funerals. (Father and husband - I don't know what happened to my uncle's and grandfather's.) I guess it will be a fairly large memorabilia box.

Honestly, this is liberating. I wish my mother could be healthy and sharing it. She had been so excited to move away from her house and get rid of all the possessions bogging her down, she said, "Sell it all!" and wanted to redecorate in her new place. Where she never got a chance to live and enjoy. I have the bed and the dresser and the chair I bought for her, too. They aren't going on this round (I may keep the chair and use the dresser as a sideboard/yarn storage facility.) There will have to be a later garage sale, when I finally do list the house. There's too much small stuff for this round. Furniture will go right before I leave. Whenever the hell that will be.

And now, I will go stick price tags on cookbooks I never use. It's all about lightening the load.


carlarey said...

I spent last weekend listening to my mother in law mourn for the stuff she got rid of, crap that was broken and mouldy, wedding gifts that hadn't seen the light of day since her reception 45 years ago, pictures of people she couldn't even identify, stuff her own kids moved off and left at least two decades ago. All of it priceless treasure as far as she is concerned.

The silver lining in your particular cloud is not having to listen to any whining about it.

Catherine said...

My mother was very specific - the china, the silver, the hope chest, the pictures, all things I planned to keep anyway. I do understand the "priceless treasure" mindset - these things are ties to a past life, and it's hard to pitch them. But it's even harder to figure out what to do with them if I keep them.

Bess said...

Wishing you bright cool weather for Saturday's sale. And lots of customers!

Linda said...

My MIL has been pawning off all her worldly posessions to me for nearly 15 years. It's all things that were top of the line in 1942 and not worth the trouble today. I graciuosly accept them, haul them home, write a proper thank you card and promptly re-gift, re-sell or donate it. Some of it is lovely but when am I ever going to use a glass punch bowl with 12 cups hanging off it?? Having moved 7 times in 15 years I understand your dilemma. We had stuff we never unpacked and moved twice!
Praying for lots of early, eager bargin hunters and perfect weather.
P.S. Good call on the yarn storage!

Martha said...

Miz C,
Wishing you excellent weather & lots of shoppers who are excited by all your sale tables hold.
It is amazing that we hold to so much stuff. I'm reviewing (& have been) all my stuff w/ the idea of a move, of unloading, of lightening up. It is liberating, exciting, sometimes anxiety producing too for me.
Look forward to hearing how things go for you.
Much prosperity to you for the sale, hon.

Francesca said...

It's a good thing for me, but a bad thing for you, that I live on the opposite side of the country. Else I'd be in your driveway, unable to resist. I love this sort of thing -- even though I don't like clutter either, which makes for an interesting internal struggle. :) I do keep most things in my large china cabinet, which at least keeps it contained.

And I bet I'd buy every one of your cookbooks. Even the ones I've never cooked out of are comfort reading for me.

Good luck! And hang in there.