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July 18, 2012
Between the Lines
Too much stuff . . .
WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Have you ever thought about your stuff? I mean stuff you have, collections, tools, kitchen utensils, you name it and someone probably has it.
Lately Best Friend and myself have been considering getting rid of some of our stuff. I mean the stuff probably no one else wants, because the stuff only has meaning to us.
We both know what it is like to go through our parentís stuff. Some which we did want to keep, although after going through some of it I really donít know why we are saving it. I guess it has to do with our connection to the past. It seems that going back into the past is the only safe place we know to go to.
I guess when you look at the fact of when you get closer to dying than being born that actually makes sense.
I remember, even before my dad died, he was in the nursing home at Luverne, and we moved my mother into an apartment. We were faced with the daunting task of down sizing.
Of course this was not the first time for us. Several years earlier we had to do the same thing after Best Friendís dad died, and her mom moved to an apartment.
If you are lucky you only have to experience this once or twice, if you are really lucky you get to do it three or four times.
Well Best Friend and me decided to not put our children through the hassle of having to decide what to do with all that stuff.
I am not a hoarder, and not necessarily a ďPack Rat,Ē although I do have things that I have not used for many years.
When it comes to tools, I do have a fair amount of duplicate hand tools. But nothing close to the nearly 300 screw drivers my dad had, some of them barely resembled screw drivers, but then you never know when you might lose a tent peg even though he hadnít camped since his Boy Scout days.
Part of my problem is that sometimes I see things that are really cool, things that people make out of old stuff. I see repurposing items as a good thing. On the other hand sometimes it probably would be better to throw them in the recycling, or off to the Good Will Center.
Sometimes I think our stuff takes on a life of its own. I occasionally go through my garage and workshop and sort out things I really donít need any more. But I swear during the dark hours some of that stuff seems to find a way to reproduce.
Recently Best Friend took out an envelope box of stuff of my parents out of the closet. After she looked at the stuff, she passed it over to me to look at. Quite a bit of the stuff we mutually agreed to file in the circular file. However I did save a handful of letters from friends of my parents. They were from people I had known so I kept a few of those.
Some folks here might recall Father Vernon Schafer, a former Catholic Priest who served in Westbrook for a while. As a teen I also went to church in Kasson where he served in the fifties.
His Christmas letters were some of the best humor I have ever read. They were not intended for his own parishioners though, but he had a wonderful way with words. Perhaps some day I will run some excerpts from them.
We did manage to empty almost a full box of stuff! Hey, itís a start, Rome wasnít built in a day either.
Have a great week and do good!
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