What Do We Do With Everything We Grew Up With (And End Up With)?

When my parents died I knew that we had to clean out their house, find a storage unit for the furniture and what-nots and so-ons, and then sell the house. I’ll be honest; it was kind of gut-wrenching. Granted, I didn’t always love Mom’s taste in brass lamps or other things, but everything in that house meant something to me.

The Crankee Yankee and I would go up to the Wolfeboro storage unit and go through what we wanted to have in our home, and take the things I didn’t like or care for to the local auctioneer. Just yesterday we went up to the auctioneer with a load of stuff. Of course, thanks to the unwelcome guest, the corona virus; there won’t be any auctions anytime soon, but at least we are cleaning out that storage unit.

Funny thing about the stuff we grow up with; we either cherish them and love them, or pass some of them on to others; or just auction them off. The Crankee Yankee’s younger brother, David, always helps us when we go through the things we want to auction off. Just yesterday day that’s exactly what we did. Each time I go through that storage unit, I often have a hard time deciding what I would like to keep. Over the years I’ve discovered that while I may have sentimental feelings about some chair or table or knick-knack—then I drop the sentiment and realize that I don’t really love that chair or table or knick-knack; I love the memory of it when my parents were living in the house.

So what exactly do we do with everything we grew up with? If I could talk with my mother, I know exactly what she’d say: “don’t be ridiculous; if you don’t really like <insert do-dad here> then don’t keep it! It’s only “things” after all.” And she would be absolutely right.

When you come right down to it, things really are just—things. We can love them, admire them, gift them to others, sell them or simply keep those things that we really love. There is always a pull on my heart when I go into that storage unit and see the furniture I grew up with. At this point, we have given away or auctioned off some of the things we didn’t particularly like, so I’m happy that the people who now own some of Mom’s and Dad’s things are enjoying them.

My memories of my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends and cats who have gone on before me are lovely memories indeed. They always make me feel closer to them, and I am pretty darn sure that, when my own number is up I will see them all again where love abides and all our people and pets are with us forever.

But as far as I know, furniture, knick-knacks and doo-dads just stay on the earth, and make new friends who will enjoy them just as much as my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends did. As a dear aunt used to say “things are just things; it’s the people  who matter.”

Ain’t that the truth!

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