Monday, June 25, 2012


Okay it has happened!  I am cleaning, pitching, donating, and throwing away those things that I once thought I  had to have and couldn't do without.  Boxes from the liquor store will soon be filled with parts of my  life and taken to the goodwill or the curb. I plan to do one drawer, one shelf, one closet a day until I am finished.  Or one nook and cranny!

Last week I took bags of gold and silver jewelry to be sold.  It was refreshing.  It reduced the size of my safety deposit box at the bank, but it was also bittersweet.  Some family treasures, old wedding bands, gold baby bracelets and rings, some gifts from boy friends long ago, a gold locket with a photo of 'Freckles', my cocker spaniel from decades ago.  As I watched them being appraised and weighed, knowing they would most likely all be melted into a liquid, I couldn't help but think how very sad, how melancholy. A part of my life gone, melted and made into something else, that someone else would buy and treasure for a time and then one day dispose of.

I have two more bags of jewelry to go through and take to be sold.  More silent heartaches.  I wonder if others feel the same.  Watching a gold charm bracelet disappear with gold charms I gathered from my trips throughout the world...Korea, Thailand, France, Italy, Mexico, Japan, China, I felt bittersweet.  Nothing much else remains except my memories.  They can't be erased. Grandmother's broches, tie tacks from that once belonged to someone I do not know who, generations ago.  Photo albums have been sent to my daughter, most likely to be stuffed into an attic never to be seen again.

Eighteen boxes of of sixty slides in each carousel, have been transferred to one disk! Reel to reel movies transferred of my daughter's first steps, transferred to one reel. The trappings we all have at one time or another in our lives. Stuff that defines who we were and who we have become, brings back memories, some good, some not so good, of how we arrived at the destination we are now finding ourselves. 

It somehow feels I am packing to go away.  And in a sense I guess I am.  I am lessening my load. Cleaning out my head and my heart.  Holding those items one last time that once meant so much to me.  As I do so, I felt a sense of freedom from the burden of being overwhelmed by 'stuff'.  The trappings of life.  This process is done alone and with great sorrow, as I handle some of these things for the last time, turning them over and over in my hands, as if to say goodbye. Sixteen years of owning and operating 3 bed and breakfasts and 20 years on television cooking, I have accumulated more 'stuff' that one could imagine.  Anyone want 3 spaetzle makers?  A zillion cookbooks? 

I open a drawer, you know that drawer in the kitchen we all have, to find something I need, a tape measure, a pair of scissors and there is so much 'stuff' in there I can't find them.  I feel like that in my head.  I can't find out who I am until I rid myself of the burdens of the past few years, the garbage that has been dumped on me, intentionally with great malice by people who have not a clue who I am, or what I stand for, or what I have sacrificed in my life for others.

Jan Bethancourt in 'Eat Chocolate with Breakfast,' wrote "Every day is trash day somewhere.  Leave your garbage by the curb.  Start over, free of all the useless stuff." So I guess that is what I am doing.  There comes a time when you and you alone are responsible for your future.  What you are going to do next.  Who you are going to become or who you remain.  Bethancourt also wrote, " When the red wash accidentally gets tossed in with the whites...decide pink is your new favorite color.  Accessorize accordingly."

So I hope to now appreciate where I have been, because it will take me where I am going. My hope is to the mountains and the seashore and peace and open spaces and a life much less full of anguish and pain slathered on me by others and much more joy and laughter and much less solemnity and faces void of expression.  For these smiles will surely light the way. With every road I have traveled I have gotten wiser.  And one thing I know for sure,  I will remember the old life and all it taught me and I will hope for a new life with much greater joy.  For all that I have struggled through, I feel I am much stronger and my hope for joy will be closer with each box sent to the curb on trash for now everyday will be trash day for a while.


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