Memories and mementoes

We went to my folks’ place this afternoon for a visit. They were both home when we got there and one of the first things my mom said when I walked in the door was, “you can take anything on the dining room table.”

I was intrigued.

I made my way over there and found a mosh mash of things. There were stacks of holiday themed paper napkins, bowls, platters, plates, etc. You know, china cabinet kind of stuff. In response to my inquiry she told me that she’d cleaned out the top of it and was getting rid of all the stuff on the table.

Eventually, as we wandered through memories and traced back the origins of the items, we moved on to the bottom of the chine cabinet, mostly used for storage out of the public eye. I told her that I remember loving being able to watch her go through all the things in the cabinet when I was a kid. I joked that I’d arrived just in time.

The more we went through, the more memories. The more we discovered new things, the bigger my pile of acquisitions grew. I love the opportunity to look back at some of our family holidays and all the years that have passed – who made what at school and just how laughable it was now.

I guess my parents are, like many seem to be, in a phase of decluttering. Today, I was there for it.

I like collecting things. I especially like collecting them from family, friends and loved ones. It feels good to receive something useable from someone who no longer needed it. It’s nice to extend the life of something that isn’t ready for the trash can just yet.

As so often happens, the clutter clearing expanded to other items beyond the dining room. It wasn’t just about getting rid of things, but also about some of the treasures they were keeping. My dad even broke out his hockey cards from the 1950s.

Later, he mentioned to me that there was a box of books of mine in the basement and told me that I should look to see if any were worth keeping. Here’s what I found. Approximately 70% of the books were French and German textbooks stolen from my high school and 20% were blank notebooks populated with 3-15 pages of mortifying notes on life and then abandoned. That just about sums up my teenage life.

The remaining 10% were legit books and other goodies. I found my first tarot deck from when I was probably 14!

In the end, we came home with three bags’ worth of new to us goodies. One was full of seasonal napkins and decorations. The second included some spa products my mom won in a basket from the Wellness Expo (thanks Life Labs!) and a few pretty old plates. The third came from the box of books.

I am pretty excited about my goodies and have away my ticket to tonight’s lacrosse game so that I could stay home and put it all away.

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