Saturday, March 24, 2012

Keeper Of The Memories

I do not hoard!! I accumulate stuff! OK, so sometimes I find that stuff hard to get rid of...just in case I might want to use it again/ fit back into it/ need it/re-appropriate it for some other use. But I do not hoard.

It became obvious when I got my first quote to ship my 'stuff' across the ditch to Australia that quite a bit was going to have to go. I'd already decided that the beds, my big ass lounge suite, the freezer, washing machine & one lot of bookshelves weren't going with me. Some other large items were optional &, fortunately, quite a bit of what I definitely wanted to take can be flat packed.

I was given two options for shipping; the first involves shipping the, lot minus the items I'd stated weren't going, in shared containers. It turns out that I have 39 cubic meters of 'stuff'. Yikes!!
Option 2 was to have a 20 ' container to myself. Now a 20'ft container technically  holds 32 cubic meters.... if you were to fill it with water that's how much it would hold anyway. With wrapped furniture & boxes it's realistically something like 28-29 cubic meters.
Even I know that 39 cubic meters isn't going to reduce to 29 without some really serious minimising. Looks like some of those 'optionals' will be staying in Kiwiland...& then some.

But it's the small stuff that is holding me up. There are 8 boxes full of 'small stuff'.Things I rarely look at, but are there & I know they are there. It's easy for some to carelessly say get rid of what you don't need.
That sort of blasé comment will usually come from someone that hasn't created their family memories yet...or doesn't have a family ( or any interest in art or crafts - but that's a whole different story!! lol!)

Turns out I've saved everything from small beaded felt Christmas decorations I made 33 years ago when I was a young single Mother & too darn poor to buy anything, but determined to give my toddler some 'pretty' for his second Christmas - through to the all of the kids first artworks, birth cards, albums, inscribed books, a few special baby clothes & once much loved, but now outgrown, soft toys..... & on the list grows. We haven't even got to their early school books yet.....

Then there is Dad's 'stuff' - a beautiful hand tailored sailor top purchased at Ballantynes when he was little... probably around 1932, his wonderful old tobacco jar & scree's of other bits & pieces of his that Mum gave to me.

I'd already started sorting & getting rid of the more obvious months back, thinking that I best start sorting things out earlier rather than leaving it closer to the anticipated time of departure.A lot of Dad's things I've given to my boys, really just keeping the two things I mentioned above for myself. Dad was more like a father to those two & a huge influence in their lives. I know they'll look after those bits & pieces.

As to the rest it's really a matter of trust. I thought about giving the kids their stuff, but the time just isn't right.Things that were theirs when they were younger wont have so much meaning until they have children of their own. This I know from experience as I well recall regretting, much later, giving away all the things I deemed babyish or such as a teenager or even later as an adult.
I also recall the feigned disgust & the inner warm fuzzies whenever Mum would whip out one of my early notebooks filled with a 7 year olds first attempts at writing poems or fantastical stories, to show one of my kids.

It's those things that the kids have done that I'm finding hardest to even go through - let alone think of parting with, or entrusting to their creators. Not only do I smile at some of the things that were written, or marvel at the vivid imaginations of the very young,  I'm also transported back in time & memories are evoked of things that I had forgotten. I know when I show a special letter or card written by a 5 year old to their Mum to them as teens & adults that they have forgotten too.

No, I don't hoard stuff - 
I am keeper of the memories.


rosebud101 said...

Well stated!!!

Anonymous said...

Those are incredibly tough decisions Deb. What about those things they call space bags here that you use a vaccuum cleaner and suck the air out so they flatten out beyond all possibility. I too save all of those "memories" and can't imagine having to figure this out....although I know I'm going to have to.

Deb said...

Sharon - we can get those space bags, but the issue here is with it being an international move. Everything has to either be boxed or wrapped in specific packaging materials with all seams sealed (against insects & critters). It's a giant PITA!!! Even the plastic bins that I have can't just be taped & tagged - the darn things have to be wrapped thereby bulking them out. grumble****