Stuff, Stuff, and More Stuff

My mother hardly ever gave things away. Maybe it came from being a Depression Era child. Maybe it was from being a single mom getting no child support, and being paid a pittance as a Louisiana educator.

The fact remains she died with an attic stuffed with fifty-year-old toys, Life magazines, dance costumes, and more. I used to be the opposite. She was horrified when I scavenged the attic for our only garage sale. It was like I’d sold our ancestors’ remains to a medical school.

Living in tiny dorm rooms, efficiencies, and apartments was easy. I didn’t have enough stuff to own clutter. Then came marriage, children, family estates, and one day I became my mother’s child. I owned stuff. Stuff with emotional strings and baggage.

I open a unmarked box and find dolls from my childhood, then quickly shut it. They’re a little scary looking after fifty years in my mother’s hot attic. But “so and so” gave them to me… Sentimentality is a very sticky thing, like a spider’s web.

But now there are hard limits. We no longer have the luxury of squirreling things in our new attic. Heck, the climb way up there already petrifies service people. It’s a dang aluminum ladder attic access, with a long access pole I need a tall stepladder to grasp.

Nobody’s hauling Mamaw’s knickknacks up there. We’re too afraid of plummeting to our doom.

So there’s the motivation. Now to winnow down almost twenty years of occupation and being on the receiving end of estates.

Send wine. Lots of it.


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