Some people seem to make big sweeps through closets or whole rooms and just get rid of things and they feel gratified doing so. In my family it seems that many of us just cannot do that and therefore, when the time comes to move, we have either two full moving vans full of stuff, or there are the last minute garage sales, or we drive it one car load at a time to the new residence. In my case, for the last move, I ended up with two trucks of stuff besides all the stuff I simply gave away, and the carloads I transported myself.
Once here and spending a full year unpacking the many cartons of stuff, some of which I had forgotten we had, since the last residence was too small to open all the stuff I had shipped from California I also found that there were many things which never came with us from Sunnyvale. Since I have always worked very hard for almost minimum wages, or maybe it is the lasting effect of being the off spring of children of the great depression, I feel sad when I have lost something or it has been taken away from me without my permission.
One of these items was a figurine of two deer running. When I was sixteen and my sister fourteen and we made our first trip to Slovakia where we were each given one of these lovely sets ceramic deer as a souvenir. Mine had one antler broken and I put that into a tiny box and recently found it with my costume jewelry and missed the figurine all over again. Another item among the missing things was a set of porcelain cups from Japan. One was white with a red design and its mate was red with a white design and both were rimmed in gold. It was a husband and wife set and a wedding gift.
There were two Star Wars beach size towels for the children which anyone might be glad to have found in their possession.
A knife with a steel blade that my father made for me with a resin handle and inset with pictures of my daughter and I was another of those irreplaceable things that I doubt would have any interest to the family who ended up with our box or boxes of belongings. With so many years between the move from California and my unpacking in this house, I doubt the moving company would even have kept a record of that shipment and since I had to sign a paper in Illinois that I received our shipment, they are off the hook.
Once settled here, I have made an effort to thin out the assortment of things I brought and some odds and ends left by previous owners. While I am not good about doing a clean sweep, I have donated numerous things to my friend Marilyn’s church rummage sale; returned things to a couple of cousins that come to me from their families somehow, or that I knew they could make better use of than I ever would, and little by little, things are finding new homes. I’ve begun putting the dozen or so glass vases I’ve acquired with cut flowers, through the dishwasher and wrapping and putting into a bag to give to a florist I occasionally go past, and this past week, one of the more rewarding experiences was giving a co-worker a bag full of florist marbles to put into a vase she brought into the office. She was so happy and said the bright blue marbles added the look of water to the vase in which she put some artificial flowers her daughters gave her. Sometimes it just doesn’t take much to make someone happy.