I put my game face on this morning, walked into the garage and picked a big box. I was determined to be productive today.
This was stuff that had been in the kitchen before we packed everything up for the renovations. So, some stuff came out of the box and got put away. Like the basket with Tylenol. (I pulled out anything that had expired over the summer first.)
A pair of tongs, grill spatula and pasta strainer got put in the dishwasher as these are things I’ve been missing. Well, not the grill spatula, but I’ll leave that for Stephen to make a decision about.
I got hammered in a previous post about being overzealous with the elimination of kitchen items, etc. because of Stephen’s celiac disease. But, I continue to be overzealous and make no apologies for it. The rolling pin and spices that were likely used with a measuring spoon that had been used in wheat flour (in other words, were very likely to have been cross-contaminated back when we didn’t realize it was an issue) got set side. I listed them on Freecycle and am waiting for some nice person to pick them up. If she flakes, two more are in line.
After that was done, I was left with these:
These are what I’ve learned are referred to as sentimental clutter. Courtney Carver has a great post about her sentimental clutter and questions to ask yourself when faced with what to do about it.
Stephen and I struggle with this. You know about sentimental clutter, right? It’s all that stuff that someone gave to you as a gift, or you bought when you were 23 on that cool trip, or your box of journals from high school. But that you don’t use or really need.
We have an inordinate amount of sentimental clutter. Boxes and shelves and closets full. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about all of this stuff.
From My Great Grandmother
The tea cups were part of a set of dishes that my great grandmother gave us for our wedding. My great grandmother rocked. She was an awesome quilter (she made every single one of her grandchildren and great grandchildren a quilt by hand). She was a badass.
Despite the fact that she was deaf, she read lips and, if she didn’t catch something, she’d hand you a pad of paper and pen and demand for you to write down what you said or what was so funny. I guess, by her example, I learned to make sure I was heard.
When Stephen and I were newly married and lived halfway cross the country from her, I’d write her letters. One time she wrote back to “Kandi and Jim.” I figured since she was getting so old and had so many great grandchildren, she’d just gotten confused. So I wrote her back a letter and signed it “Kandi and Stephen.” She again wrote back to “Kandi and Jim.” So I started calling Stephen Jim. Then he started calling me Jim. So now, our nicknames for each other include Jim, which makes absolutely no sense to anyone else. But I love it. Because I loved her.
She is no longer alive, but when I see the china I’m reminded of her. Which makes this harder. Because we don’t use the tea cups and saucers. We don’t serve tea in delicate cups. I don’t think they’ve been used, save a time or two, in the last 18 years. But, I do regularly use the bowls that came from the set. And I think that’s enough.
Just because we don’t have the dishes in our house doesn’t mean I won’t remember her. Or her generosity. Or her tenacity. And as long as Jim lives on, she lives on.