Friday, May 16, 2008

home is where your heart is, and the coffee mugs

I cannot move very freely in my apartment. It was already a bit overstuffed and now is beyond capacity. It is times like this that I would dearly love a little house with a basement. Somewhere with a lot of storage that is not the corner of my living room that should be a dining room. Those room divider screens have been a lifesaver. Two years ago, I moved my mother out of their house into a seniors apartment building. She wanted to take everything with her, which was a bit sentimental, but there were not enough boxes available to put it all in. Not to mention that the five room plus sunroom house with full basement and big yard was a lot larger than her one bedroom with tiny balcony apartment. I had a friend who told me her mother ended up taking a two bedroom apartment in her seniors building that became available two weeks before she was to move because she could not let go of her furniture or china collection. She was thrilled. My friend, not so much.

The move in '06 was an ordeal. After three weeks, only five boxes were packed. I had to get her in this apartment before the World Cup started and my time became very limited. Didn't happen. The TV was on the whole time, a match being watched out of the corner of my eye and cheering or groaning done while every item had to be scrutinized and exclaimed over and decided: keep, donate, give to someone in the family, toss out, think about some more, pack immediately, put back in the drawers to be rediscovered anew days later. She hated to throw anything out. ANYTHING. No matter how useless, broken or insignificant, or duplicated. Don't get me started on the aluminum pie plates. The extra sets of linen, the dishes and cutlery bought for when we had the trailer in the 70's, and again when the dishwasher came into the kitchen in the 80's. Every piece of Tupperware bought in the 50's and 60's. And everything she ever bought, but had not yet used, was still in it's original bag. Many of these bags showing an evolution of design and some were from department stores that no longer existed: Eaton's, Simpsons, KMart, Kresge's, Woolworth's... Many presents were discovered, unused. Many souvenirs bought and never looked at again. It was a veritable Tickle Trunk (Mr Dressup reference) in that linen closet of hers. Actually, sometimes that was the fun part: the trip down through the memories. And, because I was the only one helping, I scored the best of the 60's and 70's gadgets and accessories.

This time, the clearout is less time consuming. Not as much has to be scrutinized. We decide who gets to keep something for ourselves or it gets donated. But, after so many years, some things just cannot be blithely tossed. It gets brought home, either mine or my brother's, just because, and we'll keep it, unused, for a certain amount of time then likely wonder why it was ever so important.

Tupperware circa 1954, anyone? Collectors?

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