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05 February 2015

Things are just things...

I have been thinking about the things we surround ourselves with in our homes as I have been packing up all of our worldly possessions (well, at least the ones that we didn't leave behind in a storage unit in the US). How much of it do we really need? What things could we live without? Why do I still have THAT particular item? What is THAT?
This is the first move we have done where we have to pack up our house. In the past, a team of movers would come in and carefully wrap and pack fragile items, and unceremoniously dump lots of crap into boxes. I unpacked on the other end, usually with the spirit of just getting things put away SOMEWHERE and getting rid of all of the dadgum boxes.  Every room in the house seemed to have at least one junk drawer, where I would stash things I didn't really have the time or motivation to purge or sort.
Packing everything up myself has given me some time to reflect (that is, when I am not jamming out to Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars).  I have done some purging as I go along, but surely, not nearly enough.
There are definitely things I probably should get rid of, but I am a sentimental person and remember the memories of particular objects and those memories pull at my heart strings and prevent me from tossing things I really should.  Will I still have that memory come to mind, if I toss the object that brings that memory to the surface?

Here is a perfect example.

I know what you are thinking... "Missy, it's a paper cup. You need a self-help group. And a trash can."

Well, actually, it is two paper cups. And I remember exactly when and where I acquired these two paper cups.  Well, the circumstances anyway.  

My Grandmother was a practical woman.  When Chris and I married and lived in Beaufort, South Carolina, we weren't too far from where my Grandmother lived in Brunswick, Georgia. So, we would drive through and visit from time to time when we were that way.  Before one visit, my Grandmother had purchased a twelve pack of Diet Coke.  She didn't drink Diet Coke. It was a gesture of welcome to have something on hand that family might like to drink when they visited.  I think that pack of Diet Coke stayed in her closet for years, so that when anyone visited she could offer them.  
On one visit, as we were leaving, she offered us a couple of Diet Cokes and these two paper cups for the drive.  We pulled away and Chris looked over and asked me how old those drinks were, as they tasted terrible.  We laughed that those Cokes must have been around for years.  We kept accepting them, in hopes that we would eventually deplete the supply.  We got home and tossed the drinks, but I stuck the cups in a cabinet, thinking to use them at some point.  
  I never did get around to using those cups. They got pushed back to the far reaches of some kitchen cabinet.  Then, my grandmother passed away. When we moved to California, those cups came with us. The movers packed them carefully and when I unpacked them in California, I sighed, remembering where the cups had come from. So, I stuck them in the back of a cabinet again.  The same thing happened on our move to the UK. The movers packed those two, waxed paper cups, and they really weren't too worse for wear when I unpacked them in London and placed them in the back of a cabinet.

I pulled them out of that cabinet yesterday and set them on the counter and looked at them and remembered my Grandmother.  I couldn't quite bring myself to pack them. But, I couldn't quite bring myself to throw them away either.   But, I am pretty sure I know what my Grandmother would have done... she would have tossed them long ago. She was a very practical person.
What would you do?


  1. smile at your beautiful sentimentality. How well I remember those stale diet cokes.

  2. Keep them! Maybe you could make something out of them to uniquely frame, perhaps make a paper S out of them and hang it :-) sometimes it's ok to hold on to the little things. It keeps us grounded! Xoxo