I have been visiting Emily at Remodeling This Life and her latest entry really hit home with me. For years I have been a collector -- samplers (see earlier post), miniature churches, church birdhouses, musical instruments, old church hymnals, cherubs, musical angel figurines, vases, rose dishes, books, teddy bears, and just about anything else that appealed to me at yard sales, flea markets, thrift shops, antiques stores, plus things that I cherish because they belonged to my parents or grandparents. Some of my little churches are shown below:
Last year, when I turned 70, I had a horrible thought -- in ten more years I'd be 80 and I'd still have to cope with all this "stuff." Ten years might seem to be a long time if you're young, but time seems to pass more quickly the more we age. Here are some of my musical angels and nativity scenes:
So this year I have begun to work seriously on "downsizing." It helps that a Goodwill opened here recently. Yes, it's a great place to find neat "stuff," but I don't go there unless I also take a donation. So far I have donated a few samplers, needlework kits, other vintage linens, crocheted items, a good number of books, a tablecloth, some clothing, teddy bears, and dishes. I f you walked into my house you wouldn't think anything was gone because there are still a lot of things in the house, and more must -- and will -- go.
The nativity scene below is a favorite because Cliff made it. The nativities, angels, and the church scene below are only displayed at Christmas; during the rest of the year there is other "stuff" on the shelves. (You can glimpse some of my rose dishes to the left of the photo and a dulcimer on the right.)
For a while I thought I'd make a little money selling some things on eBay, and I started collecting boxes to ship things in. Now I have a big pile of boxes to get rid of also!
There are still many things I treasure too much to give away -- my favorite books, old books that belonged to my parents, my musical instruments (well, maybe I could part with one or two), old family photos and mementos, Dad's paintings. But if I get rid of the "stuff" that I never use, that fills cabinets and closets or sits around gathering dust, I will have more time to enjoy the things I love, like my organ, below, the painting over it by my Dad, the little girl figurine Daddy bought at an auction years ago, and a sampler (shown in a previous post). I bought the chandelier lamp on eBay, painted it white, and found replacements for missing prisms.
Have a great weekend.