The blog turned 3 years old yesterday—thanks for following along as it now transitions from a long planning phase through adapting and adjusting to retirement, living simply and in a smaller space, and spending a lot less $. Happy anniversary BITNF!
Sorting STUFF continues. My final count of boxes I shipped from WA state with my household goods was 11 small storage boxes (my goal was 10 boxes so I was close!) + 2 boxes of paintings. I also fit some outdoor gear and a few other items in the subcompact for the drive home. The stuff I’m helping to sort now is a storage unit full of the items from the house my parents lived in for over 45 years.
I thank my mother for documenting the origins of furniture, jewelry, and art. She included papers for some appraisals she had done. She labelled the jewelry in small bags. She left notes on who she wanted to receive specific items. She did that.
Some boxes are easy (kitchen stuff), some boxes are hard (my mom’s treasures). In between is MY childhood stuff—books, photos, keepsakes and … toys. Santa was very good to me in the 1960’s-1980’s and many of my gifts, well played with but in good condition, got stored in the attic, some in the original box.
In 2005 to make more income, I took a carload of those toys and started selling them on eBay. It was fun taking photos, finding new homes for these cherished items with grateful buyers, and making $.
That was before I became an aunt.
On Thursday, my 6 year old niece discovered my beloved sturdy 1960’s red Mattel-O-Phone in the storage unit. It was funny to see the toy phone suddenly getting more love in the hands of my niece and her 4 year old cousin. Then there was the excitement of the box for The Magic Hat (Perform 12 amazing feats of magic!). My niece was already imaginatively playing with the hat and wand and I sat with her and looked in the box, found the instructions and props, and tried to remember how to do the tricks.
I was transported back 42 years to my paternal grandmother’s house where I received the gift for my birthday. The box held such promise, such excitement—I would be able to do MAGIC! The memory of being in the room where I played and practiced with the toy was strong.
Then I remembered the disappointment: tricks that were clumsy or I didn’t have the patience to practice. The picture on the box and ad seemed to promise much more that the plastic toy could deliver.
I lost interest before my niece did and got up to arrange the pins for her from a beautiful old wooden bowling set from my dad’s childhood. Seeing my niece playing with our old toys and games is magic enough.
Note: I am grateful that my brother and sister-in-law are like-minded in the determination to purge and reduce. Most of the toys and games will be sold or donated and will not be transferred to my niece’s burden of STUFF.
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