Menopause

Downsizing:The Silber’s Tin

The downsizing continues! This post features items that I’ve given to specific people.

After my mom died in March, I mailed a dear family friend one of Mom’s paintings. I put this old Baltimore bakery tin in the box too since Kay lives in my hometown. I bet she can find someone there who loves the old Silber’s Bakery as much as I did.

I’m no longer teaching picture book classes, so my characters are going to an elementary school in Tidewater Virginia. My friend Ann will pass them on to teaching colleagues at her school. Can you name each character? (Strega Nona, Yertle the Turtle, a Wild Thing, Ramona, and Max grace the top row.  Sylvester and Lilly sit on the bottom row.)

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I’ve put some of my items, such as the characters above and the Santa below, on Facebook. The Santa is heavy, so I specified local. In fifteen minutes, my friend Allison said she’d love to add him to her Santa collection.

Santa

I wondered if pushing my stuff on Facebook was tacky, but Facebook friends reported they had great fun checking out the items I was offering up.

My girls haven’t wanted a lot of my things. I’ve gotten used to the idea, but this came with some pain at first. Kath finally said to me, “Someone else will enjoy them.” My aha moment. But she loves crocks! Here are two of mine, now in her fireplace.

Crocks

And Matt, my son-in-law the gardener, has strawberries growing out of my great-grandmother’s strawberry pot.

My friend Cheryl took an old stone garden cat and these yellow ware bowls.  I had two garden cats (the same ones) and although I love the bowls, I haven’t used them in years.

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My brother brought this xylophone back from Africa. Our choir director said he’d be glad to take it and either use it at church or pass it on to a percussionist friend.

Xylophone from Africa

This was a tough one. My mom and dad’s kitchen china. It brings back those days long ago, but I want my own kitchen dishes. A friend who is into vintage things was looking for a new set. It’s hers!

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Pam Briggs, who works at Leland Little Auction Company here in Hillsborough (another downsizing story), has helped me mightily with the deeper emotional issues regarding keeping family treasures. “You only need a few items to be reminded of a loved one,” Pam says. “You don’t need a room packed with their old things.”

On to one of the toughest yet! My dad brought this figure back from Japan after the War. Mom adored him. I don’t. I love the image of my father returning to his beautiful fiancee, with treasures in hand, but this guy kind of creeps me out. I put him on Facebook and a friend from childhood, who knew my parents well, said she’d be pleased to have him.
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Giving your treasures to specific people is lots more time consuming than simply donating them, but it’s been another happy piece in my downsizing puzzle. I know where they are. I know they are honored and appreciated. Believe me, I’ve done lots and lots of donating, but for treasures that pull at the heart, this has been my golden ticket.

I’m hoping Cliff will agree to let his mom’s pancake griddle go. I’m itching to put it on Facebook. Who wouldn’t want a griddle named Happy Day Griddle-Grill!

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Here are links to my other downsizing posts:

Downsizing: The Recycling Shed

candles

Downsizing: Take a Photo?

duke-mug

Downsizing: Up to the Attic!

puzzles

Downsizing: Spare the Pig?

piggy-bank

Downsizing: Glass Upon Glass

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Downsizing: Keeping the Quirk

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Downsizing: The White Elephant

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Downsizing: The Bicycle Nightgown

nightgown

Menopause

Downsizing: Spare the Pig?

Piggy Bank

I bought Piggy at Pier One when I was in high school. He lived in my bedroom, and I filled him with quarters.

For the last twenty years or so, Piggy has resided on a bookcase in our upstairs hall. Cliff’s been feeding him loose change.This piggy bank is loaded! There’s no way to open him up to retrieve the money.

Piggy Bank

How tempting to take a hammer and liberate all those coins. I could treat Cliff to a beer or two at one of Hillsborough’s watering holes or buy myself a few bars of elegant soap. Maybe both! Better yet, I could donate the coins to our church’s collection for the hungry.

I’m fond of my piggy bank, but he’s not on my Keep Until I Die List. I’ve got other mementos from high school. The downsizing project continues! So smash and retrieve the coins? Or give Piggy away? Let someone else make that difficult decision?

Piggy Bank

I’ve finally got my answer (I think), but I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Anyone else have a similar downsizing dilemma?

Menopause

Downsizing: Glass Upon Glass

 

Bride Full Piece

In my downsizing project, some of the hardest objects to deal with are those made of glass. Glass breaks (duh) and so packaging it up for donation gets more complicated.

When I discovered this sculpture at the North Carolina Museum of Art, I thought wow, maybe I could find an artist to come to my house and pick up all my glass.

In the interview below, artist Beth Lipman talks about her creation, which she titled Bride. She explains that the sculpture starts with order at the top and descends into chaos as the eye reaches the bottom.

I still remember unwrapping some of my glass wedding presents.. So neat, so elegant, nestled into a white boxes with tissue. Now those vases and candy dishes and candlesticks are crammed into cupboards. Chaos.

With menopause must come downsizing hormones. There’s not a woman I know who doesn’t want to clear out when she hits a certain age. But gosh is Beth Lipman going to have a good time with downsizing. She can build more incredible pieces of art!

What about you? What’s been your greatest downsizing challenge?

 

 

 

Menopause

Downsizing: Up to the Attic!

Puzzles

I’d love to travel back in time! My first choice is America in the first part of the twentieth century. Second would be dinosaur days. I’d bring my grandson Mazen with me, and we’d watch the dinosaur world from the top of very safe mountain.

This summer, Cliff and I climbed into a real time machine. We went up the ladder to our attic and dealt with thirty years worth of stuff.

I was amazed at our discoveries, including posters from my high school bedroom; sturdy wooden puzzles just right for grandson Mazen; my great-aunt’s tray table, now on the back porch; and Katherine’s Jem lunchbox, a prize for giving up her pacifier at age four.

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Why do attics hold such mystique?

Things stored in basements or garages may be part way out the door, but if it goes up in the attic, someone has made a decision that the item has merit, often of  a sentimental nature. And once an item is up there, it hides away until someone comes looking.

Attic

Our attic is now empty except for Christmas decorations and American Girl doll clothes and accessories, with hopes of a little girl in our future. I kept some of the treasures we found. The rest went to Goodwill and the recycling shed.

Empty Attic

As much as I was itching to tackle our attic, I’m feeling wistful now that it’s empty. Clearing the attic, like a milestone birthday or a child’s wedding, reminds me that a lot of years went by really fast.

But at least I’ve got the puzzles and posters to prove it.