As I look at all the newly emptied spaces in my home, and think about what formerly occupied them, I recognize how much I’ve ‘let go’ of. It hasn’t been easy, mind you, there are a lot of things I would have preferred to keep. I have spent a great deal of time ‘accumulating’ things over the years, things that had a certain appeal and ‘spoke to me’ to a degree, their mere presence making my house feel more like a home. From large livingroom sets down to tiny stained glass flowers, each one was selected with the utmost care. But as I begin this new journey in my life, I’ve had to shift my focus to what is truly practical and necessary, and much of what I have in my possession is not. In my kitchen alone, I have come across so many things I can live without. Many of them were gifts and it’s difficult to part with them, mainly because I don’t want to cause offense to the gift giver (should they ever discover I gave away something they hand selected for me and paid a great deal of money for). However, after I pull the dimsum steamer, and the homemade pasta machine, and the rice cooker off the shelves, I know in my heart that I’ll never put them to good use.
If I want dimsum, I order it at a restaurant (in the big city). It’s hot and fresh and delicious and cheap. And the best part is that there are no dirty dishes involved in the process. When I want pasta, I wait until it’s $1.00 or less per box at Albertson’s, and purchase two or three boxes (along with a jar of sauce). If I am making a dish/entrée that features rice, I cook it in a pot on the stove. Seriously, how hard is it to ‘cook’ rice? All it takes is a pot with a lid, a stovetop, and three ingredients (water, salt, and rice). I cannot justify taking up space in my cupboards or on my countertop to ‘house’ a large machine designed solely for that purpose. If ‘sacrifices’ have to be made and I am only allowed to keep what is truly practical and necessary, the dimsum steamer and homemade pasta maker and rice cooker have to go. But that’s not all that has to go. Oh, no, not even close! If we had the government paying for our move (like last time), we’d be taking the whole hoard with us, but we are footing the bill this time around. And it’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ you realize you can live without when you’re the one who has to come up with the cashola.
It’s interesting because when I consider only the things I purchased in recent years at the nearby thrift store, items that I ‘just had to have’ at the time, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve redonated nearly all of them. I bought them because they went with the ‘theme’ of my home, but since my house is changing hands and I have no idea what kind of house I will be living in in the future, I see no point on hanging on to all kinds of furniture items or tchotchkes which may or may not work in the new space. I cannot afford to keep items which ‘may or may not’ work any longer, only ‘sure things’. ‘Sure things’ are items I deem practical. In my kitchen, those items would include pots and pans, plates and bowls and cups, silverware, cooking utensils, plastic containers (for food storage), oven mitts, a nice set of sharp knives (for food prep), cutting boards, a microwave, a toaster oven, an ‘Instant Pot’ (no, I’m not getting paid to endorse it), a pizza stone, a tea kettle, a grater, a salad spinner, a strainer, an 8 x 8 square pan, a smallish casserole dish, ‘measuring devices’ for cooking and baking (teaspoons, measuring cups, etc.), a large cookie sheet (for bacon), and a coffee maker (for my husband).
The rest of it? The mandoline that sliced off part of my thumb, the food dehydrator that took over 36 hours to dry out what amounted to a half a pint of strawberries, the broiler pan in the bottom drawer of my oven (that has never seen the light of day), the grapefruit juicer which I can no longer use because grapefruit interferes with my medication, the electric knife which only came out of hibernation once a year (on Thanksgiving Day), the countless cookbooks that I never cracked open (why bother when I can just Google a recipe nowadays), and the canning supplies (which I used once and vowed to never use again because it’s a heck of a lot of work), they can all ‘go’. Honestly, if I can walk into a store and buy a jar of jam for three or four dollars, why would I go to all of the trouble of buying or picking a bunch of fruit, prepping it, cooking it, pouring its liquified contents into sterile jars, securely applying sterile lids, blah, blah, blah. Hey, I know a lot of people enjoy the process of canning, and I appreciate their dedication, but I’m not one of them. When I purchase assorted cans and jars of ‘food stuffs’, I sometimes wind up with a ‘dud’, but most of the time I am pleased with my purchase(s).
I was a bit concerned when 3 cans out of an 8-pack of Costco tuna seemed highly suspicious (in smell and color), but I didn’t die after consuming the contents, so I didn’t think much of it afterward (until now). But enough about food and kitchen items, there are a lot more rooms/spaces in our home that need to be addressed! And since the garage was packed up today, I’ll put my focus there. I must admit, thinking about all of the things that had to be ‘sacrificed’ does make me a bit sad. I’m not sad for me because I didn’t have a single thing stored in the garage; however, my husband did. The garage was my husband’s domain and contained all of his ‘treasures’. If you can think of a tool, my husband probably has at least one. There are screwdrivers and hammers and wrenches and socket sets. There are electric drills and electric saws and electric sanders. There are even welders (tig and mig). I have only scratched the surface, believe me, there are a lot more! But I don’t want to talk about those items because even though they’re precious to my husband, they’re more about necessity and practicality. When he uses them, it is because ‘work’ needs to be done.
The idea of ‘work’ doesn’t usually imply fun or pleasure. When there is ‘work to be done’ in our home, ‘pain’ is a given but ‘pleasure’ is not. And I suppose that’s why I don’t mind so much that my husband has such a large quantity of ‘toys’. He works his tail off so it doesn’t bother me when he heads to the nearest mountain and spends a day snowboarding, or travels to a nearby lake and spends the day fishing (out on his boat or kayak). Fishing gives my husband a lot of pleasure, it’s a very meditative process for him being out on the water. It’s something he really looks forward to and he was really excited about taking his boat and kayak out to all of the new ‘watering holes’ once we relocate. Yes, he WAS really excited until they were no more. Over the weekend, with much reluctance, he parted with his boat. As much as he wanted to bring it, it was too much trouble to trailer it across several states, so we sold it. It bummed him out but he got over it because (initially) he still had his fishing kayak and had every intention of keeping it. I was in complete agreement until I discovered that the kayak wouldn’t fit into any of the storage containers we rented nor the largest cargo trailer available through U-Haul.
When I shared the news with my husband, he was clearly devastated. I had suggested an alternative, to buy a kayak rack, install it on my car, and take the kayak with us when we move, but he shot down the idea. “If we put the kayak on your car, it’ll be like driving around with a sail,” he said. I hadn’t thought about that. I also hadn’t thought about what we’d be facing when driving through the entire state of Wyoming, unnatural and unheard of amounts of wind and wind gusts. If you’ve ever been to or through Wyoming, you’ll know what I mean. Years ago, while visiting Wyoming, I opened my car door at the most inopportune time, and the wind nearly ripped it clean off its hinges! Needless to say, once we realized bringing the kayak was a ‘no go’, after a lengthy sigh, my husband decided to let it go and said, “Sell it.” As much as I didn’t want to because I knew how much it meant to him, I knew there was no other option. I got busy taking photos and putting together a description, and within an hour of posting the ad on Craigslist, I had a buyer. When I told my husband, he looked devastated. “I have no boat and now I have no kayak,” he stated dejectedly. “Once we arrive, we’ll buy you another and then you’ll still be able to get out and fish,” I assured him. “I know how that works,” he responded, “I’ll end up devoting all of my time to working on the house and it simply won’t happen.”
My friends, that is where he’s wrong. He is right most of the time (don’t tell him I said so), but in this particular case, he is so incredibly wrong! Fishing to him is like writing to me, and I cannot begin to tell you how depressed I’d become if I wasn’t able to write. That man needs to fish and ‘fish’ he shall! I sense a challenge and intend to rise to the occasion. It may not happen when we first arrive because we’ll be so caught up in finding a place to live, but once we get settled in, that man is getting another kayak (or boat)! The days when he’s happiest are the days he’s been out on the water and I am going to see to it that once we move, he’ll have many more opportunities to do so. It is one of his few sources of joy, so it’s really important. Anyway, I wish I could say we’re completely done ‘letting go’ but there are still rooms filled with things that we both must part with. One of those things will be my kids’ yearbooks (that I insisted on purchasing for $50 each). Neither of my boys wanted them but I bought them anyway, and they’ve been hibernating in my closet ever since. Sigh. What in the world was I thinking?!
Gotta run! So much yet to do!! Have a wonderful day…and thanks for stopping by!!