published in Change, Clutter, Home, Inspiration by Maryanne | October 11, 2016

Trundling Through the Treasure Trove…With My Tallest Friend

 

jac-tall-near-pipes

Jackie working in MA’s basement, Oct 2016

“Get rid of clutter and you may just find that it was blocking the door you’ve been looking for.”

– Katrina Mayer

The plan to spend a weekend going through the boxes in my basement was hatched last spring, when my friend Jackie and I were traveling in San Diego together. However, at the time, I failed to clarify that my “basement” wasn’t really a basement – but rather a crawl space.

And when a person is damn near six feet tall, the difference, I’ve since learned, is significant 🙂

jac-tall-in-basement

Jac loading goodies into the bureau full of gifts

Thankfully, when Jackie came to my home this past Thanksgiving weekend to help me sort through all the boxes from my Mom’s place, she was a very good sport – both in regards to the rather cramped working conditions AND having to deal with yours truly and my propensity to hang to…everything.

ma-and-baby-outfit

Case in point: the above photo is me fondly remembering a baby sweater worn when I would have technically been far too young to remember having worn it. In fact, said sweater could very well have been my Mom’s. Either way, it’s old and cute, so back into the box it went – alongside my Mom’s wedding dress and veil from 1958. Not sure when I’m going to find a use for THAT but…

Oh and can you see the little white with green tulle number on the hanger behind my head? That was one of my favourite ballet outfits – made by my Mom. And I do remember wearing that. Sort of. Actually, come to think of it, I got kicked out of ballet class…or politely asked to leave, at any rate. The instructor didn’t feel I had what it takes. I was, what, six? Seriously. Allen Cuzubo was his name and I remember not thinking too highly of him either.

But I digress…

Which is precisely the point of this blog. When we take the time – and are perhaps even lucky enough to have a friend willing to help us with the task – to begin to go through the, er, treasures in our basement, we don’t just sort and purge physical items. We also have to contend with all the memories those physical items often bring to the surface.

But you know what? Spending Thanksgiving weekend with Jackie, sorting through the boxes from my Mom’s place was actually a lot of fun! I didn’t shed a single tear. The vast majority of the memories were good ones – and having a friend to keep me focused was a huge help.

We also had some fabulous chats during our breaks and in the evenings. Of course, all that hard work required much fuel and I dare not reveal how many homemade Nanaimo bars were consumed in the de-cluttering process.

Sadie, however, wasn’t always impressed with the weekend activities:

sadie-in-russian-hat-serious

Sadie in a Russian-style hat…tres chic

We did send about 10 boxes to the thrift store and filled an entire bureau with cute items that will be fun to give away as gifts. The rest of the stuff is slowly making it’s way into my home and life (and onto my dog’s head).

jac-and-stuff-in-basement

Oddly enough, my feet seem to be the biggest winner from the weekend. I now have enough socks to sink a battleship. My Mother was a great purchaser and giver of socks as presents. Correction. She loved to purchase socks with the intention of giving them away but for some reason, never quite got around to doing so. Until now.

So thanks for all the socks and other stuff, Mom!

And a big thanks to Jackie for taking time away from her family and traveling half way across the country to help me trundle through the treasure trove…in a crawlspace built for significantly shorter people.

Here’s a great shot of Jackie & Sadie during one of our weekend walks:

jac-and-sadie-on-beach

It’s too soon to tell what effect this weekend will have on me but I suspect that releasing all that stuff from the boxes – and putting it to use myself or passing it on to someone who can – will free up some sort of energy.

Take care and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too!

“Our true home is inside each of us, and it is your love of life that transforms your house into a home.”

– Alexandra Stoddard

Related Blogs by Maryanne

San Diego with My Amigo

Why Mothering Matters – Thirteen Things My Momma Taught Me

Letting Go of Always Letting Go

Say WHAT? Sorting Other People’s Stuff

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here.

4 Comments

  1. Glynis McGarva on October 12th, 2016 at 10:35 am:

    MAJOR check marks to you and the beautiful Jackie on your weekend purging — looooove the photos (especially the babushka Sadie!) and reading and also seeing your memories. You definitely did some very challenging work — hooray for your wonderful friend.

  2. Maryanne on October 12th, 2016 at 2:18 pm:

    Hi Glynis! It was a wonderful weekend…had lots of fun and got through an awful lot of STUFF. You are right – it was challenging but very rewarding. It feels great to have got through so much! Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving weekend 🙂
    Maryanne

  3. Deborah on October 13th, 2016 at 12:16 am:

    It is always easier to have someone along side of you when doing a job like that. So enjoyed the pics! AND the stories with them. Looks like Sadie was a good sport. I think I noted that the picture with hat did NOT include ball in mouth? How did you manage that one? Good job you two.

  4. Maryanne on October 13th, 2016 at 1:26 pm:

    ahahahhahaaha! There is only one reason why Sadie didn’t have a ball (or chew toy) in her mouth in that photo: and that is because Jackie was holding the ball hostage. THAT’S why Sadie allowed the hat to be on her head and was so focused. It ended up being a great photo – but it was absolutely staged 🙂

    And you are so right, Deborah…a task such as the one Jac and I tackled over the weekend was definitely made better by working with a friend. Otherwise, it is just way too overwhelming!

    Take care,
    ma

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