Revisit the past to move on to the Present

Sep 04

This has been a week of digging in to the past in a multitude of ways and cleaning my “mental house” in the process.  First of all, I am having a garage sale in two weeks and have to get through all the boxes that are story my mother’s things, John’s things, my old things, Lindsay’s things, Mary Mac’s things, things, things, things.

Why do we keep all these things?  Is it because we feel like we will lose the past if we don’t keep them?  For the longest time I have not been able to let go of many of my mother’s old things.  Yesterday we had a blast trying on old vintage dresses, some of which I used to wear for dress up when I was a little girl.  One of the dresses was a strapless emerald green satin gown a with a beaded bodice.  I used to dress up in it all the time.  I hadn’t thought of that dress or playing dress up in years.  So, yes, if I get rid of that dress I may never think of it again.  But then again, my kids may remember us all trying to fit in to it yesterday and they might remind me again someday.  I also found my mother’s wedding dress and my wedding dress (2nd wedding) which was kind of fun.  My kids thought my dress was really ugly – dated.  My mother’s dress is really simple and elegant.  I am not letting those two go.  I found 3 vintage beaded clutch purses and a tiny red “hat” with wadded up netting.  I am wondering if I should sell it or try to get the Milner in Cherry Creek to fix it up so I can wear for my Derby Party next year.  We found several other vintage dresses that were just tiny.  Clearly clothing sizes have grown significantly over the years as we have “enlarged” as a population.  These dresses of my mother’s could not even be zipped up on my teeny tiny Mary Mac.  But what fun to try them on.  Playing dress up in your 40’s can be fun.  But eventually you have  to part with some of these things.  I just can’t take being surrounded by boxes and boxes of things.  Its kind of stiffling.  I makes me wonder how horders live.  I am not a horder but I feel like one sometimes when I look in the two storage rooms in the basement.

Lindsay and I spent hours and hours going through old negatives and photographs deciding what to keep – we kept most of them.  I found a wallet photograph of my childhood friend Bev in her first nursing uniform, baby pictures of John, me, my parents and all of my children.  We laughed at the funny pictures and “awed” at the cute ones.  There is something much more visceral about looking at printed photographs.  What happens to us when everything we have is digital?  Will it evoke that same feelings?  Lindsay commented that now that everything is digital we lose most of the “bad photos” because people just delete them but often they are the most fun to look at.

I went through all the drawers in the kitchen and my cookbooks setting aside extra skillets, wooden spools, pie pans, gadgets and recipes.  Lindsay and I are going to pull together a cookbook of my mother’s favorite recipes and ours from various cookbooks so that maybe we can cull the books down further.  Maybe we will make it available online once it is finished.  How many wooden spoons does a person really need?  I am down to about 8 from 15.  I think I could do better.  I still have two weeks to go before the sale.  Maybe I will gain some internal fortitude and revisit my kitchen culling.

I found old journals that I had to skim and chuckle at while setting them aside to read in depth later.  And late yesterday and today I have been moving my blog from its old location to this one.  That had me going back through the old entries and deciding which ones to move over to this site.  It got me revisiting the themes of my life over the last 4 years – self discovery, loss, adventure, volunteering, finding my purpose, the sad state of politics (nothing has changed), cooking, gardening, bees, friends……..

Going through old things can be sad, joyous, renewing, contemplative, freeing, and even spiritual.  Maybe this is a good weekend for you to revisit the past to move on to the present as well.


One comment

  1. You are inspiring me!

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