Saturday, August 18, 2012

Throwing stuff away

There are several plastic containers stacked in on corner of our garage back here at the trailer house.  Three of the them are full of Christmas tree decorations and Avon Christmas plates.  I don't think I will be doing any more Christmas trees, except for one that's about three feet tall that I can just plug in and forget about it.  So I need to get rid of the Christmas stuff.  However, Granddaughter Amber has asked me to let her go through them because she is sentimental about some of the Christmas stuff.  Meanwhile, there stands the stack that takes up the most room, waiting.  Next time she is here, she is going to have to make some decisions, because these are the items that would be easiest for me to toss, out of all the containers in the garage.
The other containers are full of pictures and keepsakes, both mine and my mother's.  Every once in awhile I go through them and toss some stuff, but yesterday I decided to get serious.  There are a lot of pictures that won't mean a thing to anybody, once I'm gone.  My children never knew my grandparents, for instance.  
Years ago a local publisher published and recorded, by other people, five songs I wrote.  My mom had those records and I had some.  I've kept them for years, I guess just to prove to myself that once upon a time somebody sang and recorded something I wrote.  Yesterday they went to the trash.  They're 45 RPM records.  Who has anything capable of playing them?  

This was my mother's hope chest.  It really needs to go to the ditch, it's in such deplorable condition.  The lid is warped, and one leg is missing.  At one time I was going to try and strip the varnish off it, but  it didn't strip so easily and I gave up.  It was stored in the barn for a long time.  It isn't as big as you might think, only thirty inches long and fifteen inches wide.  My mother's dad, the grandfather I never knew, made it from walnut harvested on their farm.  A former co-worker who works with antiques was going to fix it up for me, but then Cliff retired and I decided it would be silly to pay somebody to fix something up that nobody wants but me.  My sister thought maybe her artistic grandson might want it, because he could so something creative with it.  So far I haven't heard anything on that.    
I am so close to asking Cliff to haul it to the ditch, but right now I just can't.  I also don't want to beg somebody to take it, or to expect somebody to care about something just because it's eighty-five years old, built by a long-gone relative they never knew.
And then there are pre-divorce pictures showing apparently happy families that long ago split up and went their separate ways.  But their children are in the pictures, and what if those children should want them sometime, perhaps to see who they resemble?  Hmmm, decisions, decisions.  That's why I always get depressed in the middle of doing this throwaway thing and stop before I'm done.  


Celeste Sanders said...

Pictures are hard to get rid of. They are history. Not just yours but of the era and area where they were taken. Perhaps a donation to a college or library??

Tango said...

Ever since I downsized and ran away to live in a 32 ft trailer a few years ago, I haven't had any problem throwing things out. I scanned all the photos I wanted to keep. Right at this minute, I could pack up and move within 4 hours. I love the feeling of freedom that comes with that and not having to have more room just because of "stuff".

L A Little said...

Before you throw away pictures of your old family, please consider adding them to Find a Grave or It might mean the world to your great grandchildren and their descendants someday.

I grew up never seeing or knowing what my maternal great-grandparents looked like. As I discovered the genealogy I mourned for a chance to know more about them. A way distant relative posted a photo of my great-great grandparents and their brood on Find a Grave, and I can't tell you how much that's meant to a lot of my far-flung family.

The historical society in the town or region your ancestors are from would likely welcome such a gift.

darev2005 said...

(rolls his eyes) I know how you feel. I may need to rent a truck to haul off all of the stuff we no longer need or want. I keep putting it off and the piles grow ever higher.... **sigh**

Sheila Y said...

I agree with L A on the pictures, post them on some sites for genealogists to find, I think you can add them at also. I only knew one set of grandparents and didn't have them long my youngest brother never knew any of them. I
I love coming across photos of all my ancestors. Somebody now or in the future will appreciate those pictures. Tango's idea of scanning them for yourself is a good idea also. Take care and have a great weekend. Sheila

awelliott said...

Ditto to LA and Sheila. Somewhere down the line, someone in your family is going to take a big interest in tracing his/her roots. I have one picture of my great-grandparents, and I treasure it very much, even though they died over 40 years before I showed up.

Becky said...

I agree with other comments. Scan them into the computer and post them to one of the genealogy websites. My grandmother went on a cleaning spree before I was born and threw out a ton of photos and stuff...including all my mom's scrap books she'd made through all her school years. My mom was heartbroken. So I've never seen any photos of previous generations and it makes me sad.

Forty Pound Sack said...

I went to toss a bag of trash and found a large pile of photos laying in the garbage can. My hubs had tossed all the photos of his youth. I was appalled, but he said he never looks at them, so why save them. Hard choices, that's for sure ~


I'm a hoarder trying to reform. Please let the children and grandchildren have at that stuff before you discard it. It might be important later to one of them. SERIOUSLY.