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Old 07-25-2005, 01:42 AM   #16
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One neat thing...

Among some papers in the basement, I found a telegram. Addressed to someone not in my family. I don't know how it lasted, in a leaky basement for 30 years, surviving at least 4 moves...over 52 years.

The Western Union telegram dated 26 May 1953 reads:

American counsul advises Mrs. C. and children have been granted visas and secured reservations aboard the S.S. Andrea Doria which was scheduled to leave Naples May 24th. I am very happy this matter was adjusted without further delay.
R Walter Riehlman MC

I did some internet scouring and found a son of one of the children mentioned in the telegram. We cannot figure out how my dad came to have this telegram, an important piece of family history. His family was very excited to hear that I had it - and I sent it to them, back in their hands after 52 years. When he touched it he felt his life his life pass before him. His relatives were coming over to see it. They told me they would frame it and put it in their family restaurant.
If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you, I came to live out loud. Zola
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Old 07-25-2005, 03:41 AM   #17
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That is so completely awesome. Very very glad to hear it.
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Old 07-25-2005, 12:49 PM   #18
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Tina - what a rare treasure!
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:49 AM   #19
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Wow - I wonder if they knew at the time what an amazing treasure that would turn out to be!

My mother-in-law, before she died, ran a business that worked with elderly people that helped them "downsize" before moving into assisted living. Her rmantra with these people was always "Look, it's just stuff, and I know you love your stuff, but stuff can't love you back."
She was true to her words - before she died, she'd given away almost everything - clothes, shoes, jewelry, china. It was kind of breathtaking to see how much she enjoyed pressing these things on other people, too. She kept saying that it felt like Christmas.
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Old 03-20-2007, 12:48 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TinaBina View Post
I'm cleaning out my parent's house. They both died this year.

My dad, for whatever reason (hoarder, slob, WWII, too sick to clean, rescuerer of tossed treasures) had not thrown away any mail since at least 1997, and had boxes and boxes containing scraps of his life, his families lives, decades' worth, stacked in mostly every room.

A sampling...
My school bag from 25 years ago.
A letter from the IRS to me, from 1996.
Cards from his wife.
His contact lenses, dried out, tiny hard circles... in the same box they came in back in the 1950s.
The molds of his teeth. Three versions.
His mom's W-2 from 1956.
An old dried out Black Walnut fruit from the tree around the block.
A dozen broken pairs of glasses.
A book of poetry (written on file folders stapled together) by my sister in 1979.
Every bottle of insulin that he had taken in the past 8 years.
Every pill bottle from every prescription he every was prescribed since the 1980s.
10 fans. In one room.
Phone memos from his job - from 30 years ago.
Carefully rescued nails and tacks in coffee cans.
Old car parts, in the boxes of their newer counterparts.
Et Cetera
Et Cetera
Et Cetera

Some items he saved are precious and some are sentimental
- and I will cling to those things and save them, too. And thank him for holding onto them...

But some are complete junk.
Some are repulsive garbage.

Yet ALL was rescued, saved, clung to, piled up, protected...

And all these decades of rescuing, saving, fixing, piling, protecting...were met with the instant that I opened the garbage bag. All that effort, worry, thought, all that trouble he took to gather, collect, store... in an instant is gone, and is now in 12 contractor size garbage bags on the curb. And I still have not made a dent in "the treasure".

So when we die, what do we leave behind? What is the point of the stuff we have? The stuff we cling to? What purpose does it serve?

What is truly important is the impression we leave, the people we touch, the memory we instill in others about us, about life.

I didn't know my dad all that well... he was a mystery to me for most of his life, even though he was always just in the next room while I grew up. Is filtering through all this stuff going to bring me a better understanding of him? Will it tell me a story? One that I will understand? One that I want to know?

Dear Tina from 2 1/2 years Ago,
Take a hint from me, Future Tina... Just chuck it. The house still isn't cleaned out. Don't be afraid to let go. It's just stuff.
Future Tina
If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you, I came to live out loud. Zola
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:27 AM   #21
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I'm in the process of tearing down a tool shed my Dad built in 1977.
He's been dead for 15 years now.
I found tools yesterday he owned. Most of them are covered in rust. I'm gonna clean 'em all up and keep 'em even if I never use them myself.
Time is essential because without it everything would happen all at once.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:34 PM   #22
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I'm a bit worried about the day we inherit all of my mother-in-law's garbage...er... I mean collections. She collects EVERYTHING and when people ask her about her collections she says she's saving them for me and my husband. yay. We've both told her we really don't want it, but she thinks we're being modest.

Some of her stuff is worth a bit, and some will obviously be sentimental, but sorry, we have no use for the empty cigarette packages she's been picking up off the street (she doesn't even smoke), or the decorative bottles of vinegar she bought at walmart. I'm sure they really aren't the "antiques" she thinks the store accidentally bought.

I hope she doesn't haunt us for tossing out most of her things when she passes.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:58 PM   #23
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^where is daft ness?
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Old 03-21-2007, 03:30 PM   #24
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At the age of 21, i'm already a hoarder. I keep pretty much everthing. On my desk in front of me I have the order form from when I went to IKEA 2 years ago to buy a warbrobe. I don't know why.

I take after my Dad, who has kept the question papers for his school maths tests.
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Old 03-21-2007, 04:44 PM   #25
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I come from a long line of pack-rats. My grandmother, I think, may be the worst offender. She has a barn filled with boxes of letters and newspaper clippings from her family, and from time to time she'll read through them and pass them on. There are also numerous shoeboxes of more recent letters stockpiled within the house. She is certainly a frugal gift giver, a dollar for every year you've been around and that silver platter she got as a gift from the bank in 1980, and maybe a letter you wrote her when you were 7.
I've certainly taken to collecting my own personal bits of nostalgia, and try to maintain the mindset that in the end it is only just stuff. It has not made me any better at minimalist living though. That pair of shoes that my mother never wears anymore but she wore on her first trip to Paris when she was 14, and have become the epitome of what a navy shoe should look like, are not leaving this family. I can't wear them, but they'll be kept somewhere because of some strange sense of aesthetics. Really its like a silent expression of who we are, the things we keep, like telling a story of who we are. And sometimes its a sickness. I couldn't begin to figure where to draw the line of when a collection becomes a compulsion.
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:19 PM   #26
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She is certainly a frugal gift giver, a dollar for every year you've been around and that silver platter she got as a gift from the bank in 1980, and maybe a letter you wrote her when you were 7.
Your grandmother = my husband's mother. You are not alone. The MIL is 80 something and loves junk. She has hundreds of thousands in the bank, but gives used gifts ( not new-regifted..old stuff ) or some ancient discontinued Avon. And my hsb. is her only child! There isn't anything he needs or wants...and most assuredly not the stuff she scavenges for.
The MIL hasn't changed anything in her house since it was built 45 years ago; same carpeting etc, though she did have it painted inside about 15 years back. (whoowhee)
She has been an Avon rep since the company's inception The place is filled with Avon "Commemorative" containers of every freaking kind. The kitchen walls are covered with Avon rep award plates. Holy god. Oh, and she smokes; that will make the "collectibles" worth soooo much more. If you want to see compulsion, that is the place. Up side is: we haven't spoken in 6 years and I don't plan to change that. Soo, when she does pass away, I won't have to go over there and sort. Selfish yes, but I have my own mom's junk to contend with some day. That's a whole other story.
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:41 PM   #27
no more nice girl
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My MIL once commented out of politeness on her great-aunt's awful Lladro. Great-aunt Gwenny promptly willed it to her and now MIL has to contend with a collection of this shite:

He really shatters the myth of white supremacy once and for all.
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