The stuff ranges from old correspondence, unused and used screws in different sizes, pencils and pens, football programmes, cassette tapes, pieces of cloth, buttons, clothes, ornaments, children's things, pots of paint. The list is endless.
At the weekend Shirley mustered the energy to venture up into our attic to do some clearing out. We managed to rid ourselves of three old suitcases and filled them with various half-forgotten items that have lain up in the attic for years.
She brought down some baby things. The picture at the top of this blogpost is all that remains of an old push toy made by "Tomy". You pressed the plunger on the top and the carousel inside the transparent plastic chamber went round with tinkly music. Our son, Ian, played with it when he was a baby thirty five years ago. But now it has gone.
Shirley also found two plastic pull toys. One is an orange duck and the other is a bee. The orange duck belonged to Ian, the bee to Frances. You pulled the cord and the duck slowly flapped its wings as the tune of "Frère Jacques" played in music-box style.
We simply could not bring ourselves to throw those toys out. They still work. The orange duck is special in our memory because of something that happened when Ian was around ten months old. We were riding home from Shirley's parents' farm in Lincolnshire when a little voice piped up from the baby seat in the back of our red Ford Fiesta. He was effectively voicing the frequently heard tune of "Frère Jacques". We were both gobsmacked. This happened before he had yet said an intelligible word. How could we throw that toy away?
I might have asked about your relationship with "stuff" and your attitude to discarding it but some visitors might have imagined it was another tricky philosophical question like the one I innocently asked in my last blogpost. How could I have been so stupid?
I love my stuffReplyDelete
But once in a while having a clear out is pure therapy
It's funny how that "clear out" mood comes along once in a while.Delete
And he grew up to be an artist. Early warning.ReplyDelete
An artist in vegan food - certainly.Delete
Been there . Done that. Kids don't want thee toys. All toys around here are gone.ReplyDelete
But The Micromanager has still got her plaything - the boy from Esk.Delete
I tend to get rid of things, sometimes I even regret the things I've gotten rid of but not often. I did keep some of my children's things though, drawings, school stuff, homemade sweaters or blankets, stuff like that. I also kept some toys and I am happy to say that my grandson now plays with these saved toys.ReplyDelete
Good job you saved them then Lily!Delete
Not so much my stuff but that of our long gone parents I find hard to discard. My fathers photos that he developed of people & places I don't know.. he died in 1963 (I was 13)and a swag of 78 records - I don't have a record player for vinyl or pre vinyl - it's ridiculous and it troubles me! Dinner services & champagne glasses... oh dear!!ReplyDelete
But I think it is touching that you kept the baby toys and maybe Red is right.. usually you find that your kids look fondly at you but dismiss the object as old hat not seeing the attachment of your memories - they will make their own.
Remember that old toys are collectible so maybe you can sell them on ebay if not appreciated and add to babies piggy bank or funds towards a pricey car seat or jogger pram
Sounds like you have had a similar partly psychological struggle with old stuff Elle.Delete
You should start a toy box to have at your house for when your sweet little grandbaby comes to visit. I always kept a container of age appropriate toys for my grandchildren and they were quite excited to have these different playthings at Grandma's house! Many of the toys had belonged to my sons. It is so much fun getting your home "grandchild ready"!ReplyDelete
To me "grandchild ready" would mean protecting breakable items and reducing hazards.Delete
Moving house has always been a great way for us to get rid of "stuff". The only sentimental items I have kept are two dresses that my girls wore when they were toddlers.ReplyDelete
You must have been poor back then if you could only afford two dresses. Poor little mites.Delete
Bonnie's idea is great! I have seen toy boxes for grandchildren or other very young visitors at various houses of friends and relatives, and to what I have been able to observe, they were always a big hit - even with the now grown-up former owners of those toys. "Do you remember when..." is often the start of a lovely walk down memory lane.ReplyDelete
As for "stuff" in general, it is a good idea to sort through one's stuff every now and then. Almost everybody in our part of the world has too many things. But some have such personal value to us, it is better for us to keep them than to get rid of them.
Your apartment always looks so orderly and uncluttered. You seem to be well in control of your "stuff" Meike. You would be appalled if I showed you all of our "stuff".Delete
We have been clearing out the barns and pig sheds here in France. There's so much space that we have hung on the huge volumes of stuff moved from the UK six years ago. We didn't have to decide about what to keep as there was plenty of room to store it all. Yesterday we took a trailer full of it to the déchetterie and as I chucked the old Samsonite suitcase into the skip and it landed in the bottom with a thump I wondered if it might have been a good idea to look inside it first.ReplyDelete
This might also count as my contribution to your post yesterday....but we will never know!
Ha-ha! I like the clever twist at the end Jean. Perhaps that Samsonite suitcase contained the meaning of life - now lost forever.Delete
I often watch Hoarders on television. Our belongings give us something to emotionally and psychologically. Especially for people who have been really poor. I will keep wombling at carboot sales and charity shops and the like...ReplyDelete
I think we see little bits of ourselves in those programmes about hoarding.Delete
... something to hold on emotionally...ReplyDelete
Like a banana?Delete
You haven't told us what the bee does. I need to know.ReplyDelete
It also gives out a tune - "Rock-a-Bye Baby". Your mother probably sang it to you when you were screaming and refusing to sleep...as usual.Delete
I have way too much stuff that I hold onto in case it's useful someday. I don't lke clutter but make it anyway!ReplyDelete
after visiting a friend's house where every available space was filled I decided I'm not such a collector as i thought
But we are all on a kind of spectrum aren't we Kylie?Delete
yep! all of us, for everythngDelete
Young children take in so much more that we appreciate. I looked after Tom Grandson for years while my daughter worked and was stunned one day when we went past Boots the chemist and he came out with the word 'Boots'. He again, like your son could hardly talk but had obviously listened and remembered this word.ReplyDelete
I used to recite A.A.Milne poetry to him and he knew a number of them off by heart.
'Whenever I walk in a London street' was a favourite of his probably because of the bears.
I'd love that time back again.
As I have suggested before, playing such a key role in raising your grandson Young Tom is surely one of the finest things that you and Tom Senior ever did. Not many grandparents can truthfully claim such a thing. To get back to those times I shall give Dr Who a call on your behalf.Delete
Yes. You have to save some things for your grandchild(ren). My grandkids especially love it when I read books to them that have their mama's name in them. "This book belongs to...."ReplyDelete
On to stuff. I want desperately to get over my emotional attachment to things and let them go. Things I don't even remember I have so what's the point? "But Liz gave me this!" So what? Liz wouldn't care if I threw it away. I won't even begin to discuss what all Mr. Moon has stashed away in closets and in his huge, huge garage. I would weep.
Do you think we should get some professional counselling?Delete
The only thing I have kept from my past are old photos and my wedding dress.ReplyDelete
I had to clear my 90 year old aunts house after she died. It took weeks and weeks......
5 tv's, 4 calor gas fires,40+ bags of clothes, gnomes galore, plastic flowers plus all the usual furniture.
I vowed to my children I will never leave them a mess to clear up.
Husband is a different matter. I have to sneakily throw his stuff out!
How could you cast all those gnomes out? They could have populated your garden. Take care chucking out Hubby's stuff - he might sue!Delete
Keeping and clearing -- it's a constant task, isn't it? I'm glad you kept a few of the toys. Maybe Ian and Frances would like them at some point!ReplyDelete
Ian is successfully minimalist though he loves his houseplants. His bedroom is like a clearing in a jungle.Delete