Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Life of Stuff

On J's side of the family there are some strong life genes in the males.
Both his maternal and paternal grandfathers are living full lives at the ages of 83 and 85 respectively.
One even works to this day with J's company throughout coast British Columbia as an advisor and such putting in full days and travelling on long shifts.
He has done this kind of work for over 60 years and it is his life.

Recently he decided to sell his home and downscale to an apartment with less maintenance and no yard.
Without much family consult (they assumed that they should have been informed before hand), it sold in 3 days and the race to move out is on.

I hope that after 60 plus years I can do such a thing to enjoy the simpler life.
He has earned.

He called the other day and asked if we would like to come over (he lives on the mainland) and take some things he has to get rid of.
J decided to make a renegade trip to do it in one day and came home last night with his truck jammed packed with, for lack of a better word, stuff.

The kind of stuff that people accumulate over the years of working, raising a family, meeting grand kids, and the passing of loved ones.
The treasures that at one time seemed so important and significant that you cannot bare to give up, are now carefully handed down and hopefully enjoyed as a token of a great life lived and one to be remembered throughout our years and our kids years and onto kids kids to add to the richness of ancestry.

The sorts of things that have meaning and a semblance, piece by piece, of a life even though they may simply take up space and present a sort of awkwardness at dismissing or possibly getting rid of.
Odd things like boxes of fast food napkins that lay testament to depression era thinking.
General things like journals, Christmas lights, coats, and luggage.
Neat things like author signed books, sturdy old tools and gramps old Tilly hat.
Useful things like tool boxes, Rubbermaid's, and electronic accessories.

But by far the most fascinating find was a plastic bag tied with shoes laces.
Obviously taken care of and weathered a few days in storage, it held the coolest thing I have found in all my days of garage saleing and thrift store scavenging.

Newspaper.
Better yet the real headliners of the past 60 years.
Kennedy's assassination, Churchill's funeral, First man on the moon.
All the really stories in the written word of the day.

The Queens visits, Diana and Charles wedding, Oswald's death.
Even up to date ones of Terry Fox and Obama.


I feel that I will have to keep this going and keep news worthy editions of days to come and maybe we will amass a collection that the girls can retire on.

I love the everyday stories of real people.
Getting a glimpse into someones "stuff" gives you a real close look at a life lived.
The odd thing to me is that most people do this sort of thing once someone has passed on.
The best part was that we got to call and say thank you and talk about all the stuff.

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