Saying goodbye to “stuff”…

Hand painted coffee table in our living room

This table was purchased at an art fair in our town of Excelsior in the summer of 1993. Over the years, I roamed about the annual event always on the prowl for additions to our lodge like home.  Lo and behold, this perfect table appeared.  Barely able to negotiate due to my excitement I couldn’t pay for the table quickly enough.  

Anxious to see the table in front of the sofa and stone fireplace, I called Tom asking him to come to the fair to bring the table home.

For days, we walked around the table admiring how perfectly it fit the spot while reveling in the fact that it so well depicted our lives of fishing off our dock enjoying Mother Nature’s bounty each and every day of our lives.

Now almost 20 years later, on October 27, 2012, the weekend of our estate sale, we will say goodbye to this table while we make every effort to graciously say goodbye to many more of the treasures we’ve accumulated over the years.

Goodbye, table!  Goodbye, “stuff.” Yesterday afternoon, a harsh reality hit us when Jim Anderson from Caring Estate Sales met with Tom and I to discuss the disposition of our “stuff.”  Our estate sale will commence on October 27, 2012.”Stuff” has become the cavalier word we have begun to use to disassociate ourselves from the accumulated treasures of our lives, many possessing a memorable story.

When new guests came to visit our 92 year old peninsula home for the first time, we’d offer a tour sharing the endless morsels of history, whether ours or the item’s as we wandered from room to room, smiling from ear to ear.  
Its in our nature to share the stories of our possessions all the while sensitive to the the delicate balance of story telling as opposed to annoying bragging. Surely, the caveman brought the victory of his first hunt to the tribe, again smiling from ear to ear, anxious to share in his treasure, not only as a source of food but a sense of “pride” a word often frowned upon by some. 
“Pride” is defined as: “A feeling of pleasure from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is associated, or from qualities or possessions.”  

Deny this feeling and we’d stop planting flowers and mowing our lawns for our neighbors to see.  We’d stop matching our shirts to our pants, stop cutting our hair, stop polishing our toes, stop wearing jewelry and stop buying sports cars. We’d live our lives of necessity only, getting by on the minimum, for safety, for convenience and for function.  
Yes, we are proud of that which we have acquired in our lives; our homes, our possessions, our cars, our awards, our popularity, our accomplishments and even, our children. 
And yes, many take it to extremes in unrealistic ways as we observe in the media. But, that is not any of us. We are proud of the more simple things we’ve acquired over the years that tell a story of who we are, who we’ve been and who we’d like to become in the future.