Growth, Life changes, Moving On, Sisters

All that Remains 

I have an extra bedroom in my home which has become a sort of extension of my classroom-closet-storage-not really sure anymore.  Don’t we all have at least a drawer somewhere full of who knows what?  It’s funny though.  I can see so much more within the layers, decor and what-not’s strewn about, rather than face value.  It is a mess of memories.


Allow me to explain…

See the yoga mat rolled up and standing in the corner?  That mat was used regularly for about six months.  That was three years ago.

The folded up piles of clothes?  Oh.  Yes.  The pile on the right is for donation to a local charity.  The pile on the left is tops and stuff that are within two sizes of what I am currently.  Not really sure what to do with those…

Hey!  Look at that!  It’s the storage tub of Halloween/fall decor!  That’s my favorite time of year.  I should plan on decorating this year.  Hmmmm.

Inside the closet you would find my wedding dress and personalized wedding necessities -wine glasses, cake knife, guest gifts and a box for money (empty).  I double checked the box not too long ago.  I’m losing faith in closet /money fairies.  I’ll give them another chance to surprise me.  

Next to the wedding stuff is a group of Halloween costumes -mostly Disney, one penguin and a number of accessories for a witch.  Under those are space saver bags full of sweaters, stuffed animals, and shoes.  

The stuffed animals aren’t just regular stuffies.  They are designer bears from Starbucks.  Each bear has a theme or seasonal appropriate outfit.  They are so cute!  I decorate with them… Just not lately.  Ok so it’s been about three or four years.  My cat really likes the bears too and hides them in a secret place if he’s not monitored.  It’s the same story for all of the seasonal decor.  I don’t have the time to monitor it all or clean it up… Good excuse eh?  Bad kitty.


The other side of the closet holds random dress clothes.  A couple of cocktail dresses and a pant suit.  The fancy clothes that cost too much to throw away but I doubt that I will need again.

Along one wall is a bookshelf full of textbooks from my CMU Continuing Education and Marygrove Masters Degree required classes.  They were expensive and I know that I won’t get much to sell them back.  Plus, having them displayed makes me feel smart -like, yeah I read those.

The last area in my extra room is the emotional piece, I guess.  That’s where my pre-digital photos of loved one’s are.  My grandfathers WWII letters and medals are there too.  (Sigh). I have gifts and gadgets from friends and family that I don’t want to part with.  I have bills and statements, feathers and lemon grass, candles and books, designer wallets and cell phone accessories.  They all have a purpose and memory attached.  

All that remains…

That’s just it.  Everything in this room has a memory or special meaning for me. I can remember shopping and finding the best deal on a Coach brand tote, but it took two trips and two different opinions of friends to convince me to go for it. 

 Or that Tinkerbell costume… I always forget to get proper leggings for it to be worn at school on Halloween.  Plus, my sister’s ex-husband’s wife loves Tinkerbell and I don’t want to offend my sister by wearing it.  I love it though.  

The wedding dress and “stuff” is escaping my etiquette reference… We’ve been married over ten years and I just can’t get rid of it.  My dress still fit two years ago… 

I know of people who can live with minimal possessions.  I know of people who can live out of one or two suitcases.  Those are the folks who peddle the philosophy of “less is more”.  I am not one of those people.  I still have dog sweaters from puppyhood (12 years ago) because a:  they weren’t cheap and b:  they were too cute on the pugs.  

I have a water carafe with matching bowl that was handed down through my lineage and sits proudly in a cabinet for safe keeping.  It used to sit on my great grandmother’s dresser and it is beautiful.  No one else would appreciate all that it has been through or seen.  It isn’t hurting anyone or anything by sitting in my cabinet, but it is also not getting to be part of a life.

The Carafe Set circa Cottrell Family
Don’t even get me started on my collection of designer purses.  I have slowed down on that obsession, but the carnage hangs in the spare bedroom.  When my dad finally noticed them, he claimed to be disgusted with the thought of “that much money spent on something so stupid.”  (Note to self, move purses to other area of home when dad visits.).  Here’s something for you… I can remember the circumstances of the surroundings when I purchased most items… Blessing?  Curse?

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to do away with 80% of my “stuff”.  But I don’t.  I would love to think of objects as simple physical representations of a trend.  But I don’t.  I remember it all.  I re-feel the circumstances of the purchases or gifts when I touch it/them.  Plus, the notion of going into a cleanup project makes me very uncomfortable.  I don’t want to miss or forget anything.

For those of you/us who aren’t quite hoarders, but needs a two week vacation to break down a room full of stuff;  I understand sometimes stuff isn’t just stuff.

Sometimes, stuff is more than stuff.

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