Last year, my sister Betty, and I decided it would be a good idea for us to move closer to one of my sons. The main reason for this was that Betty was handicapped and I needed help caring for her, another reason was grandkids who are growing up way too fast. Mostly, we wanted to be near family.
In preparing for the move, I began clearing out things, tossing or donating some items, boxing up others to take to the new place. My realtor suggested making my house look as empty as possible so that potential buyers could imagine their own things in the rooms. I did as she suggested and got rid of even more.
As it turned out, my sister became very ill so we had to take the house off the market and forget about the move. After she passed away, I decided not to move for a while, if at all. When I thought about unpacking the boxes in the shed, I realized I hadn’t missed any of that stuff, except for some of my books and shoes.
Recently, I heard about a woman who helps people deal with all their belongings by telling them to only keep things that spark joy when they use them or wear them. I think that’s a great idea, although I have a hard time getting excited about a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner, but maybe that’s not what she meant.
Anyway, I’ve decided that what I want to do is keep things in my home that have a story attached to them. As I was tearfully going through my sister’s clothing and other belongings, I came across several things that I will cherish, including a basket that had been made by our uncle’s wife, our Aunt Hattie, who was Choctaw. She gave the basket to Betty many years ago, and looking at it made me think of Hattie and how talented she was – and the remarkable restraint she showed in dealing with my uncle, who is best described as a challenging husband. I’m going to put that basket in a place of honor and get rid of something that doesn’t have a family connection, or spark a happy memory. Some of these memorable items will probably turn up in my future books.
How about you? What do you keep that has a story attached?
Patricia Forsythe's next Harlequin Heartwarming, At Odds With The Midwife, will be available in October, 2015.