Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bye-bye Things!

The name of my blog is my motto in my classroom as well.  When my students ask what matters most,  I say, "People, Attitude, Respect and Effort."  Specifically, I say that people matter more than possessions.

So, one month ago I received a rather shocking prompting by a wise Heavenly Father that since I was spending a great deal of time driving, teaching, playing with grandchildren, and sleeping and way too much time feeling guilty and frustrated about not cleaning, repairing and maintaining a home I hardly live in, it was time to make the difficult but necessary decision to sell my house.  Since that time, Sam and Terri have decided to rent the house from me while they are here for a 7 week med school rotation, which meant that things had to happen fast!  Before they move in around January 20, we decided all carpet needed to be replaced, both bathrooms needed to be redone, and the kitchen and dining room floors needed done.  Whew!  That means everything off of all floors in the house.  I have 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, dining room and kitchen--all full of things I thought I needed at one point in time.

Jana has been amazing.  She has spent ridiculous amounts of time over here in order to help me, especially while I've been home for Christmas break.  She cracks the whip, but as I see what I have managed to accumulate over 25 years in  this house, she needs more of a cattle prod than a whip.  My goal was to keep 25% of my belongings.  I'm probably more at the 40% level, but still--I'm pretty proud of myself.  Jana has driven several carloads (like a dozen) of things to various thrift stores, I have thrown away a lot of junk, Bonnie has picked up many, many sacks of books for the library sales (most with the 'library sale' price tag still on them), and I am taking dozens more to school with me.  In a couple of years when Quinn starts a classroom he will have more books in his class library than any 1st teacher in the world.  I say that because once these wonderful books leave this house, they are never coming back!  Of course, I kept hundreds.  It is not exaggeration, boasting nor confession, but merely a fact to say that I had thousands of books before this process started.  Of the fourteen bookcases I had in various rooms, I have taken 2 to my classroom, sold (or have listed on Craigslist) 4 more and will donate a couple more before I am done.

I also like dishes.  I just finished packing up 12 boxes of glass plates, bowls, sugar and creamer sets and other miscellaneous glassware for Bonnie's brother, Scott, to take to an antique store he rents a space in.  Of course, I kept all the really nice Depression glass and dishes I 'love' so his offer to buy stuff he probably can't sell is a gift of friendship as well as service.

We've been selling things on Craigslist (by we, I mean Jana does all the work and I collect the money).  That allowed me to buy a new, used stove to replace my old one, and will pay other bills that will accrue in this crazy endeavor.  Part of my provident living philosophy has always been to buy used furniture, books, etc etc, so it's fun to see items start a new life somewhere else.

Cody has hauled about 30 loaded storage containers out into the garage--books and dishes are heavy--and helped Chuck and another friend, Don, tear apart one bathroom today.  Chuck has also hauled stuff to thrift shops and primed one bathroom today so he can paint it next week.  Cody primed the other bathroom so that Chuck can paint it too.  Quinn helped get the ball rolling at Thanksgiving and Sam's rent while he's here is paying for some of what has to be done before I can list it in March.  Still, Jana gets the crown.  I have to wonder as she learned just before Christmas that she's having her first daughter in May if she thought maybe she'd have a wonderful adult daughter someday who would help her in her future hour (read: months) of need.  I appreciate her so much.

So, bye-bye green hutch, farewell glass plates with stars etched around the rim, ta-ta trains sets and toys, adios Christmas decorations that I have never/will never use, and ciao to clothes I don't wear.  Hello to less stuff to dust, wash, ignore and forget.  But before I get too excited, I will remember what Robert Frost said, not when he was riding home on a snowy evening on a loyal horse I suggest, but while he was cleaning and packing up a house:
                                         "But I have promises to keep,   
                                                      And miles to go before I sleep,   
                                                                  And miles to go before I sleep."


  1. A crown sounds fun :). I love you Mama! You're doing great, and I'm excited to see what your new house will look like, filled with the things you love best!

  2. This was therapeutic for me to read- I love getting rid of stuff and decluttering! I am excited for this new phase of life for you! Also- loved your last post on giving people second chances. I read it right before my in-laws came into town- it was a very timely reminder!