Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Life in 50 Boxes

Last week I visited my boxes. My life pre-Russia fits into 50-some boxes which are stored at in a Dallas-area church building. This wonderful little church so kindly guards my earthly possessions in a spare classroom. And this means so much to me. But when I came home, I like to go through and remind myself about the things I own. Not bragging or anything you understand. And the stash continues to shrink because I keep getting rid of stuff. Care to have a look?

So here are the boxes, looking toward the northwest corner of the room. And there in the foreground is the corner of my sewing machine which I found at an estate sale and refinished myself. So that's in my furniture collection, plus a little freezer and a rocking chair. Now that I think about it, I'll bet somebody could use that freezer. Per chance, could you?

Just between the two of us here, the last time I wore size 14 was back in 1993. Decided my size 14 days are history and that these clothes need to be in someone else's closet. Lots of fairly good stuff there, some of it rather dear to my heart, some I had made myself, all that was back when I taught clothing, textiles and fashion merchandising at a university. Back when I knew how to thread a sewing machine. Goodbye dear clothes.

And then there's the shoes. These shoes have been boxed up since 1998 when I packed up my stuff. Shoes like this won't work in Russia, not for me anyway. They're best for standing around, walking from a car into a building and teaching in all day. But not for walking a mile on crumbly sidewalks and such as we have in Russia. Besides that, seems that walking affects shoe size. Because these size 10-M just don't cut it anymore. Goodbye dear shoes. You belong in someone else's closet.

Oh what precious little suitcases. This Samsonite luggage was a graduation from high school gift from Mom and Dad back in 1970, back when LBJ was president, as I recall. Or maybe Nixon. Anyway, amazing where this luggage has been: In 1971, I packed up most all my clothes in these two suitcases and flew off to Texas to studay. After that, they held all my clothes as I moved to Sydney, Australia in 1976. I hold on to these for sentimental reasons so at least for now, they're not going into anybody else's closet.

Speaking of graduations. What's an expatriate to do with her fancy diplomas? Well mine are stored in a box. Amazing that I forked over $100 to have each diploma matted and framed. And they so beautifully graced my office wall once upon a time.

I'll admit, I do feel a twinge of some emotion when I happen upon these prizes of mine that are now stored boxes. And then my academic regalia is in there somewhere too along with the thesis and dissertation. But I remind myself that these trappings merely represent the ways in which I learned, the ways I grew and the ways in which I was s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d in graduate school. And those lessons remain in my heart and in my mind. Except that I've forgotten how to do standard deviations and stuff from statistics. On the other hand, I do know a thing or two about Russian verbs. Kinda similar, they are.

So there we have it, life in a few boxes. Another time we'll talk about the care and feeding of moths. And I've learned a thing or two about that, too.

And how about you? Ever put most of your stuff in storage? Ever go through and declutter your stuff? Did you find it freeing?

1 comment:

Jeanette M said...

Decluttering is extremely freeing. I used to watch that reality show where people had so much clutter they couldn't even find their bed at night (and worse problems). It was a sure cure for the temptation to collect. After living in our new home for 4 years, I decided it was high time to deal with the 2 dozen or so boxes that were lining the walls of the garage. Wow! I think all the stuff that was important fit into 3 boxes. Imagine. Although I do it rarely, I always feel GREAT after going through my closet and removing outdated, ill-fitting, or just plain sad-looking clothes. When the stuff in the thrift shop looks better than what's hanging in your closet, it's time to purge.

Once it a while I find something "cool" like the coin collection I made during my quarter abroad in 1970. Some of those countries don't exist...and most of the coinage has been replaced by Euros. Priceless treasures.

So...good for you to face those boxes and let someone else enjoy your size 14s. You will make a needy person very happy. As for shoes, my best ones were purchased in Russia. That's usually where I head on day 2 of my stay. One less heavy thing to pack. :)