Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Losing Home, Discarding Memories & Wearing Out My Scanner

It will be a while before my next post – as I have TONS of photos and scrapbooking to go through.  I just simply don’t have the room for storing them – at least not the hard bound books (and there are many) but do have room on some drives to insert in the computer.

Blessed are they who can discard without sentimental attachment – for they don’t have to dejunk later on.  Their lives are made easier because they don’t save every little item.  They don’t have decades of clutter.

As Corey had mentioned in a previous post  Ellen and Nate have decided to throw out a bunch of mom’s junk.  And granted, it does look nicer than I think it has ever looked – and seems inviting.  But at the exact same time, it’s not
          I haven’t lived in mom’s house for over 11 years  but had always felt at home there.  I paid for the microwave that is in the kitchen.  I paid for the over-the-toilet cabinet downstairs.  Most of the pots and pans (that mostlikey don’t even get used anymore) are mine.  But we just don’t have room for them in our tiny house or ever tinier kitchen.  The house itself seemed to welcome me – but not anymore.  It hasn’t seemed to for the last year or so. 

Mom’s not the same.  And the house certainly isn’t.  I can’t just walk freely about the house as I had at one time.  The basement is now off limits – at least in my mind.  I feel like an unwanted guest so much of the time.  I don’t think Nate thinks very highly of me – not that his opinion of me matters.  But it’s hard enough visiting my mom as it is – and then to have the sane one act as though you don’t belong.  That he may be better than you. Here’s a salt shaker – why not just pour the salt into my wounds.
          And perhaps I’m just reading him wrong. I like things orderly and tidy too – though it doesn’t appear that way.  I’ve married into a family of slobs – except for Randy – who shows no sentimental attachment either and has no problem discarding ANYTHING.  And then there’s Tony and Jenna who are worse than I am about saving and hoarding.  And too often the sentiment is lost.
          I’m actually finding that right now with the things I have saved throughout the years.  I have embarrassed myself.  Why did I save this?  Why on earth did I save that?  What does this even mean?

          Last night I pulled pages out from two photo albums (the ones produced in the 70’s and 80’s; the ones with the magnetic pages that have tons of acid which eat away at the photos) and scanned a few memories;  pulled out the postcards for Jenna to send to her friends,  and ended up throwing away three scrapbooks this morning.  There’s really no purpose for me to hang onto it – especially because of the lack of space.

When we lost our first house, mom said I could store my memorabilia at her house.  She’s got tons of room.  She’d be in that house forever.  It would always be a part of us.  There was no reality for me three years ago when we moved.  Her memory was starting to go – but NOTHING like it is now.  The reality is that we may be selling mom’s house long before Roland and I can ever move from the one we are currently in.  Probably we’ll die here – and then our children will have to go through.  And Randy will be the only one who can throw it all away.  So I’m trying to help ease that burden now.  I am trying to consolidate and keep things simple.  Trying.  I just added to the overwhelmness pile.

The first album I went through included missionary photos – now nearly 30 years old.  There is very little sentimental (if any) left with that area or those I served.  I tried keeping in touch with those that I served with.  It made it hard when I was doing all the letter writing with very little (if any) correspondence on the other end.  And unlike Corey with a strong connection to many of those that he served, I lost track.  I don’t know these people.  And because the majority of them have faded and lost their color – it was easier to throw away. If worse comes to worse, I do still have the negatives  But is the technology for developing disc negatives still around? 

I actually did take this picture at Virginia Beach - I took it with
 my disc camera.  I was always impressed with the outcome

The second album started out with a week of summer activity.  Mom and Dad had gone with Corey on an excursion to  New York.  Kayla and I spent less money in the entire week than they did in just one day.  I removed those pages.

The remaining pages were of Patrick’s family.  Thus I will take it back to mom’s with a note for Sunny if she wishes to keep it or discard it will be her choice.  I am resigning myself from the position of family historian.

I have tried dejunking before.  Rationalizing that those who lived during Hitler’s reign were not able to hang onto their possessions.  With all the natural disasters that have taken place (floods, fires, Katrina, Sandy) so much is lost.  Why hang onto it?  What’s the point?
          I’ve made some scrapbook pages that I’m really quite proud of.  I would like to save those and pass them on.  I would like to save written words – they are so much more meaningful than what is typed into the computer – even if it does seem illegible.  I still have one more pile of scrapbooks.  And then the journals.  My pathetic journals.  Perhaps I’ll just throw those away.  I would like Jenna to have something.  But not so much that it will be overwhelming.

                                                          this would be an embarrassing page  

          Right now she’s fascinated with stuff from my childhood – asking questions.  Some I am able to answer.  Others I have no clue.  And I’m trying to teach her that if you can’t remember the reasons you were hanging onto something in the first place, perhaps they’re just not really worth hanging onto anymore.

          I did bring home a box she had made for the Reflections contest when she was in kindergarten.  There was an award ceremony that took place shortly after we moved.  I kept the box at mom’s house so that it wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle, and had actually forgotten about it.  Jenna enthusiastically retrieved it.  She thinks she’s going to keep it forever.  And maybe she will.  Maybe when she’s fifty she’ll decide she really doesn’t NEED it after all.

          And may my scanner last for many years and not break down in the middle of my “dejunking”  How grateful I am for modern technology which allows me to compact my memories.  I hope what I do save will prove to be useful for generations to come.

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