Monday, November 2, 2015

Hunkering Down as the Dark Moves In,


Even though we haven't had a hard frost yet and the temperatures are relatively balmy, autumn is on its way out and we are acting accordingly. 

We butchered and readied for the freezer the last batch of broiler chickens on Halloween and yesterday was spent turning necks into broth, making onion rolls and chicken/vegetable soup, also for the freezers -- which are pretty much packed full.  


The last of the pears have been picked and preserved; there are still a few peppers in the garden, though the deer have eaten most of the foliage. And there are collards and kale. . .

But in November my attention is called inward -- the continuing project of winnowing possessions -- my workroom is half-tidy, half-chaos. Many books have gone to the library book sale and to other homes, big boxes of fabric and fabric scraps have been let go, and there's a growing pile of things for the February flea market to benefit a local charity. 

I find myself putting things in the give away pile and then being tempted to take then back out. And then I think of the horror stories of elderly hoarders and try very hard to follow someone's (I  don't remember whose) very good advice when it comes to these items -- look at that book, that basket, that piece of pottery, that craft kit, or whatever the possession is, acknowledge the pleasure that item  brought you originally, and realize that you probably won't ever read that book again, that you have more baskets and pottery than any six people need, that you're never going to put that dollhouse kit together or the kaleidoscope kit or the Nantucket Lightship basket either. 

Life grows shorter, like the days, and it's time to make room for the important things and get rid of the clutter. 


13 comments:

Thérèse said...

Not an easy thing but a feeling of accomplishment and relief when things get done.

Ms. A said...

I need to get rid of my clutter... but I won't and I don't even try to fool myself anymore.

LOVE that first photo and you got a great shot of the moon, too... and that's not easy to do!

Jim Egerton said...

STUFF and such all over the place. Seems like the more I get rid of the more shows up. That first photo so good and moody.

Jim Egerton said...

STUFF and such all over the place. Seems like the more I get rid of the more shows up. That first photo so good and moody.

Barbara Rogers said...

I am the queen of clutter, and have many rescued items that are now stuffed into big bags of materials or tubs that are stacked with photos or crafting devices galore. Yes, my friends who moved me hated me. But there's a process that giving away requires. To let go with joy...to lighten up our lives, and not feel a huge loss...that's my goal anyway. It seems like a good wintertime pursuit.

daybreak said...

Amen..........artifacts of a life lived richly and well in so many areas would be difficult to discard. You are sending them on for others to learn from and enjoy!

Frances said...

Vicki, that is such a beautiful photograph of the moon. Thank you for letting us have a look. I thought the last full moon night was mysteriously lovely, with veils of clouds gracefully passing in front of that brilliant light in the sky.

Now. Clutter. I agree with you that much of it derives from past enthusiasms that do not continue to hold our interest. i am increasingly able to give these sorts of items to the thrift shop, hoping that someone else will embrace them. It's that whole other batch of things that still hold my attention that I cannot quite remove from my apartment. I continue wanting to take on new enthusiasms, Some of these enthusiasms require equipment, but thank goodness, some are more conceptual!

Having a membership in my wonderful library was a great decision. I can read every book time allows, without having to find non-existent space for another bookshelf.

All the same, I think I need to do some investigating in the dark recesses of my tall, walk in closet. I'll let you know if more donation-worthy items leave that closet.

xo

NCmountainwoman said...

We de-cluttered when we moved here in 2006 and now we have accumulated even more "stuff." When we looked at full-service retirement villages and I realized how much smaller our home would be...it's overwhelming. But I know I need to start now rather than wait.

Martin Hodges said...

Unless it's essential or irreplaceable, I agree. Although when it comes to books...

katy gilmore said...

Inspiring. Thank you.

Carolyn said...

Getting rid of stuff is always a challenge, and I so empathize. Last year we moved from our home of twenty-seven years to our vacation cabin, which was not only smaller, but has tiny closets and very little kitchen cupboard space, no walk-in attic, no garage, and no basement like my other house had. So, we went through a major purge. Very hard when it was where you raised your children and you tend to be sentimental and keep everything. I had all my college notes, and all sorts of correspondence and calendars I'd kept through the years, not to mention things saved from my children's childhood, and family records and photographs from both my parents, so it was really a personal and family history mining project. I've always loved fabrics and there were many remnants (I used to work for a design company with lots of samples) that I had wanted to use for pillows - projects that mostly were never done. I inherited a lot of family silver that I had no place to store or display, which our casual lifestyle doesn't call for, and my children certainly aren't interested in. So I thinned that. And then there were the books! I have very limited space for books at the cabin, and I hope we can add on to at least remedy that. I gave away hundreds, and even threw away some that were outdated or just weren't relevant any more. But we had to get a storage unit for the rest, along with some things we weren't ready to part with and want to pass down to our children. I organized a box for each of my boys with their school memories in it, and I went through all our snapshots that weren't already in albums and made sure they were dated and in order, and any relatives they might not recognize (who died before their time) were identified. It was all a herculean task, and took a couple of years, though I took my time as the mood hit me, with the end goal of downsizing in sight. Moving was a wrench, but we're so happy in our little mountain log cabin.

Anvilcloud said...

Looking at and acknowledging an item sounds like a good idea.

jennyfreckles said...

Wise words - stock up for the winter and cull the rest - and there's a lightness that comes when you manage to slim life down a little.