On Saturday I got to spend time with one of my favorite people and do something productive that I have been needing to do for quite a while. I purged some of my treasures and participated in the 301 Endless Yard Sale. My dear friend Kelly brought some items to sell and joined me for a morning of catching up and catching sales.
I wouldn’t call myself a pack rat, but I do make some sentimental attachments to objects and tend to hang onto them. In my family, I have been part of several moves and home clean-ups. When my Nanny Brake passed away many years ago and my Dadaddy moved from the home he had in Roanoke Rapids for roughly 50 years to his Lake Gaston home-away-from-home, my mom and I dove in to help sort through everything. My Dadaddy, God bless him, was a pack rat, but he came by it for good reason. He was a child of the Depression who grew up in a sharecropping family without having much of anything. He always saw another use for something and would save things for that rainy day that he knew may come.
When my Dadaddy passed away a few years ago, he had moved once again from his Lake Gaston home to a home in Gaston to be closer to town and medical needs. Once again it was time to clear out the home to enable it to be rented. We began by cleaning out the home room by room then moved on to his carport, two outside storage sheds, and his yard, sorting items that the family may want, items that could be donated, items for a yard sale, and items to be thrown away. I still have some of these things that most people would have thrown away, like a collection of matchbooks, but they mean something to me, and I count them among my treasures.
Being the youngest of three children, I have also helped move my brothers a number of times, especially during their college years. Both brothers have moved to cities and homes much more than I have in my life, and I have pitched in when able to help them pack, sort, and transition to the next place and next phase of their lives. I have also assisted some friends in their moves over the years. I always say that it takes a REALLY good friend to volunteer to help another friend move.
Back to my experience at the 301 Endless Yard Sale … I had a wonderful time chasing the limited shade in my yard by moving our chairs to stay cool. Kelly and I would have just enough time to sit and chat between customers. Even though I was letting go of some things that I had really enjoyed over the years, I was happy that I was decluttering my space and that other people liked my treasures and were looking forward to adding them to their homes and enjoying them.
I have been a collector of Blue Ridge Pottery for many years, but I have had so many pieces of it in so many different patterns that I decided to let some of it go. I truly loved the treasure hunt of finding the different pieces over the years and have truly enjoyed it, but it was time to let someone else have that joy. I kept some of my more special pieces and one complete set of the Crab Apple pattern. I took great pleasure on Sunday pulling out my remaining pieces and giving them a thorough wash. Now, instead of just being on display, these beloved pieces are washed and ready for use, including my teacups and saucers.
Yes, sometimes the experiences and the memories are all that we need instead of the physical reminders in the form of “stuff.” I find that the older I get, the fewer items I need or want, but the love and friendships and the small joyful moments are all the more precious.
Christina Wells lives in Halifax with her husband, Bruce, their dog, Sunny, and their cat, Quigley.