You all thought I was going to tell a story about how playing with propane torches is a bad idea. While it is, you were wrong. I don’t play with fire, except in stories. Over the past ten years my mom and I have gradually moved from place to place, decreasing our square footage as we went. With that came some major downsizing.
Goodbye couch–you were too big to fit in our latest living room. But some church friends had some old loveseats they were getting rid of, and kindly donated them to us.
Goodbye half my personal library from college–there just weren’t enough shelves, and really, I’m going to read D. H. Lawrence again? No.
Goodbye dining room set–this was actually the hardest for me to get rid of. It wasn’t even a very nice table; it was big and clunky with a set of drawers around the bottom in the center you’d stub your toes on if you swung your legs. The white wood was scarred to look antique-ish, and it was freakin’ heavy. Somehow, though, that table represented home to me, a place family could gather around to share meals, the center piece of the kitchen where love is baked warm and gooey right out of the oven.
It’s odd I felt so strongly about the table. Growing up, we never ate around it as a family. My mom cooked, but it was not something I liked to do (still isn’t). Yet this chunk of wood in all its magnitude represented stability. After so much moving, I wanted nothing more than to settle down.
I’ve had to redefine my hopes for the future and my definition of what “home and family” mean to me. Whether those adaptations came from wisdom or jadedness, new dreams or practicality, that table is no longer my idea of home and stability. Who I keep company with was a good start. My mom and I are best friends; I’ve had my experience of awful roommates (college dorms *shudder*). Pets enrich the home because they enrich life; my cat would continue to bring me joy and delight no matter where we lived. I still long for better things, but different things than I did before.
Have I kept you in suspense long enough about the propane torch? Well, we had a mini one in our closet for the past ten years. Three weeks ago we gave that away as well. We’d never used it, so why keep it? That’s how we proceeded with most of our downsizing, even though it was painful sometimes: “Do we *really* need this?” “How often do we use it?” We gave it to my uncle. After much debate, he finally relented and took it, though he continued to insist that we would need it someday. I scoffed. Ten years we never used it.
Can you guess what happened five days later? I had a need for a mini propane torch. 😛 That is when my uncle, in good fashion, said, “I told you so.” So now I have a new propane torch and a use for it. It seems to be the law of the universe that the things you have no use for, you’ll suddenly need once they’re no longer in your possession.
What have you given away only to regret it soon after? Does this principle hold true for you? Has it happened often enough you feel it’s best to save anything and everything for a rainy day? Are you a pack-rat or do you refrain from holding on to stuff?
Have you ever had to part with something that broke your heart to do so? What makes home for you?
I love hearing from you! Also, if you’re looking for some summer reading, Phoenix Feather, a paranormal romance, is on sale at Smashwords for 50% off until July 31st!