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Sorting through a life

It looked like junk just piled up in the garage. If we’d been in a hurry there might just have been a few dump runs. But we’re not in a hurry. We have been given the entire summer to sort through four decades of our life together. Almost every dusty box reveals treasures, memories …  every item sold or donated is like weight off our shoulders.

The Sewing Basket

Since her passing some 35 years ago I have stored my Grandmothers sewing basket in the basement. Every time I need a zipper or a button I’ve gone through it, and never has it had exactly what I needed. Yesterday I sorted through it again and found a Ukrainian book. I don’t read Ukrainian (anymore, I used to as a child but I never understood the language). Listed on Facebook that paperback found a home in minutes, with a local Ukrainian lady. She came over and explained that it was a song book. We went through it together and it was like my Grandmother was standing in the yard with me one last time.

I cleaned out the sewing basket, threw out every open package and kept only the sealed ones. The variety of zippers, binding and other assorted items were all bought more than 50 years ago, almost all from Eaton’s according to the labels. I could picture my Grandmother shopping the sales up there on the fourth floor, probably hiding them from my Grandfather in this wicker sewing basket. Sold on Facebook, it’s going to be someones Christmas present.

The Free Pile

We continually find things that can’t really be sold but shouldn’t be thrown away either. These we’re putting in a free pile. Every item that walks away brings us both a smile. A couple of tables from our old 1977 Westfalia found a home. Kids are finding new summer toys. School supplies, should they be needed this year are walking away. If you live in Pinawa, 19 Alexander is worth a walk by – every day as the pile is ever-changing.

The Granite Years

Fifteen of my Pinawa years were Granite years. At one point an entire closet was dedicated to boxes of files left over from that era. Most of those files now line the garden boxes in the back yard. The filing cabinet still held a few treasures though.

I won a few awards in my day. Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year – all awards one keeps when they have a big house to store them in. Time for them to go. Took photos and into the trash they go.

Peter Symchuk carved a beautiful wooden sign for the business, the one thing I can’t bare to part with yet. Not sure where I’ll hang it, though.

The final sale documents of the first time I sold Granite have been shredded, as have the sale documents of the second sale. An entire binder dedicated to legal fights was the last to go. An entire closet full of documents, and a whole lot of stress has finally been completely purged.

Books, Books and MORE BOOKS!

Why do we have so many books? Our friends that helped us move here complained about the boxes of books even back then. Twenty eight more years of hoarding has not improved the situation any. For some reason, parting with books seems to be the most difficult task of all.

I honestly thought this was Ray’s problem, until I started sorting through my own collection. I opened one old hiking book and a note fell out: “Dear Mom, I had an emergency and had to take the car to the airport and leave it there. I’m sorry. Love Peter”  This wasn’t my Peter leaving me a note. This was my brother leaving my Mom a note, my Mom who’s been gone for 39 years. The note went back into the book, the book went into the keeper box.

For weeks Ray and I sorted and sold and donated box after box of books. Not a one got thrown away.

We are reaching the end. What’s left is what people actually use. Everyone’s lives have been upended this summer. Cleansing seems the fitting response.

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Sorting through a life

It looked like junk just piled up in the garage. If we’d been in a hurry there might just have been a few dump runs. But we’re not in a hurry. We have been given the entire summer to sort through four decades of our life together. Almost every dusty box reveals treasures, memories …  […]