Removing stuff will be so satisfying
The last time we loaded up a trailer and a pickup truck with our belongings was in 1987 when we moved into the Post Falls house where we still live. There were five of us then, me and Bert and three daughters, and the stuff that accompanies people into a new home. Through the years more stuff was accumulated, often more than ever left the house. Although the girls grew up and left home, they left a lot of their stuff here. Why not? Mom and Dad weren’t going anywhere. Free storage!
Fast forward almost a quarter century since the last birdie left the nest and she’s home for a few weeks taking an R & R from the airlines where she worked full-time throughout the pandemic. Sarah was so determined to take a break from all things flying and airport-related that instead of hopping a plane she packed up her pups and drove 1,350 miles to Post Falls. The fact that every day in July is over 100 degrees in Phoenix, where she’s based, was another piece of the decision for an extended vacation in paradise.
As long as she was going to be here for more than a few days it seemed like the perfect time for her to go through all of the stuff she’d left in her childhood bedroom and in the downstairs catch-all rooms. So far the local thrift stores have received a bounty of pretty cool clothes from her purging. I upped the ante and told her that after 35 years in the same house we’re also in dire need of a purge of stuff. If she would organize a yard sale of her stuff and our stuff she could keep the money. After spending a king’s ransom at the gas pump on the way here she readily agreed.
So for over a week we’ve been gathering furniture, knickknacks, even pots and pans we don’t use or need. Her rolltop desk that hasn’t been used in many years will make someone very happy, as will the inflatable party island that has taken many memorable floats on the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. Four of five New Kids on the Block action figures, still in their boxes, will be saying Bye, Bye, Bye. Oh wait, wrong '80s boy band.
In recent years, when my mother moved into assisted living and sold her house, we discovered that leaving a legacy of stuff thinking that children or grandchildren would be eager to receive it all is not the case. Nostalgia is nice but the reality for our children and grandchildren is that beyond a few keepsakes they’re not so much enamored of curio cabinets, doilies, boxes of newspaper clippings or any other manner of memorabilia of their parents or grandparents.
So while we’re not planning to move we are seeking to reclaim space in our home that’s been filled by too much stuff for far too long and is no longer sparking joy.
If you’d like to contribute to Sarah’s gas money back to Arizona and re-home some of her parents' stuff while you’re at it, come by our Powderhorn Street front yard on Saturday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
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Happy Birthday today to Duffy Smock, Linda Litalien and Kymber Baker. Tomorrow Jim Lien, Cathy Meeks, David Miller, Todd Jenicek, Zofia Schell, Janet Allen, Shane Bell and Matt Gardner do the birthday dance. On Friday Joe Malloy, Jim Coleman, Debbie Brown, Jennifer Schmidt, Tina Vandenheuvel and Sam Paul put on their party hats. Saturday Katie Brodie, Steve Anthony, Jeremy Epstein, Marilee Wallace, Bill Singleton, Kris Olson-Wood, Carolyn Kreager, Ginger Harmala, Cassie Ohlig, Anne Kulinsky, Jessica McLean, Darin Hayes, Steve McCabe and Brett Surplus will blow out the birthday candles. July 24 celebrants are Marie Price, Tom Taggart, Karen Youman, Mark Hunsaker, Karen Prosser, Doug Miller, Shelby Stone, Anthony “A-Train” King and Srinivas Gundari. Taking another trip around the sun on Monday are Larry Schwenke, Robin Schlotthauer, Alenna Blakeslee, Rich Nicolson and Karen King. Birthday wishes on Tuesday to Doreen Mack, Marla Giese, Deb Miller, Marlo Gerber, Nick Epstein, Kelsey Wood and Lois Johnson.
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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.