My sister-in-law Margi and I meet for “coffee” every Tuesday night while our husbands are at brass rehearsal. We talk about lots of things, but one of my favorite topics of late is stuff. I’ve been on a deaccumulation kick for several years now and relish the freedom I feel whenever I release my attachments to stuff. Margi made one innocent statement: “My sister, Nita, doesn’t keep anything she isn’t using.” A bell rang in my head. Up in the attic, carefully packed and marked with a photograph and the story behind it, is the iced tea set my parents got as a wedding present in 1937. I have such attractive memories of Mother using this set that when it came time to divvy up the Nill family treasures, and I drew the tallest straw, I chose this:
And since I cherish it so much, I keep it hidden away in the attic, where no one can appreciate its beauty—not even me. I’m an idiot!
When I got home from “coffee” I headed straight for that box. Not only did I find an appropriately visible place to keep it, but today, as our family gathered here for the first of this season’s “family dinners,” my mother’s iced tea pitcher found a place of honor on the drinks table, right where it belonged all along.
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever learn.