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Posts Tagged ‘vase’

I had a total “ah-ha” moment this weekend. (OK, “ah-ha” wasn’t the phrase running through my head when the moment occurred, but let’s keep this family-friendly.)

My mom was showing me a vase that she had gotten from my grandmother’s house. It had belonged to my grandmother’s sister (or sister-in-law, maybe) and had been in my grandmother’s possession for decades after the original owner’s death. I had never seen this vase before, and it struck me as meh, valuable or not. I told my mom I wasn’t interested in it, and she was good with that — she’s learned the freedom of owning less stuff over the years, and respects my right to reject heirlooms.

The thought that ran through my head during the interchange, however, was, “Your treasure is not my treasure.” The thought wasn’t really aimed at my mom, since she’s not one to try to convince me to take things that I don’t want or need. I think it was aimed at the whole mindset people have that there are certain items that MUST be passed from generation to generation for eternity.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t pass things down or treasure things from long ago. But we can’t keep everything.

It’s not a personal affront if I don’t want your collection of glass cake plates; it’s just that my favorite cake plate happens to be a weathered old aluminum model with more character than elegance. (Autobiographical cake plate FTW.)

Back to the vase in question: I had never seen it before. Meaning that my grandmother kept it, but didn’t treasure it enough to display it. Therefore, I have no memories associated with this vase. It’s simply an object that I don’t find that attractive. I feel no urge to take it home simply because it belonged to someone I’m related to.

I have plenty of things from my grandparents’ home that mean A LOT to me. A collapsible aluminum cup that my grandfather brought back from World War II. A pair of funky cat bookends from the middle bedroom. An old, golden glass piggy bank that my brother and I spent dozens of hours playing with, poking coins in and then shaking them out.

These things are my treasures.

There are people who would have their children fill their closets and attics with heirlooms, simply to keep those items “in the family.” Don’t do that. Let your children choose their treasures. To facilitate that, choose YOUR treasures. The things you value, not the things you stuff into the attic and the basement, will be the things they actually want later.

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The “Do One Thing” series chronicles my yearlong effort to tackle one project every day to organize my life and home.

Day 62: I think we all saw this coming. I decided that, indeed, I hated the vase/glass pebble look I put together recently. The brown pebbles seemed to be the biggest part of the problem, so I ditched them (hopefully, some lucky shopper at the New Leash on Life Market Place has more love for brown than I do) and replaced most of them with some clear pebbles that were hanging out in the garage. It’s still not one of My Favorite Things, but it’s definitely making me happier.

Previously:

Day 56: Planned to move a small shelving unit to a more effective place in the garage. Got hit in the head with an errant surfboard. Yes, a surfboard.

Day 57: Got the husband to help me pick a spot for the wall hanging, since he’s the one who brought it home as part of a package deal when he bought a Volkswagen bus. We didn’t get to hang it, however, since the neighbor’s dog barked from literally 7 a.m. until we fled the house at around 2 to seek peace and quiet in the movie theater.

Day 58: Hung the toilet paper roller AND the towel holder in the downstairs bathroom. Epic.

Day 59: Tossed a pile of recipes that I had cut out from newspapers and magazines. It seems like all people who like to cook have one of these piles of recipes that they go through a couple of times a year, yet never manage to pull anything out and actually make it. Not anymore. They’re in the recycling guy’s hands now.

Day 60: Swept out the garage, or at least the parts I could get to with a broom.

Day 61: Nada. I did schoolwork and worried about my mom and her sick dog.

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The “Do One Thing” series chronicles my yearlong effort to tackle one project every day to organize my life and home.

Day 45: Rescued a florist’s vase from the garage. Normally, this sort of thing would end up in the thrift store box, but I like its minimalism. I cleaned it up and filled it with colored glass pebbles that I bought for a tiling project. (We were going to intersperse the pebbles in a pattern among the tiles, but it turns out that both my husband and I HATE tiling and there was no way we were going to work any more complications into the project than we had to.)

Anyway, I’m sort of not digging the whole colored pebbles in a vase thing, so it may end up at the thrift store anyway, but at least the garage is a little neater.

Previously:

Day 44: Dropped two magazines from our subscription list. Both are guilty of misguided attempts to blend their print and online operations, attempting to increase subscription prices while publishing all stories on the Internet for free. This is not a survivable online strategy. Besides, my husband cashed in a bunch of airline miles a couple of weeks ago for still more magazine subscriptions, so we’re still in the dead tree business.

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