Or being a “picker”
This last weekend, Memorial Day, 2012, my time was used for going through the rented storage area of my pole barn building. Half of one side had been rented to a friend who collected and sold antiques for many years. Due to health concerns, she has had to liquidate “stuff” and the storage area at my place is the final piece of the liquidation of those items. It had been years since she had been in there, as her health has taken a turn for the worse. So, we talked and rather than throw all the “stuff” into a dumpster, it is agreed to sell the antiques for rents unpaid. There has to be some value to some of the items, we both thought. And I would not consider myself living very sustainably if the “stuff” was just tossed out.
I watched “Storage Wars” on Sunday night, and can relate to the show of guessing what is there, and the value of some of the items. Is there someone’s long forgotten treasure hidden in a drawer, box, or behind the doors. Wheel of Fortune flashed through my mind at this very moment. A piece of furniture, a Tiffany stain glass window, a priceless toy? I have little idea, as I place little value on “stuff.”
Thus my search starts; of moving pieces of old furniture, coca cola coolers, Swiss chalet music jewelry boxes, a box of paper wrapped plates of 1950 era Coca Cola girl with serving menu serving trays, an Acme Size A adjustable dressing form, a Scandalli Accordion L769/46. What is this stuff worth? Snapping pictures, taking notes, researching items, the time into the project and the list of items grows ever longer.
While other people are out at the cabins for the weekend; or at the parks; or visiting aged parents; or sightseeing, I am working! What up with this picture? Then moving a box, an old wooden vegetable slicer is spotted and brings up a memory of the time of running across the field playing, my foot steps on a long forgotten nail in a board laying like a trap in the tall grass! It goes all the way through the foot, and screaming in pain I hop to the house with the rusted nail and board still attached to me. My dad pulls the embedded nail and blood shoots forth! Dad helps me into the car and rushes me to the local clinic where they swab the foot, clean the puncture, bandage it up, and give me a booster shot. The final instructions to dad were to make sure my food stays elevated, and not walk on it for a week.
Hey, I have a week off from chores, to READ!
Mom has other plans! “Everyone has work to do, and there will be no taking it easy; I have plans for you!” She has dad harvest the cabbages, and other garden vegetables and brings out the slicer and a 15 gallon crock pot. While sitting with my foot elevated, I am kept busy making sour kraut and relishes. I am informed “When you can walk, you will go back to doing your chores.” At that moment, the chores are sounding a whole lot easier!
So, that is where my keeping busy was programmed into me.
That was eighth grade, as during that summer, I grew from 5′-5″ weighing in at 121 lbs to 6′-1″ weighing in at 164 lbs. I remember, because the weight I wrestled in school also changed that fall. Mom also had hit the spring sales and that fall while trying on the new pants, she saw they are 6″ too short.
All this stuff has value, and the stories it brings up from the past – adds a value to that “stuff.” And how much is that value. As I watch “Storage Wars” they place value on some of the items, as I have done. And yet that means very little, as the real value is determined by the person that buys stuff for their collections. For me, the “stuff” trapping of life means very little, just like living in a big house means very little. On the other hand, I do love a good story and live for experiences. And is that what makes “storage wars” interesting as it allows telling of stories, for we are a story telling species. From “War and Peace” to Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars” to “The Avengers” to “The Notebook”, we all love a good story that touches our heart cords. I wonder, “will any of this “stuff’ trigger some memory for potential buyers to purchase some of it? Time will tell…..”
Or as Thoreau is quoted as saying, “how much life are you willing to exchange for it” is the real value of “stuff.”
This brings up an interesting observation;
IF you need stuff to remind you of experiences, you probably could not live in a tiny house;
IF you want a large family, you probably could not live in a tiny house;
IF need to keep up to the Jones, you probably could not live in a tiny house;
IF you need to entertain a lot of friends and business associates, you probably could not live in a tiny house;
IF your goals are living in a large sprawling mansion, you probably could not live in a tiny house.
To See a List of Stuff follow this “Stuff” link