Thursday, January 9, 2014

They're Just Things?

“They’re just things,” is what survivors say when a tornado takes their stuff but leaves Billy, Jr.

While many items are “just things,” other possessions are not just things because they conjure memories.  And it’s not just the Mother’s Day gift little Billy lovingly made at age 6.  It surprises me all the common items that can tickle the heart, boost pride, and remind a person of good people and happy times.  

Emptying my home of 20 years brings this to mind. 

You know the concept, “low-hanging fruit?”  Well, when the goal is to get rid of stuff, I first grabbed the “low-hanging turds:” out-of-fashion clothing, the coffee maker that worked 90% of the time, contents of the junk drawer . . . .

But the shoes above may or may not make it to the new home. 

They’re old.  I bought them in the year 2000, Thanksgiving weekend to be precise.  They are extremely functional for puddley Portland:  note how the rubber soles wrap up the sides.  They are pretty comfortable.  See the scoop where the ankle might otherwise rub?  I would not hike for miles in them, but for dashing in and out of stores, coffee shops, and restaurants on a rainy weekend, they are perfect.

You see, Allyson and I met in September 1999.  That year, we spent a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend in Victoria, British Columbia.  Canada is a good place to spend Thanksgiving, because our friendly neighbors do not celebrate the holiday, so nothing is closed.  Back then, the exchange rate was 20% in our favor.  Plus, those foreigners speak English!  We returned to Canada in 2000, this time Vancouver, BC.

It was another great weekend. It rained. We dashed in and out coffee shops, restaurants and stores, where I found the perfect shoes for another perfect weekend.

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