Almost done! A few more things need to get moved out of the apartment (mostly stuff going to Goodwill). I need to finish cleaning the kitchen and then I can hand the keys back over and close the door on that chapter of my life. I must admit to being a little sad. This was, after all, the first and only place that I ever lived in alone. My first forray into single life. I moved straight from my mother's house to my husband's and never did that whole experimental twenties thing. I was a step parent (in practice anyway) from the time I was 20.
I remember walking into that apartment the first time. I was in a panicked rush. Things had spiralled out of control in my marriage and I just needed to get out - Fast! It was available right away and convenient to the school. I stood in the living room and thought to myself, "This is it." A couple days later I was on my own. Completely. For the very first time. In the fervor of moving out of the house I had shared with my husband I packed things willy nilly, just threw them into boxes to be dealt with later. They've stayed that way for the past two and a half years.
Sorting through a lifetime of possessions has taken longer than I thought it would. I had no idea, really, how much stuff I own. I came across things I didn't even remember I had: the scrapbook my friend Carrie gave me for Valentine's Day our sophomore year of high school, letters from boyfriends I barely remember, sheet music from college. For the past several weeks I have been retracing my steps, sifting through the artifacts of my life. It's time for most of them to go.
PRS (Pack Rat Syndrome) runs rampant through both sides of my family. My Nana had three bedrooms, an attic and basement crammed full of stuff, besides the other four bedrooms and the rest of the house that was used as living space. I remember opening a closet to find it full of thirty years of recycled Christmas wrapping paper. It took my uncles months to sort out the chaff and get her moved out of that big house. My Chinese grandparents were even worse. Every closet in my grandmother's house is stuffed to overflowing. She has a stash of Italian leather purses that my grandfather imported decades ago. I get a new one every birthday and Christmas. Gifts are always wrapped in paper from the stationery store they owned before I was born. We finally liquidated the two full warehouses full of their stuff, but I think there are still storage units somewhere, collecting dust. My mom is the same way. At the rate I'm going, I don't even want to think of how much excess baggage I'll be carrying in twenty or thirty years. This is not the legacy I want to leave to my children, either in fact or in practice. So I will keep culling and get my stuff down to a manageable and storable level. Stash not included. A girl has to have her limits....
Have I told you how much I love Margene? I'll tell you what, the woman knows, she just does. I got home late last night tired, hungry, filthy, aching and sore to find a little box waiting for me. It was just the right thing. It wasn't the fact that the candle is my favorite color and smells delicious (though it does). It wasn't that the card was the perfect sentiment (which it was). It reminded me to breathe again and that made all the difference. Thank you, Margene. You are such a dear friend.
Several people responded that they would like to join me in knitting chemo caps for kids. I'd also welcome snuggly blankets or small quilts or even knitted bears. As soon as I decide on a name I'll put up a new blog for it. All participants will have access as authors on the blog so they can post pictures and stories of their progress there. Email me to join or leave a comment. Send pattern suggestions and I'll add those as sidebars. But first, we need a name. I got a couple of suggestions and added a couple of my own. What do you think?
Note: For some reason the poll thingy was all wonky. I've removed it. I've narrowed selections down to "Wee Knit Caps" or "Toques for Tots". Please vote via comments.