The downside of downsizing

... the memories that are evoked

by Kay McCarte

My sister and I are downsizing, or trying to. We are trying to imagine going from six rooms and a basement to a four or five room apartment or condo. Vietnam Vets, Big Brothers, Mission of Deeds, Melrose City Yards have all received donations, and we have only just begun.

Memorabilia is probably the hardest because, as you open a folder, photo album, box of “stuff,” or whatever, you  feel compelled to go through it, which takes a long time because of the memories it evokes.

A three tiered shelf in the sunroom holds small tokens from around the world. There is a little curly-haired doll with a plaid tam that Margie won in a Yankee Swap on the bus driving through Nova Scotia. The bottle shaped like a violin holds coffee liquor, from Vienna (it is well aged by now).  We'll have to drink it before we throw it out. A little sailing vessel sits unsteadily on its stand which came from the Jade Market in Hong Kong.

A statue of the Madonna and Child carved from olive wood from Jerusalem, a picture of a woman with a musical instrument from India, sandstone pieces from the deserts of the Southwest of the United States, a bust of Mozart from Austria, rests alongside mugs from Hong Kong and Sydney, Australia. A little angel made from a cotton ball, and a little straw girl from out trip on the Erie Canal, along with a metal "Hershey" kiss from Hershey, Pennsylvania, are also part of our memories.

There is a marble tile with the replica of the design used on the borders of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, three little wooden dolls with red knit caps holding music from Bergen, Norway, a funny looking little monster from Loch Ness, Scotland, a horse and buggy from a trip to the Amish Country in Pennsylvania, ceramic “wooden” shoes from the Keukerhoff Gardens in Holland.

A Christmas tree ornament of the Opera House from Sydney, Australia sits next to a puffin from Iceland and a penguin from Punte Arenas, Chile (there are no gift or souvenir shops in Antarctica) with a cute little Alaskan puppy and a box that held small candies from the Orient Express.

And then there is the little glass clown that we got in Croatia. When we met our tour guide he told us he knew we would all laugh when he told us his name was Bozo, but that he knew all the best rest rooms and ice cream stops on the tour.  He was right on both counts.

And this is only one shelf on one bookcase.

September 4, 2015

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