Sunday, August 12, 2007

What to do with all those green jackets??

I'm still going through all my closets and drawers to claim order out of chaos. Anything I don't actually USE or TREASURE is going away. It is the season of the grand purge.

As I walked from one area of the house to another with yet another box to either go to the trash or the Goodwill I smiled at my sweet husband relaxing in his recliner watching golf. Why on earth would ANYONE watch golf? I have no clue. But then, he can't understand why I find organizing a closet relaxing either. This isn't obligatory housework to me. I did all that domestic duty stuff on Friday and Saturday. Rather, this puttering in the closets that I'm doing now is my own soothing way of reminiscing as I explore the bread-crumb-trail I've left in my Hansel and Gretel Life and my willful decision to let most of it take a hike.

As I was cleaning out my closets and observing my husband watching golf the thought occurs to me. What does Tiger Woods do with all those green jackets he collects every time he wins another Masters? Do they just hang in his closet or go in a case in a trophy room or what? I can just imagine the number of trophies of one sort or another that man has accumulated. Does there come a point for accomplished athletes where they no longer need or take pleasure in displaying all that praise?

Which leads me to wonder again, what will I do with the various awards, plaques, and professional fru-fru I have accumulated over the years. Right now it's all just sitting in a box in my closet. During this grand purge mode I'm ever so tempted to look at it one last time and then pitch it all out. But if I do, will I regret it later??

I've grown weary of accumulation. I ache to simplify. I want to surround my self with open space. But what to do with the gathered up accoutrements of fifty years of living? Is there really any reason to keep an ancient piece of needlepoint I did when I was ten or the quilt squares I practiced liquid embroidery on that never made their way into a quilt? I think not.

Still.... among my boxes and bags of stuff in the closet is basket of old letters that my great-great grandfather wrote over a period of years to his younger sister, Libbie. I love those letters and the glimpse they give me of who John L. V. Thomas was. Which makes me wonder...should I gather up a representative sampling of all the awards and certificates, summer stock theater scripts? (Many moons ago I was in Gammer Gurton's Needle and also played the dinasaur in Thornton Wilder's Skin of Our Teeth) Is there any reason or purpose to preserving a portion of my own memorabelia to pass down to generations yet to come?

Nope. I don't thnk so. None of that stuff is who I was. Perhaps I'll just leave them this ridiculous blog. At least this is something I don't have to dust.

I'm headed to Michigan next week to visit my sons and the wild tribe of grandchildren. When I go I am taking a box of sports trophies and U.S. Marine medals with me. My boys are both in their 30's now. They can keep or discard their own life stuff however they choose.

I am every so ready for empty space.


Jaquandor said...

Maybe set it all aside for the next time your children are all there, and then tell them to take whatever they want, because the rest of it will be tossed after that?

Although I wouldn't get rid of those old letters. If they're all written from a certain locale, perhaps you might gift them to that area's historical society? (Assuming they're not full of salacious material, of course!)

Jaquandor said...

Oh, by the way, Michigan's not terribly far from Buffalo, if you want to come a bit farther for some of our fine local pie! ;)

Ruth D~ said...

Have I got a book for you! Read this post (link below). I found myself pondering similar questions recently.

The book is a quick read, and I cleaned out a bunch of clutter and got a new mind set-- that may or may not last. :>)

Clearing the clutter:

Belladonna said...

Actually that's not a bad idea at all about gifting the letters to the Arizona Historical Society. I will probably scan each one to have a record of my ancestor's handwriting and then box them all up to pass on. I transcribed them years ago so I have a typewritten version of each one. Some of them are pretty cool.

Because I've done genealogy research for years I've got lots of old family records. Among them is 3 months of journal one guy kept during the civil war. Mostly about lots of hungry marching with cold sore feet with a few terror stricken battles. My favorite piece from him is the letter he wrote to his wife telling her how agrieved he is by "the senseless and brutal murder of our beloved President Lincoln."

Then from a different relative I have the "cow report" letters. His oldest daugher worked as a secretery for a church mission to Japan so the whole time she was gone he wrote to her about once a week. When I was given the packet of letters I was practically salivating over all the family news I would be able to glean. However, the letters truly show where this dairy farmer's priorities were. He writes in infinite detail about each of his cows, how much milk and cream he got, etc etc adn then closes of each letter with "mother and children are faring well."

As for's NOT that close. Perhaps one day. I've been thinking about going to Boise in October for a hot air balloon ride...but hey, you did mention that they have balloons up that way too. Who knows?

Belladonna said...


Thanks so much for the lead on the book. Sounds like a good match for me just now!

Ruth D~ said...

And at the risk of looking like I'm promoting my blog-- I'm not what would be the point?-- this is the follow up to the clutter story where I find something rather unusual that I end up keeping.

Bizarre sentiment~

I left a return post for you . . . on my blog which I swear to god I'm not promoting. As I said, "What would be . . . ?

A thought: If you have a scanner, or can get access to one, you can scan the photos and letters and keep digital copies. That only clutters up your computer. :>)

Tristi Pinkston said...

Tiger could take those jackets and make them into quilts . . .

Jaquandor said...

As for's NOT that close.

Well, yeah, it depends on where in Michigan. Detroit can be reached in about four or five hours, driving through Canada, but there's a lot more to Michigan than Detroit, obviously! (I've always liked Michigan, and we almost ended up living there once when I was a kid.)

Jaquandor said...

Oh, and here's a neat hot-air balloon ride locating utility, and this major ballooning event takes place about two hours from Buffalo! (Sadly, it's in July, so you'll have to wait another year for this one.)

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