Why we keep what we keep..

“Well look at that!” I marveled, gazing at the photo below that accompanied a recent article proclaiming wallpaper was making a comeback, “Just look at that crocheted blanket on the bed; it’s GRANNY SQUARES! Why, I haven’t seen one of those in ages!!”

My grandmother made one for us as a wedding gift 37 years ago..

I can’t believe I gave that thing to Goodwill..

Why did I do that?

When did I do that?

Two years ago..?

Ten?

“That’s awful” I anguished, “just awful!!” It’s an heirloom for heaven’s sake..a handmade gift from a now deceased relative..and look at this picture..look how cute that is…granny squares are popular again!”

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am ruthless when it comes to getting rid of stuff that I don’t use. Having moved many, many, MANY (!!) times in my married life, I’ve adopted a pretty brutal devotion to minimalism. I regularly purge my drawers and closets, pull aging art off the wall, rugs off the floor, collectibles off shelves… and then toss the shelves themselves if there’s nothing left to display anymore.

I am hardcore, take no prisoners, zero-tolerance when it comes to clutter.

And yet.. there’s still a part in me that wants to keep connections to the past..and there’s definitely always been a part of me that appreciates handmade gifts and crafts.

And so I wondered, would I REALLY have given away (or worse, thrown out?) a blanket made for our wedding?

That sounded..well, pretty harsh, even for someone like me.

And so off I went to search for this blanket and the answer to this question: Had I taken my devotion to the simple, streamlined life too far?

The answer came pretty quickly, thanks to having organized the guest room closet a few years ago which yes, involved getting rid of useless stuff..

Lo and behold, unbelievably, I still have that blanket!

I’m glad, surprised and relieved all in one. Maybe I still have a heart after all! 😉

13 Comments Add yours

  1. beth says:

    it is so interesting to think about what we do and don’t keep, and why. I’m pretty minimalist myself, but I often think about this

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy says:

      I can be ruthless..and yet I’ll save stuff like a rock my daughter turned into a smiley face with googley eyes..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. LA says:

    But you know…I understand if you have it away….there’s a point where too many physical memories is overwhelming

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy says:

      100%. When my sister died, I wound up with a small box of her victorian Christmas ornaments that were definitely not my style..but they were hers so I hung them on the tree for a few years until I realized that A- hanging so many of them depressed me and B- having two instead of fifteen wouldn’t make me remember her less..so I gave away almost all of them and kept just a few. I feel bad for people who feel they cannot give something up (that they hate-like dinner service for 12) because it belonged to a loved one who willed it to them. I don’t ever want to do that to my kids..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LA says:

        Completely agree. My mother bought these horrible decorative plates. They sat in ,y closet for years. Finally I got rid of all but one of them, which I have in my bedroom

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Cindy says:

        I remember telling a friend of mine to keep a tea cup and saucer from her grandma’s set..and set herself free from the whole shebang taking up her entire china closet…but she could not do it, even though she never used it and hated the pattern..one day her poor kids will have to struggle with the same set. I’d get rid of it just so they didn’t have to deal with the emotional burden.. this blanket is the only thing I ever got from my grandmother, so it truly is the one link..and for some reason, I like that crazy thing..it reminds me of simpler times.. bell bottom pants, station wagons with wood on the side, Charlie’s Angels, Tang and crocheted blankets…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. LA says:

        I’m trying not to leave my daughter with a bunch of possessions but with a few good memories. My mother doesn’t get it

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Cindy says:

        You and me both..my mom though, she gets it.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. LA says:

        My mom doesn’t….neither does my sister so I’m giving my sister everything

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ann Coleman says:

    I am also a minimalist and believe in getting rid of anything I don’t absolutely need. And yet I own three crocheted quilts that I never use, but keep: one made for me by my grandmother, one made for my daughter by my Aunt Mickey, and one made for my husband and I by that same aunt when we got married. And I’m glad I’ve kept them……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy says:

      It was a strange moment the other day, I was so sure I had gotten rid of this blanket. When I found it, I was actually incredibly relieved.. not because I plan on using it, I was just relieved that I wasn’t a completely “feelingless” house organizer.

      Liked by 1 person

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