A wise man more likely, a wise woman once said that we spend three-quarters of our lives collecting mounds of “stuff” and the last quarter trying to get rid of it all. How true. When David Suzuki was in Prince George he gave a wonderful talk about the toys, trinkets and treasures that we all live and work for in our quest to keep up with the Joneses.
Stuff that in our land of plenty has become excess. Cumbersome clutter that ends up piled in our landfills (after attempts at recycling) and taking up valuable space in our universe. Well, David, I took your talk to heart and last weekend did my part to conserve the planet. Moving out of my apartment, I did not simply discard old junk into the garbage bin. Not me. To help save the environment, I paid professional movers good money so my precious possessions things I’ve had kicking around since high school (a few decades past) could come with me.
First though, as a former garage sale, thrift store and junk store junkie, let me tell you the most turfed items by baby boomers: Red Chinese woks, electric bread makers, closet door shoe organizers, cook books, encyclopedia sets, wicker baskets, green Tupperware Jello molds, brass knick-knacks, lettuce lifters, lava lamps (quick, get them out of the garbage, they’re in again), old record albums, canister sets, beaded room dividers, board games, old TV stands and photo albums.
Going, going, gone 60s and 70s dynasties to dust. Cherished teddies to charity. Stuffies off to the flea market. All gone. Not a tear shed by me. Less stuff to move. On Friday, the boys from Graham’s Moving and Storage arrived at my apartment and surveyed the fruits of my labour. Mixed reviews. One liked the inherited antiques from England, the other fellow winced at the sight of solid oak until I pointed out the big armoires look heavy but easily come apart.
(The Victorians were not dumb. Back then they knew how to look grand but move quickly.) Graham’s is such a classy company. They actually rolled out the red carpet for me five red carpets to be exact before I clued in that the carpets were to protect the floors. The men loaded the first of 20 U-Haul boxes on a dolly and disappeared down three flights of stairs.
And bless their hearts, they came back.
That’s more than I can say for my Knights of the Round Table who, after I made a tactical error and pulled out the beer on a hot summer day (before the job was done), have not been back since.
After the move, I was sitting on the floor of my empty apartment wondering how on earth I had managed to collect so much stuff over the years. Thank goodness for nosy and nice neighbours to console you at such times. Mine peeked through the doorway (the door was propped open by a wedge.) He glanced at open boxes marked “Thrift Store” and said, “Just as well. You know what they say you can’t take it with you.” He picked up some boxes. “Here, I’ll help you. Do you mind if I look through first, just in case there’s anything I can use?” Be my guest, I said, feeling as old as my antiques. “You can take it with you.” I don’t think he caught my little joke. He was too busy eyeing up his new treasures as he crossed the hall to his apartment.. So you see, Mr. Suzuki, we all do our little part here in Mr. Rogers’ neighbourhood.