Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pack ratting

My husband's online moniker is Packrat. A pack rat is someone who keeps everything and throws nothing. In this age of trying to have live with less and to simplify our lives, pack-ratting is non kosher. I'm the one who goes into these decluttering frenzies where things are mercilessly thrown out. Jordan remembers how I packed off one of her fairy books (That wasn't because I wanted to declutter, but because I didn't want her reading the fairy books). Evan reminisces about the kiddie bed that he had and we gave away. Muffin fears it when I brandish the bin at his toys that are carelessly strewn across the floor. They all know that when Mommy threatens to throw stuff out, she means it.

But recently, I've been thwarted. My mother's to blame. She's been clearing things out and asking if I wanted them. And that's how I fell off the wagon. The things that she was asking me if I wanted were old stuff. When my dad saw them, he scoffed at them and asked why my mom was trying to unload 'old junk' onto me.

The thing is I wanted all of 'old junk'. All of it.

To me, none of it was junk. All of it was tied to a one childhood memory or other and it's a sign of age that they mean something to me.

I ended up home with a set of fish knives and butter knives made from ivory - I am sorry, elephants who died for them!- (even though we eat fish with our fingers and I abhor the taste of butter) and 2 painted food carriers.


Because I used to use the butter knives when I was young, for everything (except butter); Spreading Nutella, peanut butter, kaya and jam on bread, slicing and skinning fruit (unsuccessfully) and cutting up loads of play dough, they are intricately linked to my childhood.

Because I grew up seeing the food carriers in my grandma's house. My grandma's house holds a very dear place in the hearts of all the cousins of my generation. We all, at some point or other lived in the house and I grew up first, visiting it and later on living in it. The food carriers, when I first saw them,  were actually used to carry food; rice at the bottom, vegetables and meats on top. As I got older, they were behind the glass doors, on display where I could look at the floral design in detail and muse at how beautiful they were. That was until my grandma passed on and we sold the place. And that's when they went to my mom. 

So to hear that they might be thrown out, despite my lack of space and despite my house already looking like a child care centre from all the toys all over the place, I had to take them.

I really didn't need to think twice.


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