Connections: By Stuff Possessed

We often say our house is full of too many things, that we are going to get at sorting and deciding what to do with them some day soon, but that day never seems to arrive.

Our household possessions are an unsorted mix of common, everyday objects and fancy ones, which may be antique, and many of them were handed down. How many sets of dishes do we really need, however, or, for that matter, how many books and CDs, which younger family members, schooled in cyberspace, may well think have gone out of style? Many fewer than we have around.

We have two built-in kitchen cabinets that are marvelous because they are big and hold a lot, but how often do we use champagne flutes and martini glasses? We were lucky to have inherited them, along with other niceties, but is it necessary for us to keep them long enough to also hand down?

And then there’s the pantry, where we boast an old-fashioned popcorn popper, metal molds and pudding pots, a cocktail shaker, a meat-grinder, toasters — all antediluvian — and a group of old local milk bottles, which I once went about collecting.

In addition, when Chris and I were married 20 years ago, he came equipped with treasures from his family, which we promptly stored away. I’m not sure now if either of us knows exactly what is where.

It may just be that I have started obsessing about our household goods because we are getting older. I can’t help being reminded of how my parents went about de-accessing when they decided to move to Florida. They gave me what I still think were all the wrong things, handing down a heavy glass bowl that had once been a receptacle for an electric mixer and more than one hand-held can opener. But, guess what? We hold on to them.

At holiday time each year, when all of a sudden we are the happy hosts to extended family, it feels good to take out and use many of our special things. Maybe next year I’ll ask everyone to take a look at all the stuff and put in requests for the future. If it goes well, it could be more fun than charades.