I'm participating in an Heirloom Party at Emma Calls Me Mama. My house is full of family treasures including a family Bible from the 1800's, dishes, furniture, and old family photos. I am blessed. Today I'm taking a different approach and writing about letting go when the time comes...
I recently had a yard sale, and now I’m looking around the house for other things to get rid of. The breathing room is lovely. After all, who needs fancy stuff when you can have a regulation sized air hockey table in the basement?
I am finally ready to part with a broken down, yet lovely Victorian settee and armchair that belonged to my grandparents.
I used the chair for about 10 years, but left the settee in storage because it needed major repairs and because I had no space for it. Check out the back. That's the bottom falling out, too, and it looks like it just popped out a plastic Easter egg.
You may find it interesting that I love to spray paint and fix up random stuff I find by the side of the road, yet I am willing to part with things my dear grandparents owned without fixing them.
I think it’s because although I like stuff—the finding, the fixing, learning the provenance something-- I don’t hold anything too close.
My grandparents and my mother were the same way. The hunt was fun, as was finding the perfect spot, but there was also some freedom found in the giving away.
For me, these two pieces don't remind me of my grandparents at all, and I think that will make it easier to let go.
Not holding stuff too closely helped my mom, who had the decorating bug, stay up late painting our 1830’s farmhouse the colors of the day, not being hemmed in by what would be historically accurate. She felt free to spray paint or decoupage without fretting about resale value or what others would think. She mixed high and low, and although she refused to let me drag stuff in from the curb (maybe that’s why I love it so much now!), her decorating style suited mine quite well...except for putting contact paper on the fridge, but that's the the topic for another post.
As for the chair and settee, and a few other things I’m hoping to find new homes for, it is time to let go. I have other pieces from my grandparents that fit in better with my house and my lifestyle.
...Such as this chair that was the springboard for my bedroom’s color palette. Do you like my shoe in the corner of the pic? Classy.
Or this china cabinet that used to hold pots and pans in my grandparents’ kitchen and is now in my dining room.
I think it’s a matter of owning things, but not letting things own us. When having something around elicits feelings of pressure or stress, it may be time to let go.
In the case of this settee and chair, I feel guilty about the space they take up and the fact that I am not willing to put the money in to fixing them and using them, when they could be something spectacular. Can't you just picture how cute they would be with a little bit of spray paint? But I digress... I hope I can find someone who will transform them and enjoy them, making them part of their own family's memories.
Meanwhile, I will hold onto the great memories of my childhood, with all four of my wonderful grandparents, memories triggered by sights and smells and photos and precious heirlooms which I intend to hold close.
p.s. I also think "down-sizing" will make my husband happy. He came into this marriage with exactly one possession-- a New England Patriots' trashcan.