It’s time to reduce my ‘stuff’

My mother moved from her home and has told her children to deal with her belongings.
I don’t think we realized how much stuff my father and she had accumulated in their lifetime. For instance, we discovered she had kept every report card for every year the three of us were in school.
My mother also had our earliest artwork from kindergarten. Every ornament that her children and grandchildren had given her on birthdays and Christmas was placed in a special spot.
Mom and Dad also were collectors of China figurines from all over the world. Dad loved decorator plates and displayed those on special plate racks in the dining room and kitchen.
The more we looked, the more we found.
Still, the house always was clean and neat, and nothing ever seemed out of place.
There is phrase that says the more cupboard space you have, the more you will put away and forget about. I hadn’t thought about how much stuff one collects in a lifetime until cleaning out my mother’s home.
When the Times moved from the building on Church Street (where Canada Customs is located today), I acquired a huge cast steel door that was ground flat and used in making lead plates on letter presses.
My intent was to turn it into a heavy-duty workbench that would withstand pounding, hammering, and all kinds of abuse. Alas, it still rests against a wall in my garage; the workbench has never been built.
I went off to university in the late 1960s and packed all of my worldly belongings into a metal chest and shipped it off to my residence. Today it occupies a safe spot in my garage on a shelf over the parked car.
The chest is empty. The keys have been lost.
On the shelf is a baby’s crib just in case we become grandparents, a baby sleigh that we would pull our first-born in on walks in the winter, and our second-born’s golf clubs.
The more I look at my workshop, the more I shudder to think of all the bits and pieces that I’ve collected in my lifetime of woodworking. There are four different saws. There is a lathe. There are any number of hand drills and sanders.
There are materials that have been cut and shaped to make rocking horses. There are red oak slats to be used to make more Mission-style furniture.
Most of it is neatly put away.
There are a stack of plans to make everything from Mission-style futon beds and couches to clocks and trestle tables to cabinets. Dried oak and ash boards are carefully stored and kept dry to be turned into furniture.
Now I look at my shop and garage, and think it’s probably time to begin reducing my inventory of stuff.
It will be difficult but it will be necessary.

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