Photos from Rosedale, from our trip last week to say so long to the family there. Things are always changing. We are always changing. Here is my acknowledgement of that.

But I wonder, who will watch over them when we go?





Passing by a Melitta factory

On the way up and down from New Jersey to visit the family, dead and alive, in Baltimore, we pass many more points of memory. I do drag ISHI by my old house where I grew up (or started the process, at least). That was self-limiting and affirming at the same time. These are my simple roots; that’s who I am, and that’s just fine.

But the reality is that even as I have come from a background of simplicity, I know that my tastes have become more rarefied with time. This was reinforced as we passed by that Melitta coffee factory. I clearly remember feeling grown-up, for a placeholder word, when we started using Melitta coffee instead of whatever the cheaper brand was. When we got married, we started using a glass percolator, which I thought must be better than the stainless version that my in-laws used. And then, we moved to a drip coffee maker, probably Mr. Coffee. And then the search for perfection continued to move on a slow pace, or that’s my recollection now. And so, at some point, what would have been perfectly acceptable for us once was no longer. More so, it would have been something to turn our noses from, or is it from which we would turn our noses?

And as with coffee was wine. And other things. What would have sufficed before was not any longer good enough. In terms of how I pretend to want to simplify my life, this is an significant reality lesson. Champagne tastes, beer budget? And what are the lessons we’ve given to our kids?

Here’s the lesson my mother taught me back in the 60’s. At the time, there were a few popular clothing styles for kids like me, preppy, pre-Ralph Lauren. This was Villager, John Meyer, along with Pappagallo shoes. I’m not imagining the RL link. Max Raab, the designer, created this on purpose, according to this New Yorker article:

“I know women better than they know themselves ” Raab said in a New York Times interview. “The Waspy girls all want that country look, and the Jewish girls want to look like the Wasps. I knew I had a winner.”

There were little boutiques where you could buy them. One strong memory I have was going with my mother to one of these in Baltimore, with the clear instructions that we would look for things on sale only; it would not be worthwhile to pay full price, and those items on sale would be good enough for now. Did I give you this value, kids? I’m afraid I forgot to apply that lesson. Or at least if some of you did get it, some are already accustomed to the champagne. Is good taste wasted on the young?

Here’s another memory. When we first were married, there certainly were no online registries. If there were store registries at all, we did not participate. So most of our wedding gifts were checks, and then our mothers helping us figure out what it meant to have a household. My MIL did enjoy her champagne taste, for sure, and she probably did her best at imposing that on us. So, we had sterling silver for 12, but had no glasses. We drank out of our earthenware coffee cups.

What were we drinking? That I don’t remember. What were we aiming to drink? Well, at least To Life!



What was left behind

(The printer we were borrowing for the week while we disconnected ours was not)
Passover measuring cup and plastic storage lids
Plastic storage boxes
Wine gift bags
One leather glove
So much dust
So much dirt
Plastic bags (a theme of sorts about the nature of our world)
Coins from so many countries, many without useful value
So many Legos

Bad feelings
The reality of lost memories and no way to retrieve them

Empty space

Out of sight, out of my mind

The shedding process continues. Finding much to dump; much to my amazement of what probably we never needed. Also finding some treasures in the midst of the mess, but that is more infuriating, because it means I or someone like me, but probably I, will have to go through all the boxes in order to lessen the guilt for missing anything else.

But what is the value of time?

Or of 36 years of stuff?

Or more than that, since we also have things from our childhoods. I let go of my stuffed animal from when I was a child. I have no recollection of ever “playing with it”; it was basically a lovey that was unlovable by anyone except me. It was really sad-looking for as long as I remember, but since I would never let it be seen by anyone (really; it was pretty scary), I unceremoniously dumped it in the trash.

Apparently, it was a she; for she wore a dress. Things were more clear in those days. It was identified as a dog named “Sugar”.  Sugar was a Cocker Spaniel, I would venture to say. (I would also add she was an alter kaker Cocker.) I held onto the dress, giving it a wash in the gentle cycle. That I will bring with me, even if it is somewhat tattered.

There is a risk having things in brown boxes, or even blue ones, or stuck in closets. One never knows what’s inside. That being said, we do have many clear boxes of ISHI’s papers, waiting for scanning. I know what’s in them, so I know not to approach too quickly.

Isn’t transparency what we seek? I thought it was. My eyes hurt from all this stuff, not knowing what I will find, fearing I’m missing something but wishing I would rather be finished already. FOMO of life, not of the lift.

Yesterday, I had an eye doctor appointment. She asked me if it was for something specific or just to catch up. I told her that perhaps it was for something because my eyes have been hurting from lack of sleep (due to worry, more than anything); or perhaps from allergies (for sure), or maybe because I do need a change in prescription. Yup, I do! I am doing that thing of getting better eye sight now that I am getting older. Better vision of the far? Funny how I’m now reading the article “The Wisdom of the Aging Brain“…

The sorting continues…