End of year purges

THAT was a rough weekend. My next weekend is going to be worse! Last night up until nearly midnight with that pre-NYE house cleaning business that is resulting in a purge of amazing proportions! The result is magnificent, but not without its costs in perspiration, and really, a wrenching of the soul.

Deciding whether my 45-year-old purse from First Holy Communion is an artifact worthy of retention. Or perhaps I should just harvest the holy cards? It’s getting easier to part with early artwork from the girls. But the goal is not to purge the past, but to find those nuggets worthy of preservation, and lock them in a time capsule the daughters can enjoy sorting through years in the future. 

My mother, who owns a house with a white kitchen and nothing on the counters, used to send me a package every couple of years with the letters and clippings that I had sent her. By the third time that happened I figured she was chronically unsentimental. Think about it. When a grandparent or old aunt passes, part of the goodbye is the gleaning of old artifacts saved, each with their stories, good and bad memories. At my mom’s house I won’t even find an expired coupon.

I live thousands of miles away. Love her, though. Of this purging experience, she’d ask why I had all this stuff in the first place. She’d say, “who cares?”

Found an old guitar pick yesterday. Saved it.

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. I can totally relate …. for the first 8 years of my son’s life, I saved anything he had ever touched with a pen, pencil, crayon, marker, or paintbrush. On the other hand, my mother does not own a single scribbling from any of her 7 kids.

  2. You know, Paula, there is a lot to be said for sentimentality. My Mom saved everything including every paystub she received for 40 years. I used to save stuff until my mother died and realized that nobody would want it after I pass on so I threw it all away. On the other hand, the art work of my niece is all scanned and saved so that it will never be lost. It is a quandry for sure. Good luck.

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