Pride and Joy

What’s your most prized possession? GO!

Once upon a time, I had many prized possessions. I don’t know if you could call them my pride and joy because I reserve that designation for family members, not “stuff.” But I had things that were beautiful and which I treasured.

I moved a lot. Two trans-oceanic moves eliminated a lot of “treasures.” You just can’t tote everything with you in containers and one of the things you discover is it’s remarkable how many things you think you can’t live without are in fact disposable.

Later, when Garry and I discovered we were actually poor, something we never imagined or planned for, I started selling a lot of our most prized possessions, especially things like fine dinnerware, silver services and jewelry. Amazingly, we discovered not only did we not miss it, but we had freed up valuable cupboard and closet space and guests — on the rare occasions when we were feeding the masses — were perfectly happy to eat off whatever dishes we put on the table and use whichever utensils were provided. They didn’t come for the table settings (as it turned out). They came for the company and incidentally, a well-cooked meal.

So now, we have things we love. For me, it’s mostly antique Asian porcelain and other art. Together we have collected quite a few original paintings and photographs from galleries we used to frequent. I have a doll collection. Garry has a great collection of books about film and baseball, his great passions.

Mostly, we treasure each other. Our good times. Memories. Dogs, family, friends. Great coffee in the morning, good movies at night. You can’t sell that stuff … nor can you buy it.

I can barely remember the things that were once so important. Turns out, they weren’t important at all.

Categories: Gallery, Humor, Personal

Tags: , , , , , , ,

33 replies

  1. One year I was looking for work on Vancouver Island, I moved 8 times that year.. All my worldly possessions were in my little 92′ Colt. Records and books are among the first casualties – they’re heavy for one thing. I never got rid of my computer though.


    • I lost a lot of books, several sets of dishes, pieces of the dining room table. Most things got replaced, but some stuff was “memory stuff” and couldn’t be. Turns out we could live without it pretty well. Moving a lot is one way to discover how little your really need 🙂


  2. I feel the same way about “things”, i.e. my most prized thing in this world is my family and not “things”. But there are some “things” I wish I didn’t have to live without. A couple of years ago my parents house was broken into (while they were in it and awake! Bold burglars!) they stole my mothers rings which included my grandmothers eternity ring and my great grandmothers engagement ring. I swear my Mum aged years in just a couple of days, those were the only tokens we had of these amazing women without whom we wouldn’t be here. It has taken a lot of time to move on from the loss and still every now and then she talks about the rings. They were both one of a kind and very old. Every time we go past a pawn shop we still have to look in to see if they are in there. Very sad. But I think the reason it is is because of who they represent and what they represent rather than the things themselves.


  3. You found the real treasure and that’s what’s beautiful and valuable. it is funny that when you have to let go of those things that meant so much to you that you realize they weren’t that important in the end.


  4. I still am attach to a lot of my stuff. A pair of bracelets that belonged to my great-grandmother. There is dint in one of the bracelets that my mother put into it when she was a baby. Also pictures of my relatives. The bracelets are there on my great-grandmother’s arm and in an other picture they can be seen on my grandmother’s arm.


  5. I would love to get rid of all my stuff.
    But I do have a few talismans I carry that anchor me in the world.


    • I didn’t get rid of everything. Just enough to de-clutter a bit. Hell, I’ve got more than 200 old dolls and god knows how many books, cds, dvds and whatnots. But I know they are just things I love, not things I need to be myself.


  6. Perfect! A great attitude towards possessions, Marilyn. The things we keep have more to do with love than material possessions in the hoarding sense. They often are links to loved ones now gone, happy times and sad times now but a memory (it is for this reason that I keep all the journals I have written since 1972) and gifts of love from those we hold closest to our hearts. It looks to me as if you two have got it right.


    • It was really a practical thing. We were so overstuffed , we had to lighten up. We still are really overstuffed, but not quite as fully packed as we were. If we got rid of 75% of our current stuff, we’d STILL have more than we would ever need. We are all pack-rats at heart 🙂


    • We are far from denuded of our stuff, though almost all my oldest possessions disappeared on one or another transplantation … but it’s amazing how quickly the spaces fill back in!!


  7. Great thoughts on the true meaning of “things”.


  8. the dolls reminded me of my grandmothers collection, she has an extensive one, of beautifully crafted porcelain dolls in many different sizes and expressions. Once we settle down – if that will ever happen – I plan to collect tea and coffee cups and sets. – have a great day!


    • I collected tea pots for years … until the teapots threatened to take over and shove the living residents into the streets. Rehomed and I have a firm “NO TEAPOTS” rule in force. I’m afraid they may try to sneak back in 🙂

      Dolls, well … I do have them. My little people collections.


  9. I am about to (I was going to say “get rid of,” but that seems to harsh) thin out some of my books which cover many shelves and surfaces in my house. I am trying to choose three or four a day to move on to better places: friends, libraries, etc. We are using the term “downsizing” a bit more now. After cleaning out both my sister’s and brother’s houses when they became ill, I realize I have to adjust my collecting habits now. I am not ready to let go of my Asian artifacts, but I am ready to do something with my mother’s china and my brother’s collectibles that have somehow landed in my garage. None of the younger ones in the family want any of it. I enjoyed your post. Thanks.


    • We gave away (rehomed?) hundreds of books and we still have too many. A few things happened at the same time. The local library had no more room and refused to take any more books and all our friends were trying to give us THEIR books. And a lot of the books we had left held so many happy memories, we just lost our enthusiasm for getting rid of them. So we still have too many books, but not as many too many as we used to.


  10. Very Nice post , i enjoyed every bit of it . May Allah bless you , ameen



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