Monday, December 13, 2010

Stuff It.

We have so much stuff.

Towering piles of it. Stuff on every surface. Books tumbling from shelves, cd's stacked in towers on the office floor. Junk and crap and things and stuff. And I still can't find anything I want.

I've started to go through another period of missing things that I gave away during previous moves. Right now, I desperately miss the camo military jacket I bought at in Kalamazoo at a kick-ass vintage shop that was going out of business. I got up early on a Sunday and made my friend with a car drive me from our dorm to downtown just so I could go to their closing sale. That jacket fit me like a glove, went with everything, saw me through all manner of college hijinks, kept me just the right amount of warm...and I stupidly got rid of it two or three moves ago, when we were bailing our stuff out of the apartment like water from a sinking ship. I'm really, really tired of reaching for a favorite object and remembering that I gave it away, to I-don't-remember-who or Goodwill or, a homeless man who happened by (true story). We have so much stuff, and yet I can't find anything I want when I want it, and I've had to give away things I should've kept to accommodate all this crap now towering around me. It's very frustrating.

I just spent two weeks visiting my parents, whose house is also crammed with stuff, and they seem to think it's their job to fill up my house as well. Every time they come visit, they cram their car absolutely full of stuff, and pile it all in my living room as soon as they arrive. They laugh about it, they think it's funny. Every time I go visit them, I come back with suitcases and tote bags and boxes of more stuff. My mom will actually pay the airline's $25-each-checked-bag fee for me, so she can send home extra suitcases full of crap.

This time, just to add to the chaos, we brought back a four-foot-tall dollhouse my uncle built for Piper. He is staying at my parents' house while getting cancer treatment at the University of Michigan hospitals, and he is doing well. But he tires easily and can't work a regular job at the moment, and has set up a makeshift woodworking studio on my parents' back porch. He worked as a professional carpenter for more than 30 years, so my mom has had him busy repairing the trim, building porch railings and steps, and building new windowsills for her house. He's also built my sister a huge shoe-rack and my brother a desk large enough to accommodate his computer-gaming habits. The dollhouse is gorgeous, four floors and each with its own staircase and fireplace. His specialty was finish carpentry, so there are amazing details, and Piper loves the thing. It is a wonderful gift, worthy of heirloom status.

I just wish they had consulted me on the design, and not given us a 50-pound, four-foot item to stuff into our already-bursting house, only a few months before we put it up for sale. I wouldn't have said "no, don't build it," but I would have shown my uncle something like this or this one, which we could take apart and pack up easily.

Did I mention the matching barn?


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