At Sunday night supper, a friend and I had a friendly but heated discussion. I was explaining to Sue, my good friend, that I had two marble-topped pieces of furniture that matched my bed but probably wouldn’t fit in the cottage. Her instant reply was, “Get rid of them.” I said no, they were family pieces, very old, with both sentiment and value attached to them.
“So are you going to pay storage fees on them for forty years?”
“Probably,” Jordan said. They have rented two storage units for the leftovers from their house already.
Sue was completely exasperated.
The world, I’ve discovered during this move and downsizing, is made up of sentimentalists and hard-hearted realists. I am obviously a sentimentalist. I have many antiques--not Louis 14th spindly things but good solid pieces from late 19th and early 20th century America. My mother’s secretary—when my brother and I look at it, we see Mom sitting there paying bills.
Jordan and Christian are keeping the sideboard that I remember from my Canadian grandmother’s house—built in 1846—and my dining table, which is not a family piece but beautiful nonetheless.
My point is that so many of these pieces hold memories that I could not just get rid of them. This weekend I will offer a couple of things again to my children, and I’ve discussed the marble-topped with my brother. If some of those pieces go to storage, maybe on down the line some grandchildren will want them. My niece was delighted to get a set of her grandmother’s china and said, ‘I’m just grateful to have anything of hers.” So maybe we’re a family of sentimentalists. I like to think that.