Saturday, April 9, 2011

In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll

I never have been one to hold on to material things with a very tight hand. I have never put much value...well, very little value...on jewels or fancy possessions. I am the daughter of parents who grew up in New England in the heart of the Great Depression and from my earliest days I was taught the value of a dollar. I was also taught "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." I'm not miserly but I am very careful with money. And I was raised with hard-work ethics. So was Dear Hubby. Everything we have, we've worked for.

But I can not find my jewelry box.

It's old and careworn. It belonged to my paternal grandmother and was one of the few items I took when my Dad and I emptied out his parents' house after his father had died. She had died many years previously. I took her Bible, her desk, her chair, a sewing basket...and this old jewelry box. I remember showing the box to my daughter as we were packing up for our move to Michigan. There wasn't anything in there worth much, outside of mine and Dear Hubby's wedding rings. And honestly, outside of sentimental value, they aren't worth anything that I know of either. We paid $125 for mine and around $100 for his back in 1974. But there was also a beautiful old diamond ring that belonged to my great-grandmother and I inherited it. And that is the one item I'm concerned about. Because that is something that means a lot to me.

I'm sure as I start going thru several boxes I have stored in cupboards that still need to be unpacked I'll come across it. I remember putting it in a box, and my daughter remembers me putting it in one, too. I just can't remember which one. Towards the end of the flurry of packing and the insane pace we were functioning at, closing up our home of 28 years in Portland and setting off for Michigan, I got to the point where I was letting go of more and more. Every item I came across seemed a little less valuable to me, a little less-needed. I just wanted the packing over. I think we ended up donating around 40 bags worth of stuff to the Goodwill, not counting truckloads of things that wouldn't fit in bags, and we gave lots of stuff away. We pared down and purged, and then purged and pared down some more.

I learned something valuable while we lived in hotel suites for 3 weeks before finally getting our house. I learned it's not things that mean so much in the scheme of things. You can survive without much. We'd thought we'd be moving in as soon as we arrived here so all I had packed were clothes for the week we'd spent at a hotel suite in Portland. I managed to clothe myself decently for two more weeks, thanks to laundry facilities in the hotel here in Livonia once we'd gotten here. What we had of value was our family...our children, our grandchildren. We had each other for support and solace and encouragement. We had our rough moments of just being so tired of the situation we were in, but it just made finally getting into our homes all that much sweeter. And it's funny. Even as I've UN-packed, I'm still taking more stuff to the Salvation Army here. I'm tired of stuff.

But I will be happy when I find that jewelry box.


2 Moms of a Feather...Stick Together said...

Praying that you find that jewelery box sooner than later.
I have lived in my house for almost 18 years...I have said that if we ever move we will be getting rid of alot. My husband likes to keep things "on hand"...just encase. I would rather get rid of things...especially bigger items, and if we have more than one & don't need another.
Happy getting settled in.
Take care,
Nancy aka Mommy 2

Anita said...

I hope you find the jewelry box. I am with you, stuff clutters up all our homes to some extent.

LC said...

Hope you find it soon. It is so good to hear you are unpacking, settling in and simplifying. Once again, hats off to you and your attitude in the midst of challenge.

Betty said...

I bet you will! I hope you find it. I hate to search for something. It drives me crazy!

Rob-bear said...

You're pretty much unpacked; we're just packing to move. So sorry you lost something of value — as in a family possession. I do hope you find it!

Pam said...

I hope you find your jewelery box soon. Things with sentimental value are the most valuable of all. Good luck!

Blu-I'd-Blonde said...

I had just graduated from high school when I moved with my parents to a small town. On the way I looked back and saw small books, etc. flying out of one of the boxes on the truck (we didn't use moving vans in the 1960's).

hat is what must have happened to a journal my great-great grandfather had printed of his move to America. I've never found it and no one else in my close or extended family knows anything about it.

I read it when I was pretty young and was so impressed with it. Maybe that's why I hang on to too many books!

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

I've been catching up here. Finally, I have found a spot to comment, but each post backwards was better than the last...I loved them all. I just came home to my house on dry land after 4 months on a 47 foot boat. One suitcase of clothes lasted all that time, I cut mine and my husband's hair, we made do with what was at hand. You are so right, it's not what we have in material format that counts, it's who we are and who we love that matters. Love your transition blog posts. Great to see you are still alive and well, living a good life of promise and potential in a new place.

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