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.