Friday, September 9, 2011

Possessions Do They Own US

Our family had a wonderful trip to Russia over the summer. While we were enjoying the Scandinavian Cruise, our home was being flooded by a broken pipe in the upstairs bathroom. My neighbor noticed a river of water coming down our stairs. She called for help and luckily Servpro came to to the rescue. We came back from Europe to almost everything emptied from our home; carpet ripped out, stone floors glaring. The first thing I looked for were our photo albums I had made for the boys since they were toddlers. Scrap-booking was a way to journal all of their momentous events in their life; their first haircut, their first day at preschool, their first birthday party, their first trophy for doing something amazing and their first date to the prom. Luckily alot of them were saved because people took them out of the water to our garage.

When many of your possessions are ruined you think how important were they in the first place? I had a memory of my mom and I picking our living room sofas at the going out of business Gaberts sale. It was a ritual for us to visit their gallery of designer displays, dreaming of possible purchases of House Beautiful look a likes. While the boys were off to a Chisolm Trail Boyscout Camp we worked up the courage to buy the most beautiful brocade couches to match my country french theme. They looked like the cover of Betty Lou Phillips French Impressions. We quickly went to Cutting Corners to find the perfect fabric to match. My mom sewed matching pillows with love. Every time I looked at our living room it reminded me of our time together, so happy we picked out the most wonderful furniture. There's a water stain on the couches now. Do I replace them or keep the water stain for a memory that not everything is perfect in the world but life keeps going and what really is important are relationships.

It's a time to reflect as we are living outside of our home while its being repaired. My husband and I are picking hardware and light fixtures. I'm glad he is having an opinion and wants to be involved. It's a time to purge and get rid of possessions that weigh us down. I am a collector of books but it felt good to get rid of the ones I hadn't read in a while. I love books probably because my dad was an attorney and I remember him reading his law books at night. We had two closets full of law journals he referred to while trying a case. Books are documents that protect truth and preserve the history of right and wrong. So the love of books comes from my relationship with my dad and how I admired the way he sought for truth and justice while working for the National Labor Relations Board.

Is it possessions that are important or is it the way they make you feel because of relationships in the past, present and future? Artifacts are a way to show a societies culture and way of living. We toured Pompeii, a glimpse of daily life in a Roman Village almost two thousand years ago. An artist took cast moldings of the Romans to get a visual of daily life so similar to ours. The image that stood out the most was a mother hovering over her child to protect them from the smoke ask because of the erupting volcano. She wasn't trying to save her colorful mosaic tile,she was trying to save her child. In the end the relationships of family are what mattered.

I am letting go of possessions that were lost and grateful for having our family together. I am hoping we will be in our home for Christmas and enjoy the new tile, new paint, and new furniture. Our antiques will be saved because they were not made of particle board, but of natural Mahogany and Walnut. What is particle board in your life? What is really lasting?

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