Those Adirondacks are awesome. They have the most perfect slant. Good wood. Sturdy footing. And a perfect match.
They belong to Don and Marge now.
They were brown when I bought them. Picked them up pretty cheap from a woman down the road who had just moved in and had no room for them once she started redecorating. So they found their place on the front porch until a day might come they would sit on the grass or near the pool.
They hold memories of morning coffee and evening drinks. Places we sat to chat about the day and sit silently, buried in our devices like an old familiar routine. Frogs and spiders crawled about them when we weren’t looking.
And they were traded away for transport of a glass coffee table that held even more precious memories.
Now, they sit comfortably in a spot it looks like they were built to be. It makes the heart happy.
I’ve purged enough belongings over these decades to fill stadiums in multiple cities. Thrift store finds and yard sale steals that served a purpose until there was a greater need. And then there are those gently loved things. That hold our stories. We buy and sell those too and give and get something far more valuable than currency.
There were the red shelves my father owned in Indy. Painted at least four times before they went for pennies. There was the Santa Fe Armoire a husband got roped into buying. The trundle bed bought in case there was company. And three cherry king sleigh beds that came and went since my twenties. Needless to say, those were far more than pillows and sheets.
When we buy and sell our things.
We’re tendering treasures of those moments that are worth something. Something good. Something bad. Something sometimes beautiful. Sometimes ugly. Something that means nothing compared to something else entirely.
Charm bracelets, diamond rings, baby clothes that still smell of the scent of infancy. Gowns we wore, rugs that covered our floors and heirlooms we swore would never go — until they do.
Pawn shops are full of journeys.
Every stuffed animal lining shelves in a hand me down store is drenched in the tears and the pee of a child who either outgrew or out-knew the moments he clung to it vigilantly. Every scratch on a desk, every hard drive wiped clean, every perfectly woven basket collected was somebody’s.
Heirloom dressers where his shirts folded neatly. China that served Thanksgiving for extended family. Cribs that cradled cries, paintings that witnessed fights, lamps that lit the family room.
Every single second in time our things furnished our humanity.
And sometimes we sell it off suddenly. And sometimes we care and sometimes we don’t and sometimes we don’t have the choice and sometimes the choice is just easy.
So we buy and we sell and buy again. Sometimes used and sometimes new.
And sometimes gently worn in a promise all the crayon marks will stay put, knowing our 6 month old boy will soon make new stories on the kitchen table another woman’s children once spilled all their soup — before she had to sacrifice it on a cross country move.
It’s been a few years Tammy. This one’s for you:
This piece published on Medium.