Sunday, June 03, 2007


We've finally begun going through my mother's things. Going through the house, I've discovered why I am such a pack rat. It's genetic. She saved everything; well not quite everything, but enough stuff to make it feel like everything. I've heard of people whose houses were impossible to walk through because all of the floor space was taken up by stuff. It wasn't nearly that bad. There were a lot of old report cards, vases, wrapping paper, clothes, books, and . . . stuff. Since it wasn't my stuff, I felt comfortable throwing a lot of it away; even some of my old MAD Magazines that I somehow missed when I cleared the last of my junk from their house years ago. The clothes will be donated. Jewelry was divided up. I'm going to take the books from the basement to a used book store. We are still debating about what to do with her collection of children's books, which is upstairs. I'm told there are around 1500 volumes. Some of them are signed by the author. I've already swiped the ones I wanted. We could donate the rest to a school, but the thought of these beautiful books being torn apart over the years by careless readers offends the collector in me. So they will sit on the shelves for a while longer.

Someday my children are going to have to go through this. I'm hoping it's easier for them. The only things I horde are books and music. All of the books and music are in one room . . . except for the comic books. They're upstairs in the closet, packed away in boxes and plastic bags. They are another story. Some day I will have to make a list of the items that have value, just so the kids know. Most of it won't mean anything to them though. I think. My daughter might want the Billie Holiday CDs. The music of mine that my son likes is mostly on vinyl, and he won't touch my vinyl. They might want some of the books; the Cynical Man and Sandman comics will be taken by my daughter. They'll split the Calvin and Hobbes. They can sell the rest.

This is morbid, isn't it. I didn't mean it to be, I was just thinking in this direction.

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At 11:15 AM, Blogger jennifer said...

Harry, I am sad that you have to do this, but such is life. I have learned a valuable lesson from you today, leave a list of exactly what I prize.

I too am a book nut. I really only collect books, but boy do I have alot.

Instead of donating the children's books to schools, donate them to children's hospitals, at least there the book may be a light in such a sad, painful time.

Or keep the books to give to your grandchildren. It would be a way for you to share your mother with your grandchildren, thus continuing to link the generations!

Well I am thankful for the lesson I learned, and I hope you have a safe week.

At 5:27 PM, Blogger Harry said...

Children's hospital or grandchildren, I like both of those ideas. Thanks.

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Jungle Mom said...

I love books too. My whole family, it is our vice! We lost most of ours to our "unplanned" move out of the jungle.
I remember doing this when my mother in law died and I know what you mean.I went straight home and started cleaning out "stuff" because I did not want my kids to have to mess with it!! Of course that did not las too long.


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