The Garage Sale Angst

Garage Sale Art
Santa Fe, NM

I was just thinking about all the things that I want to remember! Isn’t that funny? Being a great believer in libraries, video records and the Internet, it never occurred to me that there would be information that I could never lay my hands on again.

For the last two days my daughter, my husband and I have been working at our garage sale. My husband and I are selling our condo to move to the desert for a few years. My daughter just finished with a bathroom remodel and carpet replacement in her bedrooms. So we all had a lot to dispose of. Books have been donated to the library, keepsakes sorted, discarded and sold and all the “junk” we seem to gather and save is going away. We had yearbooks, death books and greeting cards from a gazillion years ago. While I wasn’t looking, my “junk” morphed into antiques, got sold and now we can have a Pottery Barn house.

The movies I remember lines from but can’t remember are gone…forever. The books I wanted to reread are out of copy. And the high school year books I would go back to for faces or names have finally been sent to the dump. I am feeling free but there is also that sense that I might not remember and then what will I do?

There was that movie about the sisters that had the mother that did away with herself. You know the one. Frank Sinatra’s ex-wife, the one that lived with Woody Allen for years, starred in it. The sisters could not forgive the mother and lived a life filled with out-of-tune music and stumbling steps. It wasn’t until the youngest (or was it the oldest sister) tried to hang herself from the upstairs chandelier and failed that they could finally come to grips with the loss. As the sister came stumbling down the stairs with the rope and the chandelier dragging behind her, they realized their mother was not evil. She was, in fact, just having a really bad day. What was that movie? And is that how it really went or just how I thought it should have been told?

I loved the book “East of Eden” and have read it twice. I always remembered the first page describing the lush green hills of California in the spring. Is that actually what Steinbeck wrote? The analogies of good and evil rested not so much in the sons, I thought, but in the mother and father. I remember being surprised that the good son turned out to be the one I saw as bad. It that right? I am reassured that Steinbeck is in EVERY library and most book stores because I don’t think I remember it right. It is important to me!

I find it strange that when I think about my classmates I cannot remember how big they were. Were the boys bigger than me. I don’t remember anyone being remarkably tall but now I will not ever know or at least I don’t think so. If I do remember the face or stature but not the name, the yearbook is gone…forever. It is time to move on.

I loved a show called “December Bride” when we first owned a TV and I was about 14. I can’t remember the plots and I will certainly never take the time to find copies even if they do exist but if I could I would feel like a child again. I just don’t really remember how that felt.

Books…Freckles, Ann of Green Gables, The Egyptian, and what was the one about Napoleons lover? Gone! Some I could find if I looked. Others are not to be found unless we search far and wide. I always thought it would be an easy thing to recover all the lost information. I might add this is not my first garage say. I am not the world repository for trivia and I am finding that people change, information is truly lost because of lack of interest. That is what those book sales at libraries are all about. Does there exist a library for all that is written? I hate the idea that words put together in a special way will not be read again and I will forget.

On the day after a yard sale I always go through this angst. My mother toted pickup truck loads to the dump but always kept just the right thing. I am grateful to her for that. The trouble is I don’t know if I inherited that gene…did I give the right things away, sell the wrong stuff, donate the important books and keep the worthless ones? I will be better tomorrow. I will remember more for having less. It will be good for me I keep telling myself.

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