Like most folks, Shelly and I are good at collecting stuff. The more stuff you have, the better...right? This experience up here, clearing away tons of stuff, has us thinking very differently.
For those that aren't familiar with the backstory, this place we now call Shangri La originally belonged to a close friend of Shelly's dad. Shelly's dad bought it from his buddy Dale about a dozen years ago, and it was agreed that Dale would continue to live here until the day he died. That day came about six years ago. Old Dale was a good man but he was something of a hoarder, and he left quite the pile of stuff when he died. The house, basement, and two outbuildings were pretty much full. After his family went through and took most anything of value the house and buildings were still full of stuff.
About two years later we took possession of the house from Shelly's folks, and Shelly and I began tackling the task of clearing and cleaning what would later become our home. There were just too many ghosts up here for Shelly's dad to take on the job, and we sure can't fault him for that. We tackled the house right off, and we now also have the two buildings and most of the piles on the property cleared. We're a large dumpster away from having the remnants of a collapsed shed and all of its contents cleared away, and that'll finally put an end to it.
From this experience we've learned this. Stuff has no value, no importance whatsoever, if you don't use it or enjoy looking at it. It's mostly a cut and dry thing when something is kept solely for it's usefulness, but emotions muddy the water when items have sentimental value. We certainly understand wanting to keep something that has sentimental value, especially an item which may have belonged to a treasured loved one. That being said, what we believe after all of this is that locking a treasured item away and never enjoying it, or experiencing the memories it should invoke, does that item no justice at all. We honor a sentimental item by enjoying it, and by relishing in the memories it invokes.
Old Dale has taught us to be highly proficient at sorting through and keeping only the stuff that has value through enjoyment and/or usefulness. We'd be more thankful for the lesson if we didn't know he was looking down and having a good laugh at our expense. See, we've been told stories of how he used to joke about Shelly's dad having to clean up this mess after he was gone. He was one generation off, but we figure he's still having a chuckle or two. ;)
Until next time! :)