Sunday, July 03, 2011

kerosene lamps and stuff . . .

Who would have guessed that less than two years after moving out of our 3,000 square feet (including basement, garage, and workshop) sticks & bricks home . . .

And into our 500 square feet (including basement--yes we have a basement--and what we call the garage) fifth wheel RV . . .

That I'd still be dealing with the idea of paring down my stuff stuff . . .

This is a shot of the storage tubs Todd pulled out of the RV's basement for me this week, so I could sort through things again and see what stuff could part ways from us. I did manage to cull a full box of stuff that's headed to the rescue mission. And that's on top of the three bags of clothes and two boxes of stuff I cleared out a month ago.

It's not been the easiest of transitions for me in a lot of ways. For forty-seven years I was a collector of things. Craft things, tea-party things, cooking things, sewing things, beauty things, seasonal thing, "one of these days" things, kid things, school things, book, magazine and movie things and just "because it's pretty" things . . . and at the house on Hunter Road, I definitely had the room to store all my things! After nearly two years of living in the RV, I've got less attachment to stuff, but paring down is still difficult -- even when it's things I've not looked at or used since we moved here.

But after the devastating storms of April that left so many without power/water at best, and with nothing, at worst, I've been thinking again about what's *really* important, and what I can *really* do without.

I finished up reading The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder last night. It's the sixth in the Little House series. They experienced a dreadfully long, brutal winter -- seven months of it -- and during that time they went without a lot of luxuries and ever tougher, a lot of necessities.

One statement "Pa" made in the course of the winter really caught my attention. He said, "These times are too progressive. Everything has changed too fast. Railroads and telegraph and kerosene and coal stoves--they're good thing to have but the trouble is, folks get to depend on 'em." Really? Can you imagine living in a world were kerosene and coal stoves were what were depended on for light and warmth?

I had to laugh when I read it. We heard similar sentiments about folks becoming depended on electric power and running water during the aftermath of the storms. Shoot, we ourselves *made* those remarks. I wonder what Pa would think of our day and age?

I had to laugh again (quietly and to myself) when Brother Harold Sellars, our DOM for the Madison Baptist Association, said from the pulpit he was filling this morning, "And we've made such progress; from railroad to air to space and from kerosene to electric lights..."

I guess the message I'm getting (slowly but surely) is that from electric power to storage space to tons of clothes and *stuff* . . . the things that are truly important aren't going to fit in a drawer or closet or storage bin anyway.

Our Community Groups have been talking about The Most Important Thing. It's an interesting way for a person to share the one most important thing with other people.

Anyway, I'm rambling now. Just lots of different thoughts that appear to be heading the same direction. I'm sorting and processing. Relaying them here helps see the connections a little more clearly!


3 expressed . . .:

Asiyah said...

I always tell my kids, "you don't know what you've got, 'til you haven't got a lot". I learned that lesson the hard way after I lost everything in a fire. I think we would be amazed at how little we truly need if only we would look past our perceived needs.

Thanks for sharing! I always enjoy your blog entries.

Pat said...

Wonderful thoughts you shared here today. I can't imagine scaling down as much as you have since you left the house, but you seem to be managing quite well. I'm very impressed and inspired by that!

Katherines Corner said...

Beautiful post., true the really imprint things don't fit into boxes but always fit nicely in our hearts. Hugs