the thing about things

2014-03-04 17.12.49 I have been thinking about things a lot lately. How many of them I have, how many i need,

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how many I want, which ones, what quality, what style. Things I used to have, things i haven’t yet purchased. I have spent a lot of time online looking at other people’s things, reading forums by people encouraging each other to get rid of their things, watching tv shows about people with way way way way too many things. In the end I do like things, and no matter what i try i can’t stop liking things, I will never take the veil or be a one bag traveler – especially since some of my things have heartbeats. So i have been working on curbing my desires not elimating it.

Don’t get me wrong, i have done a lot of work over the last 5 years…i probably could move myself out of my apartment using just the pickup truck and a dozen trips, fewer if we use a box rental and are able to stack the boxes. My biggest fears are when someone hands me a check for 6 figures and i buy a house which is essentially a big empty box with empty rooms in it. I just can’t be trusted with money….and having the ability to BUY more stuff, combined with a better rationalization than I could have ever come up with on my own…i just can’t acquire all the stuff I think i may want – even if those things are free. I’m good with free, i can always find more stuff for free.

I had to make a few more of my rules to deal with the problem, not just the one about not buying stuff for a house I don’t have. Some of them will revolve around the house I pick out. If its the Saco house i’m going to try to use the simplicity of a Welsh cottage as an inspiration – combined with a little beach house style and Yankee puritanism….all revolve around basic essentials with the decorative reserved for the cherished. Well at least thats how one of the voices has been decorating the inside of my head. The other voice has been content doing the shopping to pick and choose JUST THE RIGHT items as long as she has carte blanche and isn’t restricted to what we find on the curbs of Maine.


Another problem with stuff is the volume of it, just cause you can store something out of sight out of mind, doesn’t mean you need to own it…at least i don’t. One of my goals will not to have shit squirreled away in all the cubbies and closets. If i don’t remember I have it, it is not something I need to keep. The cupboards that I have already culled, only contain stuff I know is up there, and I want to bring with me. Which brings me to today’s victim. One of my cats explored the topmost cupboard and knocked down this 120 year old Grindley Hotelware pedestal cakeplate…. i have had it for 30 years, it was one of the first antiques I ever bought. I have used it for cakes and as a fruitbowl and a key bowl and a dozen other things. I put it up there for safety. In my present state I know i can’t afford to replace it – I may never find another like it. But it WAS one of the few things that was making the trip to the new house and there were buckets of things I would have left behind in order to bring it. I am trying very hard not to beat the shit out of my furry roommate – he feels spring coming, he’s getting rambunctious, to him the world is one big cat toy.

I did some research – in an actual book – about what one would find ON a late 19th century workingmans dining table…and that took some looking… basically it would be a lot of white ironstone, broken up by some transferware, and some redware and some metalware – a rooming house would have a lot of plates and bowls but not so many serving pieces, a single family tenemant would have indulged in a lot of individual serving pieces and whatnot, trying to mimic the well off table settings – which had acres of porcelain doodads. The academic researcher said it using graphs and longer words but that was my takeaway. One of the reasons I liked that ironstone cakeplate was that it was heavy and tough, i have dropped it myself, but not from such a height – in a pinch I could have whacked a burglar with it.

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