Going to a Better Place

Posted on: 6 November, 11


One man's trash is another man's treasure.  

Sharing the wealth.

Hmmm… how many more cliches can I throw in here?  In less than 15 months, Hubski lost both of his parents and two cousins.  He only has 6 cousins, so that is one third of his cousins gone in only a couple months.  Yeah, it was tough.  His mother died four days after my big knee surgery last September.  When he came to tell me about is mother, I told him I thought I had a blood clot in my leg.  As we sat in the ER, he was on the phone making funeral arrangements.  The nurses decided that was not the time to enforce the "no cell phone" rule.  The nurses and doctors were actually pretty terrific.  A blood clot tends to get you moved to the head of the ER line.  A husband who just found out his mother has died gets you directly to a room with fresh coffee and no waiting for doctors.  Fortunately, there was no clot, but the doctor feared a clot was developing.  I spent the next ten days in bed with my leg above my heart.  Hubski spent the next ten days in Michigan and Pennsylvania arranging his mother's burial.  Yeah, it was a tough time. 

At the end of December, Hubski and his siblings went back to Michigan to clean out their parents' house.  We already have a house full of furniture and more stuff than we need.  For the three weeks he was there, my phone never stopped buzzing with text messages. 

"Do you want the gold lamp?"  I didn't remember a gold lamp and did not really want another lamp… yet the gold lamp was added to our pile. 

"Do you want the blue glassware?"  I didn't remember any blue glassware and we already have too many glasses… yet the blue glassware was added to our pile.  

Two weeks later, a large moving truck backed into my driveway.  My living room and dining room soon filled up with boxes and boxes and furniture and more boxes.  We became the keepers of the things his siblings did not want.  Apparently, donating things to charity was not an option.  They wanted to keep everything "in the family."  I came home one day to discover Hubski had unpacked some boxes.  It was no longer my home.  My home was now filled with my in laws' things.  It looked like their home.  I did not say anything at first.  Over the next few weeks, I gradually removed things and made it my home again.  I finally sat Hubski down and explained that we just did not have room for two households of things.  We picked a few favorite pieces and agreed that the rest just had to find new homes. 

We knew a few college students who were setting up their first apartments.  We asked them to come over with large boxes and take whatever they wanted.  It was fun to see what they deemed treasures, what made them squeal with delight.  They felt greedy, but we insisted that they were doing us a favor by taking it out of our way.  When friends visited, we asked to look through the "collection" and take anything that captured their fancy. 

The collection slowly diminished to the point that the remaining boxes could be moved to the spare bedroom.  We all know that "spare bedroom" is code for "black hole."  It is the place where things go when we want to forget about them.  The plan was to have a garage sale in the spring.  That didn't happen.  Then it was too hot in the summer, but autumn looked promising.  The thought organizing a garage sale was too much.  I thought about calling the thrift shop to pick up everything, but all that stuff was worth a fair amount of money.

My procrastination is going to pay off for a group of dancers.  Several months ago, the dance teacher asked if I would help take a group of dancers to New York for Spring Break 2012.  Normally, I don't like to do travel field trips, but this teacher is fantastic and the dancers are a great group of teenagers.  Because we had enough students sign up for the trip, my ticket will be paid for.  I felt a little guilty.  If I paid my own way, we could divide up the savings to reduce the cost for everyone else.  The dance teacher insisted that I take the free ticket and the students would do fundraising to help defray the cost of their tickets.  

It was fate.  A student suggested the idea of a garage sale.  The image of those boxes in my spare bedroom flashed across my mind.  Perfect!  Dancers are coming to my house to take those boxes from my spare bedroom.  The money from the garage sale will help defray the cost of the trip for the dancers.  My spare bedroom will be a bedroom once again.  I will feel like I am contributing financially to the trip…. and I don't have to run a garage sale!  Of course, I will be at the dancers' garage sale, but it will be fun because this a great group of students. 

The blue glassware and gold lamp are going to a better place by helping a group of fabulous teenagers enjoy a week of Broadway shows and dance classes in New York City. 


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