Are You Sure You Want To Keep That?

in story •  3 months ago

427A503F-48FE-46D6-999F-37BB8A817F45.jpeg
Not the actual item, but similar. Image courtesy of google images.

The Story


My grandpa died just a couple months ago, in early May. After everything settled down after the funeral, it was time for his kids to sift through everything in his house. Decide on what to keep, what to donate, and what to toss out.

As all the stuff came out of their hiding places, splayed out on tables, floors, and countertops, I spotted an item I hadn’t seen in what felt like forever: a green clay donkey with clay saddlebag salt and pepper shakers. An out-of-place treasure indeed.

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When I was young, I remember a day I scrupulously searched through my grandparents’ cabinets. Grandparents sure collect some interesting odds and ends, and they always happen to be delicate or breakable things too, do they not?

On the outside of the corner cabinet, the door opened to reveal a few shallow shelves. One item on this shelf was this green clay donkey with matching clay saddlebag salt and pepper shakers. If I had asked my grandparents where they got this from, I can’t remember their answer. All I remember was that it stayed on this obscured shelf and didn’t come out.

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Back to the present, holding the unloved item, I asked my mom what was going to happen with this salt and pepper shaker and if she remembers where it came from. She couldn’t remember where it came from; it was possibly a gift. She also said no one wanted it, and since it was missing a piece, it was getting tossed out.

I felt an inevitable statement begging to be voiced. “Can you believe grandma and grandpa held on to this thing, hidden on a shelf for so many years, only to have it get tossed out?”

The Lesson


It was humorous at the time, but let that statement sink in for a moment. How many things do we hold on to, just because? Do you hold on to gifts that you don’t want, because you’d feel guilty tossing it out? Do you keep something, but don’t use it because you might ruin it?

Aside from this odd piece not being of anyone’s taste, because it was not on display or being used, it held no sentimental value. No one wanted to keep it for the memories.

This little moment changed our perspective on what and why we are holding onto the things that we do. For me, I’m mostly a tosser already. However, with the things I do hang on to, I now make sure they are put to use. What’s the use in having something take up space if it’s not seen or being used?


Have you had an “aha moment” regarding the things you keep in your life? I’d love to hear about it!
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Well written post. I am afraid of turning into a hoarder because I love flea markets and auctions ad old stuff and thrown-out things.... But Ido have an etsy shop which sometimes makes me a little side cash on old stuff, so I have an excuse.

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Thank you! It’s always fun finding new treasures, just as long as they don’t take over your life.

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Thanks very much for checking out on the posts of your colleagues @wildlocusthoney. Much appreciated.

Says more than this. Good post, earned a resteem from me.

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Thanks very much for following up on the promoted posts too support, @ehizzy. Much appreciated.

howdy again @hebrewhousewife! that's a thought-provoking story but did you save the donkey or throw it out? I've seen those before, those things are cute.

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The donkey was tossed out. Lol, it may be more your style! For us, not so much.

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lol! yeah it was more of a redneck thing!

As the family historian I have many of the treasures that the elders passed down and finding the value is not so easy at times.

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Why is it that we feel so guilty for letting some things go sometimes? Are there others that you can pass them on to? Can you get creative on repurposing some of these treasures?

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The way it was all set up by the many previous researchers is it is kept complete and in/under control of the next researcher. It keeps it complete and not handed out and perhaps lost to the future generations.

I think that we hold on to things, never disposing and never putting out in display because they relate to some moment that we are never able to classify between good and bad memory! If it did to the bad memory, we'd discard it; if it did to the good, we'd display it!

This post is very reflective! I am going to feature it in the next Xposed Curator's Rebound #28. You may find details about it Xposed Curator's Rebound

My hope is to bring your quality work here the exposure it deserves, and with it, hopefully some additional rewards.


Congratulations, and best wishes.

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That’s an interesting way of looking at it! I didn’t think of it like that.
And thank you! I checked out the details and it looks like a great system! I look forward to it.

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Your post here causes a lot of reflections, there is bound to be several individual specific perspectives. It is the kind of post that engages and generally touches a part of our everyday community life. So i am glad to feature it.

The initiative is great, from the opinion of many a person who has been kind enough to check it out. I am only making sure to keep it up, and bring some really undervalued great content creators like you to the attention of voters out there. So i hope it serves you well. I have seen it serve others pretty much well.

If anything, i will now keep my eye on your blog, and help promote more of your future quality works. It is the least i can do.

Otherwise, the post in which you are featured is out. If you have some time, check it out here:

https://steemit.com/mirrors/@mirrors/xposed-curator-s-rebound-28

I read a very similar story years ago in which the author had the same realization upon inheriting her grandmother's wedding china--which her grandmother had never once used, ever. The author was tempted to carefully pack away this now valuable antique china and then realized she was about to relegate it to the same fate. So she uses it every day as her dinnerware and concluded that "life is short--use the good china NOW" and that phrase has stuck with me ever since.

You have to wonder, in cases like the green donkey, whether there was some sentimental significance that has been lost.

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That story does sound vaguely familiar. And yes, it could have been significant at one time. Maybe it was something that was handed down, or something painted by someone they know. We will never know!

To the question in your title, my Magic 8-Ball says:

As I see it, yes

Hi! I'm a bot, and this answer was posted automatically. Check this post out for more information.

I have a ball peen hammer I use in my shop that my Dad built in High school. He told me he wanted me to have it, but he wanted me to USE it! He said no good hammer should sit on a shelf. So I still use it daily, just like he wanted.

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smithlabs! your dad BUILT a hammer? you don't hear that everyday! that is one cool story smithlabs.

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He built it is shop class in HS. It is a tough little hammer, and he showed me with that hammer how to run a rivet down tight. I learned that a hammer, in the right hands, is a Precision tool!

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smithlabs! yes sir they are perfect for rivets, that style.
but he more forged it didn't he? unless he poured it?

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Forged it, and heat treated it! it is some tough material! I may have it tested for metal type, and make the next size larger. A set might be nice! :)

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yes sir different sizes are always handy!

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Yes, and I would want it to match, because the hammer will outlive me too, and passing it down would be fun! The one I have is a little light for heavy anvil work, but I do have other hammers to use there. I have tried to limit the anvil work here in Suburbia, but will add a part of the new building for welding, forging, and casting.

Hope to get into bronze art casting heavily, once there. :)

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smithlabs! "Hope to get into bronze art casting heavily, once there." of course, why not? you're into everything else! don't tell me that you are an artist too?
but if you cast bronze then what do you do with those? it sounds like a fascinating hobby.

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Thanks @janton for following up and supporting these quality works.

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yes Ma'am you're very welcome!

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That’s pretty neat! I’m starting to appreciate the sentimental things that I can use or serves another purpose. You must do a lot to need a hammer daily!

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I have a machine shop (currently in my garage) that sees a lot on custom work. I keep that hammer close to the anvil and the casting.

Some times, beating on things can be therapeutic too, LOL! :)

Thank you for the thought provoking post! In fact over this past 6 months or so I have been starting to see what I have laying around and determining if I need it or not. I was surprised just how many things I had that were either not being used anymore or for those items given to me if I had any sentimental reason for holding on to it. When I get my homestead, Lord willing, I don't want to have to move things I don't need or want anymore!

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You’re welcome! It’s amazing once we start cleaning out the closets and drawers, just how much stuff we really have. Not only that, but how long it takes to sort through all of it! It feels so good to get the clutter gone!

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Was able to move some clutter along just the other day...very satisfying!

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Woo hoo! Making more physical space always makes me feel like I now have more mental space too.


This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.
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Love this post! My grandpa passed away 2 years ago and my grandma sold her house and moved closer to all of us. With that move came all the "stuff". Ceramic birds, decorations, crystal clocks, dollar store finds, etc. It seemed like EVERYTHING held sentimental value. However, when I ask my grandma about some of the things she has no idea where they are from. Her new apartment is a very organized hoarders apartment and whenever I visit or around birthdays/Christmas these things get pawned off on me. I am not a materialistic person. I have no problem throwing stuff out if I don't use it, but clothes have been an issue. I havent grown an inch since 9th grade (at least height wise) and I still have t-shirts from high school that I'll wear occasionally. It is mind boggling to me how much people spend to get new clothes. It pains me to buy clothes when I have stuff that fits. But I will purge some clothes once in a while when the color gets so faded or there are more holes than material left. It's not an emotional attachment more of a econimical ROI.

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Lol so are you saying you have loads of clothes? I went through a minimalism kick last year and down graded my wardrobe quite a bit. It’s a lot easier to put together outfits now. I’d say as long as you like the clothes you have and can keep them organized, then there’s no problem in keeping them! Thanks for reading and commenting!