Thursday, September 08, 2011

Project Order from Chaos?

Project Order from Chaos either went away or went light speed.  In January, I had decided to give away 4 items a day for a year.  I did well in this for quite a while, documenting all of it by taking pictures –well at least for the first couple of months.  I pressed on until June when God, the Bishop, the DS and the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church moved us.

Now, Project Order from Chaos has hit light speed.  There is no contemplation about items, no playfulness in arranging little pictures, no joking around and making puns.  We are big time serious about this thing at the moment.

I didn't realize I was just playing around with downsizing, simplifying and streamlining until I was thrown into this thing called "moving."  Now my task is to take the material that filled up one 1100 square foot parsonage, one 2400 square foot house, a storage unit and a few other odds and ends and make it fit into a 1400 (or so) square foot parsonage.  Big news here: it won't all fit.

I'm no longer having to make decisions about the *excess* of material, but having to make decisions on things I didn't think were excess.  For instance, I own two very complete set of dishes: (1) the dishes that I grew up with, whose very pattern brings me comfort and eases my anxiety (Berkeley by Syracuse, just in case anyone is interested) and (2) the set that Bill and I selected as wedding presents, registering at every conceivable department store and shopping for on our honeymoon (Folk Art by Pfaltzgraff).  There is no room in this house for both.  Which do I use?  Actually, there isn't room for all the Folk Art, just bits and pieces, as we own LOTS of it.  Right now and because it was in the Monroe parsonage, we are using the older set that I grew up with.  I love these dishes, but there is discussion in the family about swapping them out.  I am having to choose between the pattern I love and reminds me of my childhood and the pattern that I love and reminds me of this family.  I don't want to have to make this choice!  I'm always a both/and rather than an either/or.  

Of course, I could resort to some conspicuous consumption, donate/pitch/sell both sets and buy more, but is that really really and option? (NO)  Today, I'm sticking with convenience - I'd rather have the Pfaltzgraff (maybe) but the Berkeley is in the cabinets here already (and they match the kitchen (and you know that coordination of color in home decor is more important than functionality.))

So I’m a little stuck.  I’m going to play like Scarlett and think about it tomorrow.

Likewise, if we store all the stuff in the Loganville house and rent/sell it, I will have to do something with the piano.  I love my piano.  I miss my piano.  There are seasons in my life where I play it for hours.  I’ve named it Isaac.  It’s a real antique originally owned by my grandmother.  So if we rent/sell the Loganville house, I am going to have to move it to this house. (NO!  NO storage for piano.  It needs climate controlled love and care.)  However, the only place to put it is where I’ve placed my mother’s cedar chest.  The cedar chest is one of the few pieces I have of my mother’s in the parsonage.  It meant a lot to her – it was her first furniture piece that she purchased with her own money after going to work Southern Bell at age 18 and saving up for 3 years.  And it’s full of things that I don’t want to go away: Hairy the fur coat, the coverlet that my g’g’g’grandmother made, my fur muff from 1st grade, some of my children’s clothing from when they were babies.  So which goes away to sell or to storage?  I don’t know.

It’s not the excess clothing that bothering me, or the unnecessary books or boxes of pens and pencils.  I easily can go through and dispose properly of all that – it’s the things that one might consider heirlooms that I’m struggling with.

Now what?

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