Friday, August 14, 2009

Moving violations

It's been a while since I moved. Back then, I tossed a million things. Tossed, burned (yes, we had a "burner" in our back yard), and gave away anything I wasn't going to use. All those things that I might use someday. The only thing I regret leaving behind is the first manuscript I ever completed. It was a romance and had a hot little scene at a high school reunion, up against the lockers...

Moving is good for the soul. Forces you to make tough decisions. But in the ensuing years, I've picked up a lot more stuff. There's a great Delbert McClinton song called, "Too Much Stuff." He sings about the dangers of having too much, having to pay for too much, and having to store too much. The chorus goes like this:

Well, it's way too much.
You're never gonna get enough.
You can pile it high
but you'll never be satisfied.

And that's the key for me. How much is enough? There is a point when I start to get uncomfortable. The fabric morphs out of the sewing room and into the hall. The half-finished quilt projects are strewn about as if they were decorative. And rather than being happy that I've have everything I need at my fingertips, I begin to feel weighed down.

That's when I purge. As quilters, I usually have an outlet for extra fabric or notions or patterns. Sometimes a flood or other natural disaster will happen and a call will go out to send unfortunate quilters supplies. My guild will take excess inventory and sell it off. And there's always the Philanthropy committee that makes quilts for people in tough times. There is always a ready supply of need.


Camille Minichino said...

Love that verse, Terri. (You DO know a lot of music/artists I've never heard of!)

Betty Hechtman said...

I have one of those romance manuscripts from my past,too. It was before computers. I know it's here somewhere... I have hard copies of all my manuscripts, scripts and short stories. They are definitely staying.

Sheila Connolly said...

You do not want to see my attic (hey, at least there is an attic). I have all my grandmother's financial statements, and she's been gone since 1993. I keep fantasizing that I'll write a biography of her based on her check stubs.

Yes, I think I have everything I have written as an adult--if only I could find it. Too many boxes labeled "Miscellaneous"!

Monica Ferris said...

"You'll never have enough." Too true. I wonder what the proportion of male collectors is to female? I would imagine it's at least five to one. Perhaps it dates back to our hunter-gatherer days, when the men hunted and the women *gathered.* We still do.

Terri Thayer said...

My romance was written on our first computer circa 1988. The typewriter didn't make the cut to move to California either.

What a cool idea, Sheila. Check stubs are going the way of five-and-dimes and landlines. Ob-so-lete.

Terri Thayer said...

Monica, think tools. I know plenty of guys that buy a tool to do ONE job, and so have major collections.

It's always been interesting to me that men buy most of the high end sewing machines. Not usually for them, for their wives, but they're the ones that go for all the bells and whistles. Salespeople know this and target the men.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Great post, Terri. You are right. At some point it becomes a weight around your neck...your ankles...your everywhere.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I thought I'd gotten rid of that first story I wrote, too, Terri--till my mom passed away and I found it among her stuff. How great that your purging of stuff helps other people, too!

Carol Kumer said...

Carol Kumer said.
I would have loved have read that old manuscript...Oh, well maybe you can find a way to some of it again (Buster).
Where you in my house Thurs.? I usually purge my fabric, notions and patterns when I'm looking for something. Sincew Thurs. my projects are in order and i've purged many patterns but still haven't found the pattern that started it all.