Stuff to store, stuff to treasure?

My family’s brand of crazy is less of the run-around-the-house screaming variety and more of the subtle wear-you-down-until-you-snap variety.  Like most families, we take turns in the crazy seat.  We find it spreads the love around a bit more that way.

My Dad has been in and out of work for a few months now and after a few experiments finally decided to do what everyone has been smartly telling him to do for years: start his own company.  A few days before Christmas, he did this.  Now he is in the game of stop and go as details like insurance, office space, and equipment all get sorted out.  There is no lease on office space quite yet, which means my Dad is spending a considerable amount of time at home… in the crazy seat.  This is figurative, of course, because my Dad is a machine.  The man cannot sit still for a moment.  You know how Kate was so active during her first year that her weight dropped dramatically and we had a hundred tests and sleepless nights and worried, worried, worried… until finally no one could find anything wrong and was left us with the conclusion that she was burning several hundred calories a day simply because she was So Unbelievably Active?  Well, turns out Kate did get it from somewhere.

So in his attempts to ready my Mom for her turn on the crazy seat, Dad decided to empty the attic.  This is a HUGE endeavor.  The attic is actually includes normal attic space in the eves of their house, plus an entire room they left unfinished so they’d have more attic space.  Our entire house could fit in there, with room for the outbuilding.  Not that we are being critical: Paul and I have used this to considerable advantage.  We storage much of his pinball manuals and equipment there, as well as several boxes of non-essential ‘stuff’ that came from Michigan that we’ve never retrieved (things like high school yearbooks, old framed posters, and bins of artwork I did in elementary school).  There are also several dozen boxes of things from my Grandma Betty and Grandma Alice (my Mom and Dad’s mothers, respectively).

Dad decided he was ready to purge.  The boxes were waiting for us when we arrived on Friday afternoon.

Our stuff is one thing.  That is easier to identify both practically and emotionally.  But the things from my Grandmothers, I’m struggling to place.  Am I okay with letting these go, these little ties to forgotten memories?  Plus, so much of it is just unique and kitschy and cute.  And some of it involves birds and/or swans, on which I have an addiction that runs so deep I’d trade you my last bar of dark chocolate for a one-of-a-kind tchotsky with little other purpose over dust collection.

But really, milk glass is so creamy and wholesome!  And those bumps feel cool and interesting.  Also?  I have glass plates that are similar (with bumps along the edges) that were also my Grandma’s.  (Okay, I admit it.  My cabinets reflect that I’ve been led down this path before.)

See this little teacup?  It was my great-grandmother’s and now it’s all alone.  Just one tiny cup and saucer.  It’s too small for two lumps and would have a tough time taking cream.  Perfect, really, for the dainty shot of gin.  Isn’t that what tea parties are about these days, anyway?

I can’t decide which of these I like more.  Instead of laying my earrings on the bathroom counter, wouldn’t they look cute in one of these?  (Please no smart comments about the jewelry looking best where it goes… in a drawer… I’m trying to be realistic here.)

Did you know milk glass GLOWS?  Sure, it’s glowing on the bottom, but how cool!  My Mom told me that Grandma used this on the kitchen table as a place to put receipts and keys.  In other words, if I took it home and Kate used it to mix plaster of paris, I wouldn’t be completely disowned.

Ah, but this!  Your heart will just break.  I have another for holding my rings while I do dishes.  But not quite as adorable as this little sweetie…

Little touches of my Grandmas.  Definitely worth finding a place for at home… and then packing up and evacuating with once a year.  Right?