Lessons from a Garage Sale

Writing a blog post right after a garage sale feels like writing a eulogy to trash. Nonetheless, here’s mine. A list of what I pruned, and the pruning principles:

My collection of chipped faux-Fiesta ware. I used it to decorate a big kitchen in Ohio, and then it sat in my garage for a decade. Lesson: Start with the easy decisions.

My Mary Engelbreit phase: tins, magazines, what-nots. Lesson: The “cute” side of me needed some serious pruning.

Reader’s Digest unabridged classics, the ones in the nice bindings. They sat on my shelves for years, beckoning. They actually caused me to read A Tale of Two Cities and The Scarlet Letter. They had much less success with other titles. Lesson: I don’t need to keep things to make myself look erudite, and, acquiring stuff is easy. Doing what I bought it to make myself do, is harder.
Tupperware. I always disliked Tupperware. Lesson: I don’t need to keep things to make myself feel domestic.

The 1940’s and 1950’s section of my still-copious collection of illustrated children’s books. Still have the 20s, 30s, and 90s. Never did much with the 60s and 80s. Lesson: some decades speak to you, some don’t.

Kitchen equipment: Revereware, cast iron, electric wok, waffle iron. Lesson: I no longer cook that way.

The 60’s Westinghouse blender that never worked, but looked inimitable as sculpture. The wobbly chair only the initiated could sit on. The carpet cleaner I hoped to find the manual for. Lesson: maimed and broken things were a testimonial to my artsiness and optimism, but an impediment to my life.

I kept some things because I wanted to look highfalutin’, others because I hoped I’d become crafty/expert/a speaker of foreign languages. Some things I didn’t realize I’d outgrown, and others I kept because I preferred filling a box to making a decision.
I have a friend who perceives life as a series of losses, culminating in death. I, the perennial optimist, prefer to see it as a series of prunings, making what’s left more fruitful, beautiful, fun. Like a trip to the barber, where a haircut is not a loss of your favorite hair, but an improvement on the hair that remains.

By all means, visit my website: MaryCoonsDesigns.com