I’m grateful for today’s guest post from my wife, Pam Anderson,
who, along with my two daughters, blogs at threemanycooks.com.
David and I have lived in Darien for eleven years now—the same amount of time we were in Bucks County before moving back here. Last winter I suggested to David that, come spring, maybe it was time to shed.
When we first arrived in Darien back in 2003, the weight of our worldly goods was fresh in our minds. Only when you move do you face it. Having just been handed the weight tickets from our van driver, there was no fudging it. I remember in one of his first sermons David owning up to the number. As a woman who’s always thinking about weight, I still remember: twenty thousand pounds.
I wish I could say we had vowed to maintain that weight, but since then we’ve built a house in Pennsylvania, and between it and our lovely rectory here in Connecticut… oh my, the things we’ve acquired.
So this spring David and I agreed to lose some weight. It started ever so gradually. First a few glasses, then a full shelf of books, then we made bold and dumped a couch.
We’re still in process, but I can already declare we’re getting all of the benefits of a good move without any of the pain. We’re cleaning, rearranging, redecorating, painting, and planting, without having to change addresses, chase after new drivers licenses, and track down new docs and dry cleaners, vets and banks! It feels like what many have said about grandparenthood—you get all the love with very little responsibility.
I’m reminded of the story David and I read yesterday which the Buddha first told. Young boys were playing in the sand and building castles when one of the boys knocked another’s down. In retaliation the boy gathered the group, brutally beat the child, and then thoughtlessly returned to their play. Come sunset and not caring so much what happened to their day’s work—or perhaps knowing what the tide would do anyway—each boy stamped and pushed and kicked until his castle was flattened. Then they headed home.
I’m thinking about our family’s weight, but in the end I hope we see all the beautiful and practical things we’ve gathered around us for what they are: sand.
For some reason it intrigues me whether or not the first boy actually meant to knock the sand castle down. Either way, I don’t think ‘the Tide’ will be as forgiving as just washing away the castles. Maybe that’s the Southern Baptist in me. The ending so true and reminds me of – He who dies with the most toys…nothing.
Good post, Pam. A reminder to me that I have a lot of stuff I don’t need. Some of it I don’t even want! Thanks for the nudge to unload!
clark johnson says
Having attained a lot physical years we started parting with stuff about three years ago.. Now,all but the essentials, it is almost totally gone. A Sense of release of some sort! Blessings to all clark
David Anderson says
That’s beautiful, Clark. I hope Pam and I can be as wise and bold as you and Sally.
margaret anderson says
Most important to me is you’re not throwing out the baby with the bath water! You both are still here! That is what really matters. Hang on to your drivers licences.WE still you HERE.
Ginny Lovas says
Yes, it is such a great feeling to get rid of stuff! Have been working on this for a number of years now – however, never seem to make much progress. Perhaps this Blog will get me moving again! Ginny
Reminds me of how very little my mom had when she passed away and the easy task it was for us children to pack up her few things. Living materially unburdened. Thanks for this great post, Pam.