Breaking Up is Hard to Do

“I love you, but you’ve been with me for 30 years and I’m ready for some excitement, some color, a bright spot in my sedentary life. Off you go into the donate box so you can live in someone else’s cupboard.”

This is me, doing my annual spring cleaning. I blogged about it last year and I haven’t changed. Getting rid of rarely used possessions is hard for me. Packing and donating something I used on the boat, in the apartment, and in two houses is nearly impossible.

I’m talking about my white Corelle dishes I’ve had since—oh wait—longer than 30 years.

For my birthday last month I picked out a new set of dishes. They’re heavy, colorful, and to my delight my children and my nieces all contributed accessory pieces. I’ve never had a set with matching canisters, napkin holder, and salt and pepper shakers.

But my old dishes served me well and to ease my pain of giving them up, I found a really good charity needing this type of donation, a home for battered women and children that doesn’t sell the donations, but uses them to outfit their clients’ homes when it is safe for them to leave. This charity will also get some kitchen utensils, pots and pans, and a huge box of gently used clothing.

I really should be donating more. Maybe now I will.

I still can’t part with my Christmas china although I no longer host big groups for holidays. That falls to my daughter now. But I love those dishes, not just because they make me happy when I use them, but also because of the memories attached to them. Those dishes are nearly as old as the Corelle, but were used once or twice a year when we hosted Christmas or Thanksgiving dinners for a dozen people.

One other secret stash of dishes hides in a box on my pantry floor. These are my Melamine dishes I kept on Sea Bear, our Nordic Tug. When we sold the boat, we sold a lot of kitchen items that were red (the boat had a red hull). But the red-patterned dishes I bought years ago for picnics in the wine country went home with us.

I can’t give those up just yet, even though I should. I keep telling myself I’ll use them when we eat outdoors (not that we ever eat outdoors). It’s a good excuse.

Now, what should I do with those large silver pieces crammed into a box in the garage? Mine I can part with. My mother’s—not so much.

Are you a hoarder of kitchen stuff? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

I write kissing books. Here’s where to find me:


3 thoughts on “Breaking Up is Hard to Do”

  1. Hello, I am Charlotte, and I am a Hoarder. (Nice things only.) I feel your pain about getting rid of stuff. We have been cleaning out for almost a year now and I still have a hard time of letting some things go. At last count I owned 9 sets of dishes. I have recently packed up my husband’s grandmother’s china to gift to our niece who is getting married. Perhaps your nieces would love your mother’s silver? Or your daughter? If not, you know I have never met a piece of silver I did not love.

  2. Pam, I have moved so many times- always TRIED to downsize each time. un sucesssfully most of the time. However, after the boat, RV, there is not much room in the park model. My deal is to part with 2 things from each area I touch. Dang, its hard. I found I miss some things that I have given away or sold. I want back the foot tall clown that Jim had acquired.

  3. This is timely. Saturday there was an estate sale down the street. The house was occupied by the same family since 1975 and all but the kitchen was unchanged. Since the house is identical to ours, I wanted to see how some structural stuff was originally installed. However, what I found made me rather sad. Tons of stuff piled up, mostly out of date, lots of dishes, kitchen stuff, etc, and who needs 5 freezers? And closets and linen cabinets packed full and sooo much outdated furniture! i doubt the lady who lived there would appreciate strangers pawing through (and criticizing) her things. Made me think I need to clean house. You never know when life will end, and strange people will be wandering through your home picking through your belongings. Finding things like a script “Love in the Swamp” and wondering what that is all about?


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