Stuff

 

It’s everywhere. Pushing against closet doors, cascading off shelves, shoving cars from garages. It’s even in our turkeys and teddy bears. We’re surrounded and outnumbered. And since this morning I’m feeling a little stuffy myself.

One thing for sure, I have way too much of it.

I admit; I’m feeling a little sensitive right now. My wife and I are on the move again, back to California after little more than a year. It’s a job thing. Our hearts say, “stay” but our minds tell us to capitalize on this opportunity, especially in this economy.

So I’ve been tasked with shoving everything we own into what is essentially a small shipping crate. Unfortunately, our worldly possessions give the loaves and fishes parable a run for its money.

So I’m a man on a mission … in search of a miracle.

A fair portion of the stuff we own — have squirreled away for decades — occupies space and little else. It simply exists. To what purpose now is anyone’s guess.

Boxes of vinyl records, comics, baseball cards, dolls, photos, books, and whatnot, inhabit a sizable chunk of our garage. And like Sisyphus, I’ve condemned myself to pushing this stuff wherever I go. Death by a thousand knicks (and knacks), so to speak.

It only gets worse inside our home.

Like most, we have the usual cadre of bric-a-brac that lines our shelves and hangs from our walls. We are decorated to the max.

Don’t get me wrong; it looks fabulous — interior design fabulous. But what’s strange is the majority of this stuff carries little personal meaning, they’re essentially props. If it’s pretty, and the right color, it’s in.

“Oh, that’s nice,” I’ll say, checking out some new wall hanging. “Have any idea what it is?”

“No,” she replies, “but I saw it in a magazine ad and thought it would go great in the room.”

Which leaves me to wonder.

Did that same item hold any significance for the couple in the magazine? Or, did they spot theirs from an advertisement as well?

It’s the circle of stuff.

I mean, where does all this crap come from? Does it just pop out of the ether to land on a department store shelf?

Case in point. I am holding a gray plastic Halloween juice cup that’s playfully molded in the shape of a skull in a graveyard. Somewhere, a company made a conscious business decision to create this and ship it throughout the world.

“Harold has this fantastic idea. A gray plastic Halloween juice cup that’s playfully molded in the shape of a skull in a graveyard.”

The CEO is dumbstruck. “Amazing, lets kick out a million. NO, make that two.”

Why, do we torment ourselves with this stuff? I admit it; I’m suffering from hoarders-light syndrome, in dire need of an intervention. Maybe this move will help, maybe it won’t. What really matters right now, is that four times in one year, I will have laid hands on everything I own.

Yesterday, I stopped packing for a moment to gaze at our prince of altitude with attitude, Mt. Rainier. Only Mother Nature could take something so simple as stacking one stone upon another and create such a sight. We are damn lucky to have him, this stuff of legend.

The mountain has decided to play coy with us on our last morning. The fickle fellow is covered in clouds as we drive southward back to California. I’m thankful I took the time to look yesterday. I will always have too much stuff, but never enough memories.

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