“Buy, buy, says the sign in the shop window; Why, why, says the junk in the yard.” (Paul McCartney)
My life, my focus, has never been about “things.” In fact, if I’ve ever been consumed by a quest to acquire anything, it’s memories. Making good memories with my loved ones. Because I’ve never believed you can take “it” with you. I believe the only thing I’ll leave this life with is my spirit–some would call it my soul, my memories, my intelligence, the things I have learned and the knowledge I’ve acquired.
However, I was married to a man who looked at “things” differently than I did. He talked all the right talk, of course. He would nod his head and look sorrowful (I thought, in agreement with me) when we’d talk about how sad it was that some people chose to sell their soul for things. He was generous with his means (although now I know he was generous with what was never actually his.) And he acquired a lot of “stuff” in the process, though I never actually knew exactly what, or how much, because he stored it all in the building behind our home, where his “office” was, and I rarely went back there. It was his “manspace;” really cluttered and filled with all manner of junk and disorganized chaos, not the way I lived or operated, so I stayed out of it!
When my unexpected life began, there were things that needed serious purging. Namely, contents of a household that was downsizing. As featured on news reports about the Ponzi scheme my former husband perpetrated, I had ties to some material things. (I don’t know if those broadcasts are still around, but feel free to check them out if you’re curious: watch the motor home driving away towing the boat; see the “mansion” nestled in the trees; hear about the cabin in Idaho and the fine art; learn about the trailer loads of “things” that were hauled away over several days when the asset seizure began.)
In criminal/fraud situations, the government seizes everything of value from the criminal (my former husband) so victims can receive some compensation for their losses, which is all as it should be. The hard part, however, is what to do with everything that has no value. Everything the government doesn’t want.
Like the 9 crockpots–four from my home and four my cabin (we frequently hosted large group gatherings) and one from the motorhome.
A yard sale wasn’t an option. I had seen my home and property featured on the news enough; my neighbors were stalking us with cameras as my children and I came and went, when we were outside, if we left the garage door open, and through the un-curtained windows of our home. Our neighbors gathered in front of our home to talk and trade notes of what was going on, what they had seen or heard, and they sometimes made it difficult to get to my home if they weren’t in the mood to allow anyone to pass their human barricade.
Case in point. One day a pastor attempted to go to our home to retrieve a set of scriptures from inside. Our neighbors were standing in the cul-de-sac we lived on, our driveway and all around the property and refused to let the pastor through. He explained who he was and the one simple thing he wanted from the house but they wouldn’t let him pass. Their crowd mentality, their hostily and venom, made him apprehensive so he called another neighbor, a mutual friend of his and the neighborhood crowd, and asked that friend to vouch for him so the neighbors would let him pass. The friend refused.
Those were crazy times, but a reason why a yard sale wasn’t an option–I didn’t think neighbors would allow anyone to participate in a yard sale at my home, IF anyone even tried to show up or buy anything!
So the crockpots met me in Utah and now sit on a shelf in my garage awaiting the someday I host a large group gathering again (if that day ever comes) or, alas, finally part with them in a yard sale!
Junk, leftover from my previous life, taking up space in my unexpected new one.
I’m hoping it’s true that, “Junk is the ideal product… the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy.” (William S. Burroughs) Someday.
Or maybe I’ll become an inventor. “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” (Thomas A. Edison) If that’s the case, I may qualify for a patent yet.
Regardless, I try not to worry about it too much. (A key to living an unexpected life: don’t worry, be happy.) Because, “You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate, threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping.” (Rudyard Kipling)
Junk vs. Joan.
I’m going with Joan.