The comedian George Carlin famously talked about how much we become slaves to our stuff as we get older. One of our projects this summer is to empty out the garage and our closets and wardrobes to take stock and, especially, to clean out. We've just got too much stuff.
We've got all this stuff ready to load into the Citroën and haul away. A dozen or so sweaters. As many shirts, some never worn. Walt's old business suits from his working days in San Francisco. Books. CDs and DVDs. Three toilet seats! Two pressure cookers. Coffee pots. Full sets of dishes. A set of green glassware that was my mother's but that Walt and I have never used and never will use. My bicycle. I'll never use that again either.
We'll be driving over to the town of Romorantin this coming week to donate all this and more to the Emmaüs charity shop over there. Emmaüs, pronounced [ay-mah-'yooss], is an organization that gives used items a second life. Members of the Emmaüs association refurbish, repair, and then sell items that we don't need any more but which are still completely serviceable.
This is just a first load of things we want to donate. I remember helping my mother go through this same process 15 years ago, when she sold the house she lived in for 54 years and moved into an apartment. Now it's my turn. Walt and I aren't moving. We're staying put, but we'll feel better after a good clear-out. We're lucky enough to no longer need so much useful stuff.
Never would have guessed the correct pronunciation of Emmaüs without you phonetics. Simplifying is always good with the quantity of stuff...ReplyDelete
When there's an umlaut (two dots) over the second vowel of a pair, it means that the vowel with the umlaut is in a new syllable. For example, maïs, which is pronounced mah-'eess, or Noël, pronounced no-'ehl, while moelleux is pronounced mwah-leuh.Delete
Honestly didn't know this, thanks Ken.Delete
I just know enough French to not need the the charity shop name pronunciation. Stuffs. It is great to be rid of them and over the last few months we have rid ourselves of many stuffs. We are pretty well at the point of saying, we have the space for what stuffs remain so we don't really need to get rid of more stuffs. The filing cabinet excepted. It still has too much stuffs and needs more culling.ReplyDelete
We got rid of so much stuff when we left California to move to France. Moving is the best way to get rid of things. We were in California for more than 17 years. Now we have been in France for 17 years. One problem with living in a house is that there is so much storage space.Delete
Emmaus are a godsend here as well (and round here they collect!). They've taken various pieces of furniture I didn't want and wouldn't have thought it worth trying to sell, not to mention an enormous quantity of books when I culled those. (Fortunately or unfortunately, I was sent to church schools, so was brought up with the pronunciation long before the charity came along).ReplyDelete
I think they will pick up large, cumbersome items including pieces of furniture, but for the flotsam and jetsam we have to donate, a trip to Romorantin, 20 miles of so, is the way to go. There's always shopping to do over there.Delete
Getting rid of stuff has been keeping many of us busy lately. It’s a good project! When you bought that new dresser to store all those shirts that you said you hadn’t worn in years, I thought, Why doesn’t he just get rid of all those shirts?! ;)ReplyDelete
You are right, of course. But it's not in my nature to get rid of good stuff. Or is it nurture? My mother was the same way, and my sister and her daughter have those tendencies too. I told Walt that the people at Emmaüs are going to think somebody passed away and left behind a lot of stuff.Delete
It is surprising how fast things accumulate.ReplyDelete
I know. You turn your back for what feels like a few minutes and boom! Piles of stuff.Delete
Have a good trip! I like going inside thrft shops where I find toys to entertain my granddaughters.ReplyDelete
I've never been to buy anything at the Emmaüs store. But I know people go there to find "shabby chic" pieces of furniture and a lot of other stuff at good prices.Delete
I'm so glad to know that they have a place like that over there, too! Wow, you'll feel good about that!ReplyDelete
Exactly. It's good to feel that somebody will profit from all this stuff.Delete
Apparently the UK charity shops are having to deal with a tsunami of donated stuff due to so many people using the time in lockdown usefully in having a clear-out.ReplyDelete
Every time we do this and give stuff away or chuck it out, we then find a need for some of it soon afterwards! I think it's because having remembered we have it, once it's gone we realise it was useful after all!
Isn't that always the way? Still, we can't let that deter us. We feel really good about making more space in the house for things we do want to keep.Delete