It’s Friday and my friends at Rev Gal Blog Pals are again asking the question, “What do you treasure?” To be fair, that’s not exactly the question they are asking, but it’s the question I feel like answering today. The question they posed had to do with what one would keep as one simplified their life. Having moved three times in the last twelve years, we’ve sorted and re-sorted all our possessions three times over. Some have been given away, some have gone to storage later to be retrieved and sorted again, and some have been sold. We’ve pared down and now are holding what we have:
The linens that came from my mother and our grandmothers. When we moved back to Albuquerque, I didn’t have a job. I was retired or so I thought. I spent my days getting every last spot out of those old napkins and tablecloths and tea towels. Some of the spots had been there for over fifty years! As I pressed them and inspected them and subjected them to one more treatment, I remembered Christmas eve spent at my Grandmother’s table–the white tablecloth my brother and I soon spotted with gravy, the little Christmas village on the mantle, the fruit compote we had for dessert, and most of all my grandmother torn between doting on us and scolding us for spotting her tablecloth once again.
My stash of fabric. Any quilter worth her thread will tell you that one never pares down a good stash of fabric. You never can tell when you might need that indigo cotton or the sea-green batik. It gives me comfort just to look at that stash and imagine the time when I’ll turn it all into quilts.
The library we’ve accumulated over the years of teaching and preaching and pursuing our passions. As I write this, I’m looking at the shelves where we’ve put the fiction and biographies. I see old friends–Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits and Silvia Plath’s The Bell Jar (I read that while I was sitting through a course in tests and measurements I needed for my first MA.) I see on those shelves books my Mother presented at her monthly book club. Only a few were fiction. The rest are housed on different shelves. But just seeing those few books reminds me of the careful way she read and the humble way she lived.
I’m glad we kept the CD player and the CD’s too! Even better, all our audio equipment plays cassettes. Some of those are irreplaceable. Yet the piece of music I wish I could figure out how to upload is Bobby McFerrin’s version of the 23rd psalm. It’s the first psalm my mother taught me. It’s the psalm that got her through three years in the county TB ward. Whenever I play it, I remember the dark valleys she walked through, and I know that I can walk through them too for I am not alone.
I walk with God and I walk with Tim who is my partner in the sorting and resorting, the packing and the moving, and in the settling in. I’m so grateful for him, for the memories we share and the memories we bring to one another and our life together, and for life itself. Here’s the man who gives me joy: