Story Number One: Hot Rollers
I got rid of my hot hair rollers. The ones that made beautiful bouncy Farrah Fawcett style curls. The ones I used in the seventies… Then later in the eighties for “big hair.” Even early in my teaching career I used them.
So I took these hot rollers to Good Will. Good Will is probably FULL of my stuff right now, we are downsizing. While moving can be exhilarating, like everything, it is hard to part with things, things like the rollers. Something as simple as rollers. Rollers that were probably a fire hazard. Rollers that were HUGE and took up their own shelf in the bathroom. It was hard of course, because of the memories.
Memories of nights out… me getting ready, in my slip, rollers in my hair, putting on some make-up, giving the babysitter instructions. Later memories of the girls getting ready for proms and school dances. Plug Mom’s old rollers in and that familiar dusty, hot hair smell wafts through the room. Wait for the red light and then quickly, with nimble fingers roll up a lock of hair, they were hot after all. Then wait. A bathroom full of girls giggling and excited, putting on a little make-up, listening to us give them instructions.
It was Saturday, Scott and I pull up to the Good Will drop off. I toss in the magazine rack, old dishes (chipped ones went straight to the garbage), and a cookie jar. I ever so hesitantly set my hot rollers on the pile. I know I will NEVER use them again and they take up so much shelf real estate in the bathroom and we ARE downsizing, but it is hard. Scott doesn’t get it, but he pats my back anyway. We get in the car a drive away. I force myself not to look back.
Story Two: That Cookie Jar
When Scott and I got married, one of his bachelor buddies gave us a teddy-bear cookie jar as a wedding gift. It was simple. It was cute, the bear was holding a cookie jar and his little paw was in the jar. I secretly loved it as much as any fancy china we received.
In my entire married life, so far, all twenty-eight years of it, we used that jar maybe five times. Because we are downsizing we had to look at everything critically. This cookie jar had lived for the past four years in the back of the buffet, behind the Christmas dishes. Because of that, it went on the Good Will pile. As the days passed and the pile got bigger, that cookie jar bear just stared me down with it’s great big ceramic smile.
On the weekend, we loaded the car up and headed to Good Will. We handed off the items to the volunteers who work there, magazine rack, hair rollers an old lamp. In the end I stood there holding that teddy bear cookie jar. I just wrapped my arms around it, hugging it. It really bothered me to give it up.
A few days later I was driving down Tongass, I glanced over at the Good Will and there sitting in the window, alongside other fabulous treasures was the teddy bear cookie jar, in the window, following me with his big bear eyes as I drove by. It sat there for a week in that window. For a week I fought the urge to go in and “save it.” Finally, it was gone. I am not sure if some one bought it? Or if they changed their window decor, now it was all vases.
When I was a kid, we would visit my Grandmother in New Mexico. On her buffet she kept a teddy bear cookie jar, and no matter what it was always full, a bottomless cookie jar. She treated us like royalty. Somehow this memory got mixed up with my attachment to that silly jar. On some level I wanted to recreate that with my own family. To be the “cookie baking” grandma with the full cookie jar. And I know that is silly, because I am going to be my own kind of grandma. The one who goes out bird watching or ‘pider hunting with my grandkids (my New Mexico grandma would NEVER! Whole other stories there.) But it is hard to let that cookie jar go.
Today I am alone, Scott is gone for the day. I have some errands to run, heck I might even run by Good Will. Say hello to that cookie jar and maybe buy some rollers. Who knows?
5 thoughts on “Good Will Stories”
I enjoyed reading that sentimental conveyance. I may have used hot rollers twice in my life… maybe more, now that I think about it further. Freshman year of high school. Anyway, despite having no particular attachment to rollers, you got a tear across to me. And then you had more to say. Bravo. Be your “own kind” of grandma while remembering.
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Thanks for reading!
I love going to the thrift store. Fun to read the other side of the story.
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Downsizing Is Liberating, but there is a downside to it, too. Letting go of yesterdays dreams using the left brain practicalities, can sometimes get out of control! One group of belongings that I didn’t get rid of were all the beautiful items lovingly sewn, crocheted, knit, or carpentered by family and friends. They are the treasures that are displayed in my new home.
Having gone through this process over four years ago, I’m learning that some of those thrown away dreams are recycling through my heart again! I’ve replaced a number of items I thought I’d never use again, grumbling over my near-sightedness. It’s time to go back to the thrift store! It’s all just stuff that can be replaced. Trouble is, now i’m also wondering how I might enlarge my new just- right home …..”Stuff” can be so enticing!
I love your blogs, Beth! Always food for thought!
Oh Ellen! I have had that happen too. When I am too quick to discard something and find myself regretting it!! I hope you are loving your new home. I bet you had to be super discerning about what you took, crossing the country after all. Our was simply a five mile move!