Stuff and such / Cosas y tal

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

I’VE BEEN LOOKING AROUND OUR place and enjoying the memories some of our “things” bring back. When we moved to Spain in 2011, we seriously reduced the amount of “stuff” in our lives. We carefully, I thought, selected what was important to keep and gave away or sold the rest. We went from having enough to furnish (and overfill) a 5-bedroom house to not having enough for a small apartment. We have since amassed enough to overfill our 3-bedroom apartment. We miss some of the things we left behind. But we had no idea what we’d have room or need for here. Lately, I’ve been surprised by some of the odds and ends we did manage to drag along with us. Here today are a few examples of what we kept. Some make perfect sense. Others?


HE ESTADO MIRANDO ALREDEDOR DE nuestro lugar y disfrutando de los recuerdos que traen algunas de nuestras cosas. Cuando nos mudamos a España en 2011, redujimos seriamente la cantidad de “cosas” en nuestras vidas. Seleccionamos cuidadosamente, pensé, lo que era importante conservar y regalamos o vendimos el resto. Pasamos de tener suficiente para amueblar (y sobrellenar) una casa de 5 habitaciones a no tener suficiente para un departamento pequeño. Desde entonces, hemos acumulado lo suficiente para llenar en exceso nuestro apartamento de 3 habitaciones. Extrañamos algunas de las cosas que dejamos atrás. Pero no teníamos idea de lo que tendríamos espacio o necesitaríamos aquí. Últimamente, me han sorprendido algunas de las posibilidades que conseguimos arrastrar con nosotros. A continuación, presentamos algunos ejemplos de lo que conservamos. Algunas tienen perfecto sentido. ¿Otros?

• The Kid Brother made this “vase” for me one year at summer camp. He doesn’t remember it. I can’t part with it. San Geraldo had the beautifully glazed pitcher when we met. I bought the Inuit soapstone sculpture for my mother around 1974 at a museum in Binghamton, New York. The woman only holds two children; so in my warped mind years later, it was my fault that Dale died because I didn’t find a mother with three children.
• El Hermanito hizo este “jarrón” para mí un año en el campamento de verano. No lo recuerda; No puedo separarme de eso. San Geraldo tenía la jarra bellamente vidriada cuando nos conocimos. Compré la escultura de esteatita inuit para mi madre alrededor de 1974 en un museo en Binghamton, Nueva York. La mujer solo tiene dos hijos; así que en mi mente retorcida años después, fue mi culpa que Dale muriera porque no encontré una madre con tres hijos.
• San Geraldo bought this etching five years before we met. “The Lunch Counter,” by Art Hansen. I’ve always loved it. It now hangs in our kitchen.
• San Geraldo compró este grabado 5 años antes de conocernos. “The Lunch Counter” [La Barra del Almuerzo o El Mostrador del Almuerzo], de Art Hansen. Siempre me ha encantado. Ahora cuelga en nuestra cocina.
• The Flame was a lesbian bar in San Diego — a very friendly and welcoming place in my experience. I was there only once or twice. I didn’t smoke, but the lighters were free. I’ve had it since 1993.
• The Flame era un bar de lesbianas en San Diego, un lugar muy amigable y acogedor en mi experiencia. Estuve allí solo una o dos veces. No fumaba, pero los encendedores eran gratis. Lo tengo desde 1993.
• My father worked for AT&T/New York Telephone Co. for 34 years. This is half of a Princess Slimline Phone key chain that I used for the keys to my parents’ apartment. It broke more than 10 years ago and I lost the other half of the phone. It still sits in a bowl on my desk. I have no idea why.
• Mi padre trabajó para AT&T/New York Telephone Company [Compañía Telefónica de Nueva York] durante 34 años. Esto es la mitad de un llavero de Princess Phone que usé para las llaves del apartamento de mis padres. Se rompió hace más de 10 años y perdí la otra mitad del teléfono. Todavía está en un cuenco sobre mi escritorio. No tengo ni idea de porqué.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

30 thoughts on “Stuff and such / Cosas y tal”

  1. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to the things that touch our hearts. I like your and SG’s treasures.
    Thanks for the magical morning photo. Magical indeed.
    Reached 70 here yesterday. This morning? 32. Not magical.

    1. Mary,
      I’ll share other treasures (and not treasures) in the future. Although it’s still in the 60s here today, we’ve made a switch from a sunny calm beach day to an overcast, windy, rough seas day. Still nice but the weekend is supposed to be rainy.

  2. Surround yourself with things that have meaning to you, and make you happy. Feelings and memories attach to things. Neat collection, Amazing views.

    1. David,
      The view is uplifting whatever the weather. Rough seas, wind, and clouds today. Glorious.

  3. Oh those ‘things’ we cherish. I love that little lighter! Good save for sure.
    We had a MAJOR clear out 2 years ago. I mean major! After a while one gets accustomed to the lightness……more breathing room.
    Like that pitcher and vase too.

    1. Jim,
      It’s so odd that I’ve kept that lighter all these years. Wish I had one from the bar where I met SG. They didn’t offer free gifts (well not of that sort).

  4. It is funny what we hang onto. I LOVE the “lunch counter” etching! I’d have bought that too. That lighter from The Flame is probably a collector’s item for people in the know. You could sell it on eBay!

    1. Steve,
      That etching is one of my favorites. I also would have bought it. Hah! Maybe The Flame will be that fantasy rich-retirement funder we dreamed of!

  5. Well, clearly you treasure and keep the things that have meaning. I love your little treasures and your memories of them.
    That’s how we do it, too. I don’t like “stuff,” I like things that have a story I can tell, or that have moved me so deeply that I have to have them.
    I find them much more valuable than things for the sake of things.

    1. Bob,
      They don’t really all have meaning. I’ll share some of the oddball crap I have around — probably influenced by my mother constantly saying, “I might be able to use it for a project!”

    1. Anne Marie,
      Isn’t that print great. I think it brings back memories for a lot of us. I showed Chuck the vase one time on Skype when we first moved to Spain. He didn’t remember it at all.

  6. I like all of this stuff. I thought the keychain was a soap dish, though. I’m going to share something that I’ve probably shared before and don’t remember. I was five (cue up the wavy lines and harp music) and painted a pinecone in my kindergarten class. We had the choice of blue or white paint. I chose blue, naturally. I showed it to my mother, who scoffed and told me pinecones weren’t blue. Broke my heart. I gave it to my grandmother instead. How my mother came out of that sweet lady is beyond my ken. Anyhoo, my grandmother died when I was eighteen. We went through her stuff, and there was the worn out looking blue pinecone, still in her possession. It gave me a little sense of self worth. All of that to say this, keep Chuck’s vase. You never know how doing something like that can make a person feel. Oh, turn off the wavy lines and harp music. I’m outta here 🙂

    1. Deedles,
      The soap dish is about half the size of my pinkie. I would have loved your pine cone… and your grandmother. You make exquisite wavy lines and harp music.

    1. Debra,
      Some things I’ll share in future have no emotion linked to them. Maybe a research project to understand why I keep them!

  7. I loved that princess phone key chain! I like odd things like that. And the succulent looks great in the little vase the kid made. I bet he never thought it would still be in use.

    1. Mistress G Borghese,
      I had a brain fart and wrote Princess phone when I should have written Slimline. But I did love that keychain. I think it’s time to toss the remaining piece. Maybe a better photo first… for posterity. I was surprised when Chuck didn’t remember the vase. Then again, maybe he did and just said he didn’t. This IS Chuck after all!

    1. Wilma,
      We DO actually some fun things with special memories. Then there’s some junk!

  8. Oh, I like all of this stuff … I want to add a smily thing, but I know you hate them… here, too –ha!
    I’m so sorry to hear that you felt that way about the soapstone mom with only 2 babies…. crazy how our minds work.
    By the way, I think that’s a Slimline phone, not a Princess — (insert wink thingy). Cool that you have it. I, too, thought it might be soap.
    p.s. Binghamton, NY, has some great old houses, including a number by Sears, but also lots by the North Tonawanda kit company, Bennett Homes.

    1. Judy C,
      Thanks so much for pointing out my brain fart. Of course it’s a slimline! It’s less than half the size of my pinkie. I should take a photo in context. And, yes, it is crazy how our minds work. I’ve had so many reasons why Dale was my fault. And Chuck; grew up believing if I had been a better person, he would be “normal”! I loved Binghamton. Haven’t been there since the ‘70s. I had friends who had a house (and farm and orchards) outside of town in Afton. I even checked some months back to see if it was possibly a Sears house, but no such luck.

  9. I can relate. When we moved here 18 years ago (!) I thought that we had really thinned out our belongings. Less stuff is good. Looking around now, I realize that our tendency to accumulate and not throw out is a permanent condition. In the last two years we’ve made meager attempts to recycle, donate, and toss “stuff.” We have a long way to go. One of us (I won’t mention who) has a very difficult time getting rid of stuff. He wants to donate everything (somebody might be able to use this!) and keeps piles of “stuff to donate” around the house. Problem is, it never gets taken anywhere. Especially now, with covid.

    1. Walt the Fourth,
      Since moving here, I’ve tried to stay on top of things. I donate constantly, toss constantly, and we’ve helped furnish the homes of, and even clothe, several friends and acquaintances. And, still, we have a load of “stuff” once again! Luckily, we have a charity shop two streets away. Very easy to walk by and drop a sack in a huge bin at the door.

  10. I have a one-bedroom apartment, and without a garage or basement, it can get overrun with things pretty quickly if I don’t stay on top of it. For some reason it kills me to throw away a book or a magazine, even if it’s unlikely I’ll ever read it a second time. But if I must, I must. I need room to walk.

    1. Kirk,
      Our apartment doesn’t have much storage space. That forces me to at least try and stay on top of things, since I hate clutter. Oddly, the one thing I’ve become especially good at is keeping the books thinned out. We used to have a library filled with books. We have more here than we started with, but not too bad. No magazines!

    1. Urspo:
      Uh oh. Sounds like I’ll see be mentioned, anonymously, in a study of personality disorders.

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