May 9, 2010

Too Many Tchotchkes

Look at this, not one single surface is free of tchotchkes. I feel like a hoarder. Bedroom, 2010.

Himself: His brother and SIL are busy. We are sorry about this. He so wanted to see brother. Museum, and a picnic while watching boats.

Herself: Slow, I wash his new red shirt with the checkered napkins and now have pink and blue checks to wipe my mouth. I checked on my carefully mended new-used sweater and find it dissolved into masses of holes. I cough.

A blog you might like: Bowsprite offers us the beauty of watercolor intermixed with adventure and a dash of thinking. Stopping by her blog is a little like adding a drop or two of Tabasco to your scrambled eggs.

Reading: Finished a modern novel that split the years hither and yon, split the characters, split lives, until I began to split myself. Nothing was positive anywhere.

Gratitude: Sunshine, and humor.

All day, I’m slowed, lethargic with the news of Janey’s death. I knew it was coming, but still it hit me hard.

Pottering around the house photographing details, I felt as if putting it in the camera will make it seem really finished after all these years, make life seem real, make me seem less depressed. It doesn’t. All the stuff on every surface only seems to weight me down, and I shuffle small things here and there perhaps hoping that everything will feel lighter. I sit and drink diet Coke and eat nuts. There are few clothes in my closet that will still fit me, and buying larger ones depresses me…still I eat promising myself a diet when he gets the job he thinks he has.

After I have a dramatic reaction to the nuts….no more nuts for a while, G comes home and life feels lighter. Humor helps, and now this morning, I feel better all around except for the tchotchkes. Unfortunately there are his tchotchkes and my tchotchkes. I mean, how do you make a decision to get rid of things….his mom’s things, my mother’s things, grandmother’s things…. when they are all little useless bibelots though you have seriously contributed to the congestion with bears upstairs and cats downstairs while not mentioning the garage.

Hiding the tchotchkes isn’t the solution. They hang there in the back of my memory, and I laugh at myself this morning seeing them so clearly there. Waiting.

It’s hard to get rid of old friends.

Here’s a little moment with G’s Pakistani brass animals
looking at a woodcut of the redwoods made during the arts
and crafts movement…sent by a grandchild, a glass catch-all
dish, a stitchery of an Italian walled village next to a pot
metal cat given us by Harriette.
I mean…..tchotchkes are memories too.


  1. The clutter, even of prized items, sometimes becomes overwhelming to me. I had to "child proof" when our young granddaughter moved in with us. At first I missed them. Now I am hesitating to replace all of the items. I have become used to having surfaces cleared. I think it has something to do with the state of mind that I am in. When under stress, I find that I think much more clearly when the space around me is clear. Sort of like having to turn the radio/CD player down when I really have to concentrate on driving.

  2. Again today I am struck by your decorating skills. Please post more pictures of your house.

    Living in an apartment, I no longer have space for trinkets that hold special memories. I can tell you I miss them.

    It is possible, however, to get too many.

  3. You just have to give yourself some time to mourn Janey. Don't worry about the clutter. In my eyes it all looks marvelously tamed. I would never photograph any of our rooms... what a wild and wonderful mess they are.

  4. I don't think it looks cluttered at all! I think it is very peaceful with nice stuff. I heard one of the designers on TV the other day say to pack 80% in boxes (labeled) and rotate your stuff every season or whenever you want to look at some new memories. That way you get to keep it all.

  5. Tell us more about the painting!


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