As we prepared to leave our tour of the Point Pinos Lighthouse with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law, the caretaker asked my dad to help fold the lighthouse flag. They carefully and methodically handled the flag making sure it was treated with dignity and prepared for proper overnight storage. It reminded me of the times I've witnessed the folding and presentation of a flag to a grieving family in honor of a loved one. Those become treasured possessions.
What are some of your treasured possessions? Sometimes we confuse our treasured possessions with stuff that really should be tossed or given away. On Saturday my husband went to work on the side yard and our kids' first little bikes ended up in the garbage. That's really what they were at this point. I had to remind myself that the pictures we have of the kids receiving or riding those bikes are a much better remembrance than the old beat up bikes left to rot on the side yard. Today's Timely Tips offer some ideas on how to honor our treasures and the people they represent in our lives.
TIMELY TIPS for Treasured Possessions
- Separate your treasured possessions from your pile of junk. If you don't distinguish the items of value now, and remove them from the cardboard box, they will likely all get tossed someday.
- Toss the junk and the cardboard box.
- Determine if the items you saved are treasured possessions or treasured obligations. Perhaps you loved your grandfather, but you don't love the 2' x 4' oil painting he left you. Treasure the memory of him and honor what he enjoyed by taking a picture of it and putting it in an album or create a photo book (www.blurb.com) that's all about him.
- Create a special display using small items or portions of things that have significant value. Here's a shadowbox that displays a few rocks my grandfather tumbled, a handwritten page from his notebook, a square of pieced fabric my grandmother sewed, some lace from the dress she wore for their 50th anniversary, and a pin with each of her grandchildren's birthstones.
- If you're storing a box of your children's baby clothes, or the clothes of a loved one who passed away, consider having a quilt or pieced pillow made from the fabrics.
- As you sort through your treasures, are there things you could be using and enjoying rather than storing to be transferred to someone else's garage or closet when you're gone?
- Remember that the true treasures are the stories and memories associated with the people you love. Consider making a video showing the items you can't display, or things that are taking too much space in your home or storage. Explain each item's significance, who it belonged to, and related stories. Then honor that person and item by passing it along to someone who can truly use and enjoy it.
The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple. --Doris Janzen Longacre