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The Happy, Fun, Crazy, Relationships We Carry With Our "Stuff"

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Evelyn McCorristin Peters: The Happy, Fun, Crazy, Relationships We Carry With Our "Stuff"

Evelyn McCorristin Peters

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The Happy, Fun, Crazy, Relationships We Carry With Our "Stuff"

What would you take from a burning house?

A We Scout Wednesday topic from Tara Gentile!

I ponder that question sometimes as I look at the "stuff" that surrounds me. There has been a lot of it lately, and I've been on a crusade to share some, to find them a new life and home. But there has also been plenty of times when there wasn't any stuff surrounding me, and I do mean, not, any. 

My life has been largely unplanned, no let me correct that it has been totally unplanned since about the time I left college to run away and join the circus.  Being on the road for five years was the height of my no stuff phase. I left with basically the clothes on my back and living in a 5' X 7' room on a train doesn't let you accumulate much stuff. And I have never, not one day since, felt as free as I did then.

Once I started to establish a more normal life, I wanted stuff! But not just any stuff, I wanted objects that meant something to me. So I surrounded myself with my art, other people's art, family photos and some things I inherited from family members; family treasures or things that they had made themselves.

I am incredibly proud of the family I come from, they are a wonderful bunch of smart, caring, and at times wacky people. The ones that have left us remain with me still not just in thought but also because I am lucky enough to have something from them. My grandparents piano is my prized possession. I can feel them with me every time I look at it. I don't play, but I remember sitting on that bench with my grandmother playing chopsticks. She was the most joyful person I've ever known and thoughts of her always make me smile. The photos that family members and friends have taken that sit on this piano make me so happy that they took the time to make them. My grandparents continue to be my moral compass and this piano has somehow helped to keep me on the right path. 

I can pretty much give away any thing, but I do have some odd connections. Books, I have a TON of books. And cars, I get a real weird emotional attachment to them. Must be genetic, because every car any member of my fathers large family had ended up at the farm of my grandparents, but oh the stories they could tell. I also had an unhealthy connection to the mattress I had when I was single (also...the stories it could tell, but we won't go there). When it came time to let that go, it was like a chapter of my life was closing. I also really, really miss my apartment in Delaware.

I think that is what stuff is largely about for me, stages of life. I'm in a new stage now. Almost eight years ago I married a wonderful man. My life is not so normal once again, his business is a traveling shark show. Yes, I met him in the circus. Now the stuff around me sometimes speaks to my past, but much of it speaks to this new life I've built. I continue to collect things that are created by special people. But now the stuff represents a shared appreciation and it feels a bit less selfish.

What I realize now that life has taken a new turn is that what I would grab if my house was on fire is very simple. It would be my husband and my two dogs...because without them all the stuff in the world really doesn't amount to much of anything at all.




Blogger Debbie Lamey-MacDonald said...

Wonderful Post Evelyn! I am so happy you have such beautiful memories about your grandparents and family. It is nice that your stuff has become a trigger for fond memories, rather than an obsession or prize. I agree totally that when you take all the "stuff" away it is our family that is the most important! What a wonderful little corner in your house. Thanks for sharing!

September 18, 2010 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Evelyn McCorristin Peters said...

Thanks Debbie,
I love this part of my home, it's my one little place that is all mine. I miss my family terribly since moving to Florida, but they are always with me in my heart!

September 22, 2010 at 6:07 PM  

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