Things & Stuff : Stuff & Things

I had a teacher in high school who hated teaching or maybe he just hated teenagers. He put us through daily talk radio style diatribes with his spin on American History, and most of it I have long forgotten. One thing he did stuck with me though. He refused to allow anyone to provide an answer to a question that contained the words Stuff or Things. Neither was permissible in speaking or writing. So you couldn’t say that a major event happened and then ‘stuff’ occurred or that ‘things’ caused ‘stuff’ to occur. Specific examples were always required. And if you forget and said it then you were lucky to get yelled at and unlucky if an eraser flew at you.

So I couldn’t help but laugh at myself over the weekend as I started going through another pile of keepsakes and other stuff that belonged to various family members through the years. What are these things? And why were they kept? Whose stuff is this? What did it mean to that person? Should I keep it even though I have no idea who, what, where, why?? Or does it just become more stuff and things for someone else to deal with later?

I am packing my house and preparing to move. So, going through all my stuff and all the things that I have inherited over the last several years. LOTS of paper. LOTS of books. As with every move, I think I am going to touch everything and figure out the best place or way to keep it. And then about half way through I realize that it is going to take a lifetime and I had rather play Zelda or workout or look at Instagram pics of pretty houses or anything else. And of course, digitization is what I should be doing but do you know how long it takes to scan and edit a few thousand pages of research not even counting all the photos? And then the odds and ends. Scraps of fabric? Mysterious metal bits? I think I have complained in another post about my ongoing struggle with this. And I shouldn’t. Because it is a good problem to have. Many people have no family records or photos so I should be happy.

Today I am drinking out of this:

Dad's mug

We found this among Dad’s many things. I have no idea where he got it and no recollection of him ever drinking from it. But there it was. And I liked it so I kept it. I haven’t been able to figure out where or who the quote is from exactly. Google led me to some odd places but that could have been because I spelled cavalry wrong. The quote is from the play The Waltz of the Toreadors by Jean Anouilh but I also saw it attributed to Teddy Roosevelt and a few others. The point being that I have acquired some new stuff that meant something to my Dad but I don’t know what or where or why. Guess I am keeping the things I like and dealing with the rest later.


  1. sharonmscarboroughcom September 27, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Loved it. And having just moved my advice is: less is best. But how do you get through the stuff and things to the less?

  2. Anonymous September 27, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Love this! Love the mug!


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