My parents are finally here. They moved into their great new house this week, along with all of the chaos that goes with it: creepy movers, broken furniture, and a TOTAL lack of knowing where the knives are.
Having lived in the same Northeastern Ohio house since Nixon was President, my folks have accumulated some serious
crap clutter. It’s always hard to weed through the stuff one may or may not need when relocating to a new area of the country. But color me so surprised when I opened a drawer in my parents’ living room and found it jam packed with gloves and mittens. Discovering the next drawer, also crammed with more gloves and mittens, had me scratching my head. There must have been 25 pairs of gloves in there! When last I checked, Mom and Dad only have two hands apiece. And the new house here in sunny Georgia comes with amenities (grounds keepers and all so on) that keep the residents from ever having to rake, shovel or even sweep.
Folks, what’s with all the gloves?
I bet that one pair of gloves will last any Georgian for the rest of his or her natural life. The last time I put on gloves was for the Lilburn Christmas Parade in 2005. (That was a cold day!) But, I don’t think I’ve needed to protect my hands from Jack Frost since.
I thought about giving my parents a razz about the gloves (and the giant box of winter coats, too), but, honestly, there’s no point. This is SUCH a life adjustment for them. Both are way stressed, aching with tiredness, and have 10,000 new decisions to make every day. Gloves tucked into a drawer, acknowledged by the head as superfluous, and intended to be dealt with later, may remain necessary in the heart, symbols of our tradition and defining of our lives. In other words, we keep the gloves cause we’ve always kept the gloves; we’ve always needed the gloves, and we can’t part with the gloves before we know with certainty that they are no longer needed.
I’m really proud of the way my parents HAVE divested themselves of several TONS of junk. So what if they have a drawer full of gauntlets to defend their ways from the past. My parents have earned the right to keep whatever they please (for as long as they are willing to pay someone to move it). It’s really a lot of fun to watch my parents reinvent their world, moving and rearranging the paintings, knick-knacks, books and furniture that have been linked since before my birth. I think it might be weirder for me than for them, even.
For my entire life, a drawing of a woman peeling onions has hung on a pale green wall in my birth home. I moved out of that house when I was 17 years old, and really only returned there for short visits in the 17 years since. But now, knowing the wall is bare (which I don’t think I will ever see), knowing that simple image is destined for a new juxtaposition (which I will surely see soon), well, it gives me a small case of the willies. No wonder Charles Foster Kane’s dying breath gasped for his Rosebud.
I wonder if my parent will lend me some old gloves that smell like Ohio so I can comfort myself…