I love the dump, er, transfer station. I love to stand at the edge of the pit and heave my crap into the steaming hole while the man in the caged-topped bulldozer smashes and compacts everyone’s “junk” into a giant cube that is carted away in a truck to “that place” we don’t like to think about. I love that moment when the last piece of your mind is swept from the bed of the truck. Ahhh…..freedom.

I love to donate clothes I’ll never fit into again (some with tags still on), souvenir shot glasses from obscure places like Fargo, North Dakota, coffee mugs with funny sayings, that framed picture of the Grand Canyon, that old bookcase that will look great in some college kid’s dorm. I like to think someone will go crazy for that Star Trek lunch box WITH the thermos still intact. Not to mention the home brew kit with all the parts and owner’s manual.

Where do we get all this stuff? Did it mean something to us at one time? When did we fall out of love with this stuff?

I have too much stuff.

Today I ran across a picture of my mom in a bag of framed photos. When my mom died, besides a few clothes and pieces of costume jewelry, the only other thing she owned were these photos. Because of some unfortunate relationship choices she had nothing. At the time that seemed tragic to me. Not because I wanted any of her “stuff” but because it seemed (or so I thought) that she was without. Without stuff.

Now I get it. That’s how we should all leave this world. Not with a house full of stuff that someone has to go through, fight over, or haggle with strangers at an estate sale. We should die with our pictures and our memories.

LA was burning last week. One person that had to flee their house said “All I was able to grab were my pictures.” And your life. Isn’t that all we need?

I think I’m going to pack for this move like my house is on fire. Memories and pictures.

Oh, and my books, and music and that couch, and okay, my sleigh bed….and coffee pot……and that cool lamp…………….

In loving memory of mom. I miss you.