After 36 years in the same house, just in the next suburb from us, my in-laws are downsizing and move in two weeks time. They are only moving, literally, about two blocks away, but everything still has to be packed and some serious rationalising is required.
My dear mother-in-law is a hoarder - she admits it, but that doesn't make the process of culling any easier. She has brochures from every trip they've ever taken, and I mean EVERY trip. She has dozens and dozens of videos. She has Australia winning the America's Cup when Bob Hawke was Prime Minister; she has Pat Cash winning Wimbeldon; she has Charles and Diana's wedding and Diana's subsequent funeral. She likes to hold on to her memories and it's hard for her to modernise to having files on a computer instead of holding a tape in her hands.
My husband and his two siblings have been sorting through items of theirs that have remained at the family home. We have refused old school and footy jumpers; old sporting equipment has been discarded and then amongst the glo mesh handbags and old sewing patterns that I've sorted through there have been a few treasures. One item we've kept was a story my husband wrote in primary school, terribly politically incorrect, but terribly amusing - we've added that to our collection. The other item is a series of books that my husband spent hours and hours pouring over, again throughout primary school.
For many years I've known that my husband LOVED birds when he was small, he knew most birds within Victoria by name, so cute. One thing his mother had kept were his reference books from that time, a series of 7 Gould League bird books. Geoff said he didn't want/need them, but some things you just have to make room for.
The very next day, a blackbird started building her nest in our clematis vine right outside our kitchen window. She's been so busy, ferrying bits of twigs, then grasses and now she's onto mud and manure to line it with. Okay, I know a blackbird isn't very exotic, but still, it's gorgeous to watch. I tried to sneak a photo while she was out gathering, but it's not great, I didn't want to have her catch me. By the way, do you know the story of how the blackbird got it's colours? Apparently when Mother Nature was giving the birds all their colours and markings the blackbird was too busy playing to be there to get his. By the time he realised and came back Mother Nature was all out of the bright colours, all she had was a tin of black boot polish and a tiny jar of yellow paint, and that's how the blackbird got its colours. Not sure who told me that story for the first time (or why Mother Nature had a jar of paint) but I still remember and love it.