The Importance of Possessions…….Or Not
Having reached my more ‘mature age,’ I am aware of how few material possessions are significant, or necessary in my current, simple lifestyle. I have been fortunate to have owned and loved beautiful dinnerware, table linen, crystal, silverware, which I used frequently to host dinner parties. I enjoyed immensely, the planning for a dinner party. This was the time to clean the silver, polish the crystal, check the table linen before the setting up. Oh, this was the part I loved. All the precious possession were set out in readiness, silverware and crystal gleaming on starched white tablecloths and matching napkins. Fresh flowers adorning the centre of the table and adjoining antique sideboards, which were also some of my prized possessions.
This era was special, creating memories of friends, wonderful parties and occasions to use my precious possessions.
Now that I have reached my senior years, things have changed. We now live in a small ‘granny flat.’ Downsizing is an exhausting and emotional time.
What to keep?
What to throw out or give away?
What to hand down to children who don’t really want our possessions?
What do I have room for?
Surprise….surprise….How refreshing and simple life can be without too many possessions.
The days of dinner parties have passed for us as we have thirty-nine steps to our door which is not exactly appealing for many of our friends, especially after imbibing in a few wines.
I don’t have any desire to cook after fifty-three years of doing so. I’m very happy to meet friends at a ‘Cheap & Cheerful’ local restaurant. I prefer to be gardening than cooking.
I’m grateful that I have been able to retain our few precious and favourite pieces of antique furniture. After all, there is no market for it nowadays. Who want to spend their time oiling and polishing? At this stage I am happy to do so.
So, what possessions are important to me?
Naturally my husband, our dog (on a good day!), my family and friends, but I do hold dear some material possessions.
I am blessed to have a romantic husband who has presented me with beautiful pieces of jewellery over the years, all with a story which I have allocated to grandchildren with the history attached, when I’m ready to part with them, but….not yet!
Following some deep consideration, I have decided that two rings are more precious than even the most expensive pieces I own.
The first is the wire ring Rick gave to me when he proposed at McAllister in 1969. He had been sitting up a tree all day looking for smoke signals to peg a fence line. He was bored and started to think about me. He broke of a piece of fencing wire, wrapped it around a stick and that is the ring I wore for several months. I love it!
My second favourite ring celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary, but I worked very hard for this one. We were travelling through the Gemfields in Queensland in our caravan. I mentioned to Rick that I thought fifty years of marriage deserved a significant reward, maybe a ring?
‘Hey, now that we’re here in Sapphire, why don’t we go fossicking for an emerald for your ring?’ responded my frugal husband.
And that is what we did. We were taken to a virgin piece of scrub by an old fossicker in 45degree heat, and we dug rocks, washed them in a bucket of filthy water, sieved them and after many hours we held four tiny, green emeralds in our hands. I now had my ring!
As a little girl I loved my mother’s handkerchief box. She had told me that her close friend who was killed in the war, had covered a cardboard box with fabric and embroidered mum’s initials in the corner. It was special to her. I always loved to look inside where mum had a lavender sachet and her dainty white linen handkerchiefs with pretty lace edging. I now own this box and I keep many special bits and pieces inside. It is overflowing with beautiful messages and cards grandchildren have made for me. These are the possessions which mean the world to me. I love to read the cards and messages and share them with the children.
To conclude, material possessions have a time and place in our lives, but don’t be afraid to welcome a simple life when the time comes.
I would love to hear what is precious to you?
Until next time.
Jenny Old AUTHOR
‘Innocent Nurses Abroad’
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