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Book Club Connections

I just love 'em. And, the club I called in to recently in Arcadia, California was a great example.


L. to R.- Linda, Susie (in chair), Rachel, Carla, Sarah, and Kathy (in chair).

Susie chose QUEEN OF THE ROAD because her son's girlfriend, Golda, had read it for her book club in La Jolla, and I had called in for their discussion. (I guess I didn't make too much a fool of myself - or, maybe I did and they found it highly entertaining. Fine by me.)

Anyway, Susie is married to her own MD-Project Nerd (maybe that's why she said her favorite part of the book was my relationship with Tim) and talked about a road trip she and her daughter, Katie, took:


Unlike us, they loved Graceland, can you tell?:


Well, there's no accounting for taste. (Oh, wait a minute: Susie said she loved my book. Oops.)

I do see some potential hate mail in my future from this group: Linda's husband is reading my book now (only real men read QUEEN OF THE ROAD, don'tcha know) and I have a feeling... (Although she has already done a three month RV trip with her kids, but still... Then, there's Sarah who said she'd love to do an RV trip for a year - and she's from NY. Go figure!)

To round out the group: Cathy was in Alaska last summer, so we got to compare some notes and Carla is one of few Los Angeles natives I've ever "met." (As is Linda.)

One of the most interesting parts of our discussion was the idea of getting rid of stuff. Several of the women mentioned that they had been doing that and we wondered if perhaps it's a middle-age thing, a metaphor for shedding some of the old and looking forward to the new.

What do you all think? Was there a time in your life when you felt the need to get rid of stuff? Why? How old were you? If there hasn't been, is that something you can foresee? Those questions are very much on my mind these days as I sort through stuff preparing to give up our stationary home. If this has also been on your mind, what has been the impetus for you?

Comments (10)

Cindy Rold:

I've been getting rid of lots of stuff lately. The impetus is my parents moving out of the house they lived in for 41 years. Going through all of their stuff, much of which hadn't been used or seen in over 20 years, made me realize that I don't want to live like that. I've made a conscious effort to pare down and keep only that which makes me smile, is useful, or I have a good place to keep. If it's going to gather dust in storage, I don't want it.

I hear ya. It was really amazing to me when we returned from our bus year to boxes and boxes of stuff in storage I not only hadn't missed, but hadn't even thought about. I'm totally in slash and burn mode now, as we prepare to sell our house and live in the bus. I just don't want to hang on to things. I recently went through some boxes and found PJs I've had since H.S. ! OUT OUT OUT!!! (Yes, even the PJs.)

My folks passed away a few years ago, my husband retired from his job in air traffic control, my kids went off to college and we moved to Sedona, AZ. Enough reasons to pare down, huh? Also, being a professional organizer and mentor I knew enough to follow my own advice. (Best advice I ever gave myself ;-) Life is sweeter and simpler and I've never been more at peace, not having to maintain so much stuff. Go for it. (I'm 58, btw).

I like the word "maintain" here. Even if you're not actively supporting the stuff (like a house with a mortage, etc), but "only" have it boxed in the basement, I'm finding it still takes up some energy just having it there.

I'm still amazed how little stuff I used during our bus year, despite the fact that it all fit into 340 sq ft.


For awhile there, we were moving every few years and that was good for paring down. Now we have been in this house for 8 years, starting to feel the need to sort through things again. I have to watch TLC's Clean Sweep for inspiration first though, or I end up thinking - "I could use this!"

Tim and I have moved a lot over the years and that's the one thing I like about moving: It forces you to sort and toss. Unless... our last few moves (4 to be exact) have been in the same town, and in that case, we just pack up everything, intending to sort and toss later. Of course, that never really happens. It all just sits in boxes in the basement.

Next move will have to be different - there won't be no stinkin' basement.


Basements should be a requirement for all abodes!

A bay will have to do!

We shed a ton of stuff just before we moved to Texas for my husband to attend seminary (sort of like our own three-year RV trip). We downsized from a spacious townhouse to a teensy one-room apartment, so we've had to continue to shed since we've been here. But it has been so surprisingly great--helped us prioritize and become somewhat less materialistic.
But I haven't been able to part with the majority of my shoes and books. It's a process. "What do you want from me?" :)

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 20, 2009 5:20 PM.

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