We’re downsizing! Why do I do this stuff???

It’s a pattern, I guess. I’m thinking back to when we were loading up a half ton pickup truck with all of our possessions (yes, they all fit, one trip) to make the drive from Kingston to Barrie. It was Dec 27, 1970. My first husband had found employment with Val and Ralph Snelgrove’s TV station, and Ron Tyler was taking a gamble on me as his newspaper editor.

Good-bye Kingston; hello Barrie!

So why, with all our earthly wares tucked into this truck, did I come home with a bookcase? It was $10. Beautiful, aged pine, shelves and back, sculpted upper lip at the rear. Three shelves. Deep honey colour. My first husband looked at me, looked at the jammed truck, looked at the bookshelf and asked if I had room for it in my purse. (funny sense of humour, that one)

I guess I felt the need to bring something of Kingston with me, but there it is still, tucked into its corner at our fourth house in Barrie. So, I guess it was an okay buy.

We downsized big-time almost three years ago when we left our third east-end address for our fourth (and final, we hope) east-end address. Target? A small bungalow, 60 years old, single garage, old trees, good sized lot, quiet. The downsizing process is almost scientific but I find it’s best to focus on what you want to take with you, and then everything else seems to find a home. The first person who admired something we weren’t taking went home with it. Family heirlooms went to family, but extra furniture, dishes, cupboards, antiques etc went to people who were starting over in some capacity or another.

I looked at the two wooden silverware chests that sat on the floor in our roomy dining room at the ‘old’ house and wondered where I was going to put those in our new, wee L-shaped 60’s living/dining room arrangement. No room to just plunk them on the floor! A tiny dresser that would have enough drawers to hold all this seemed in order. Then I could ditch the chests. So, off I went to Henry Jones Roadshow Antiques in Innisfil and I cruised through booth after booth of gems until I rounded a corner and THERE IT WAS! 14 drawers. Oak. Classic pull handles. Little brass plates for labelling. Felt lined drawers with three compartments in each. Six and a half feet high. Almost 30 inches deep and the same wide. What a unique, fabulous, suitable, HUGE piece of furniture! Not a little nondescript dresser, that’s for sure. I lugged it home.

My first husband looked at me, again, (he’s done this a lot), looked at the jammed truck, looked at the dresser. “I’m sure you know where this is going,” he commented. “Sure!” I responded. But I wasn’t sure at all.

Funny, how this is. It has become a centrepiece between two easy chairs in the living area, beautiful to look at if you like things made of wood. More beautiful because it was a lapidary storage unit, and each felt compartment contains a little card… rhodonite, feldspar, mica, etc. Now, just think of that!