Quarantine – Day 39

A past life

“We are excited to announce that the dining room service and group activities will resume on Monday, February 14, 2022.”

Sometimes it seems unreasonable that we are not like dogs, shedding unnecessary things with the seasons and being confident in nature that we will get more as necessary. In spite of the work I have done on myself to be unattached to things and the work I have done on my house to clear out stuff – periodically a pang of possessiveness hits me. It seems impossible to throw away some small item that is the receptacle of a memory.*

In quarantine we continue clearing out of our house. We moved what we needed at the and left a mess of stuff.  Intermittently, my husband and I have brought things here either for our use or to sort and return. At the end of it all my children will decide whether to store items for family use in the future or get rid of what is left. The idea is, that I won’t care.

This last week I have been sorting boxes and bags found in my closet and in my bathroom vanity at the old house. They aren’t large, but there are treasures buried in them. Some are just strange things to have kept –  like a tiny box of earring backs – easy to toss. Some are not so easy.

When finding some Sarah Coventry jewelry I had bought my early 20s and enjoyed for a season or two, I took a picture and sent it out to all the women in the family. Any takers? There were two. They peaceably decided where it would go and I was gratified that something that meant so much in the past was still pertinent to the future.

But more often I ran into stuff like a piece of folk art formed from clay that I picked up in Guatemala. I loved it at the time because it was so simple and poignant – a baby Jesus depicted in the womb of the Madonna. But somehow baby Jesus got lost and I didn’t have a courage to throw away the Madonna in case Jesus was miraculously reborn. After 10 years I can throw it away In spite of the fact that this is someone’s art.

Then I come to the real stickler. When we were both working and going to charitable auctions my husband and I bought it week’s stay in a small village in Mexico. It was a tiny village. There were two restaurants. One was a in a old woman’s home. Señora Ampara invited people to come early in the day or the day before and let her know what they chose for dinner. She would then travel an hour by bus to the neighboring town, shop, and prepare a meal for you.MS cozy little house is where I learned to love Chili Rellenos.

The other restaurant I remember for it’s salsa fresca, a new concept to us in Mexican food. On the beach, it was a concrete block building with outside tables and a window into the kitchen where you could order. The young lady who brought out of food became our friend. I had not taken a lot of jewelry but at the time I was wearing gold hoops with pearls and gold beads threaded onto them. Our young friend was captivated by those earrings. On our last day I offered them to her. Overwhelmed, she insisted I take her earrings.

I have kept them through all the years although the hooks that hold them on are missing. They would be easily replaceable but I have just never done it. And I know that these are not valuable earrings. They are not a style or material that appeals to my family of women. Not even, really, to me. But they represent  the value of giving and receiving love . The hard lesson to learn is that the love will remain for the precious people I have met in my travels, even when the earrings are gone.


* click on that link or search my blog for “stuff” and see my struggles through the years.



  1. Ah! I can so relate to this–even a scrap of paper that has a friend’s handwriting on it is a relic that links me to that person. And worse: I even keep otherwise meaningless stuff that belonged to my mother before I was born, before she had any thought of me, maybe not even in the realm of hope. And why?


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