Friday, October 20, 2006


Our house is usually pretty neat and tidy, but we do have our little pockets of clutter. This one, just inside the front door, caught my eye this morning, and it occured to me that clutter often has stories to tell. Usually in our house, the story has to do with "why we couldn't get rid of that" even though it is not something essential to our livelihood or well-being. I'll tell you some stories about this little clutter corner.

The big straw basket was a "score" at a yard sale a couple of years ago. It is African, and so beautiful - I love it. Inside that basket is a handmade quilt, a last-stab effort to hold me given by an ex-husband about 25 years ago. It is a beautiful quilt, too good to get rid of, but it holds emotional content that prevents me from actually using it on a bed. So it sits here filling out the sides of the basket. On top of the quilt is an assortment of toys, also found at yard sales, and kept on hand for neighbor children who might come visiting (but secretly also for our grandchildren, who are not yet more than a gleam in the eye of their grandmothers).

Also in the back of the corner is a Chinese umbrella stand which came to us from the estate of Daniella's mother who died several years ago. We now have a solitary green umbrella living there. It was left at our home last year after a party, by one of the hapless guests who apparently never thought of it again. It is waiting to go home, but it probably never will. There is also a nice, carved cane. Nobody in our home uses a cane, but it is nice and it is hand carved, and it gives the umbrella stand something to hold. Someday we might be glad to have one (but let's not go there!)

Next we see a small wooden stool (also from Daniella's mother's estate) which has never found a true place in our home, so it moves around from one clutter corner to another. Sitting on the stool this week is a Cuisinart in a box, the tiny size used to chop garlic and various herbs. Our friend Pamela, on Whidbey Island, expressed a wish to have one of these little machines, and Daniella found one, so there it sits waiting for December to come along so that it can be carried up to the island. Today, I might add, is mid-October.

Finally, the big blue daisy-covered tote bag in front holds assorted swimming gear - bathing suit, visors, sunglasses, lotions, towel, shampoo. It will be going to water exercise with Daniella later this morning, so it is passing through on a quick stopover.

For anyone who might wonder, the lamp on that table belonged to my grandmother, and then my parents. It was the one thing in my parents ' home that I most coveted. When it came to me, my son Phil made the glass lamp shade, when he worked at Johnson Arts Studio in Santa Cruz.

Does your clutter have stories??


robin andrea said...

The only story our clutter tells about us is that we never like to open our mail, nor do ever throw any piece of paper away. Our clutter is very boring. Your clutter is quite lovely.

donna said...

My clutter says nobody in this house knows how to put anything away....

DivaJood said...

SJ, your clutter isn't clutter at all, it's more a cozy gathering of memories and intentions.

Clutter is something else. Clutter is chaos, it's the places we can't look at because it involves intent. My clutter is true clutter - stacks of papers, coats I forget to hang up because of lack of closet space, books I'm in the middle of reading, chaos.

Clutter makes us stuck. Damn, now I have to do some work in my house.

Endment said...

What wonderful glamorous clutter

I'm with divajood - now I have to go do some work on my house ----

Jane said...

I was struck most by your comments about the lovely quilt. There it is tucked away in deepest Africa and sitting in your entryway at the same time.

Much like how we tuck away old relationships so that we are able to greet new ones.

How wonderful that you kept the beautiful and not the bitter.


Mary ND said...

This is a great idea for a blog!