The Most Important Things

Bryan and I have a lot of “stuff”. Since I’ve never sold a house before I have never been truly faced with my stuff. You move from one apartment to another you realize wow I have a lot of stuff, just pack it and figure it out later (just to remain in boxes from move to move). Now with selling, since we don’t have a new house yet, we have to make this one “presentable” which, as it was kindly put to us, means “declutter and take away all of your personal touches”. So we are tasked with taking a bunch of our stuff out of our home. Thankfully my parents live nearby so their basement has become temporary storage. The killer is taking our home and turning it back into a house. Taking the us out of it.

We will eventually be moved by a team of professionals. I’m so happy to not have to move all the heavy furniture. Again. One of the other great things about movers is that your stuff is insured. If they break it they have to repair/replace it. But what does that really mean? I was relocated before and two of my things that got damaged in the move were rather devastating to me. I had a mounted print of Notre Dame cathedral I bought in Paris. Since they didn’t properly wrap it up it got a bit beat up. Wonderful. The one that was worse though was they broke the first stained glass lamp shade that I made. Crunched several of the glass pieces in it. One of which was shattered. It shattered me. And what did I get? $30

Something I never thought of with selling our house is the possibility of people just walking off with some of our possessions. Leave a necklace out someone else likes? How easy that is to slip in a pocket if a realtor isn’t in the room. Or looking at a prized possession with hands and not their eyes and oops, now it’s broken.

It makes you ask: how do you assess value? Cat accidentally puts a hole in a leather coat I got in Italy? Bummer. Can’t imagine how I’d feel if something happened to my grandfather’s old leather coat.

The base question I’ve been asking myself: What are my Most Important Things? Since I’m a sentimental and frugal fool the vast majority of my stuff falls into the “please don’t be damaged” category. That being said, what’s most important is my Grandfather’s Clock. Which is very different from a grandfather clock. My Grandfather’s Clock is more of a mantel/shelf clock style.

My Grandfather died at the beginning of my senior year of college. He lived roughly 12 hours away from my parents’ house. My parents took a few week’s out there to fix up his place to sell. In the process they discovered that some of the crazier stories Grandpa told about the neighborhood were actually true. Like you could put just about anything in alley, regardless of condition, and within 20 minutes it would be gone. There were several things that they brought back with them, one of which was the clock.

My parents and my Aunt Sue had given this clock to my grandpa at some point for some reason (which I can’t remember). When they brought it back they had to take it to a clock shop to get it cleaned and working again. I inherited it when I moved into my first apartment after I graduated. It has traveled with me through my different residences. It is one of the few things that says home to me.

There is something fascinating about the ritual involved in taking care of something old. Once a week I have to wind it 7 turns. If I forget and let it completely unwind it’s 14 turns. Since I keep in on my dresser, and the chimes are loud, I’ll turn the chimes on Saturday or Sunday to keep all the gears and cogs running like clockwork (hehe). There are three different chime sequences to choose from. My favorite is the last and most complicated one as it uses all of the tones. I would love to see the guts of the clock to see how it all works.

When I lay awake at night the quiet tick-tick-tick keeps my company. Some nights when I can’t fall asleep I listen and realize I have forgotten to wind my clock and it’s too quiet. This clock it my family. It is a tie to my grandfather. It keeps me company. It’s voice is familiar to me. It is cherished. It’s one of my most important things. As such, it will be making the move, safe in my car.

3 thoughts on “The Most Important Things

  1. That’s a beautiful story about your Grandfather’s clock. We all need possessions like that which help keep us grounded to our past.
    Good luck with the packing and sorting through valuables 🙂

  2. It’s so important to have those few things that “say home.” We live in a house we don’t own with furnishings that don’t belong to us. It was absolutely necessary that we have those few special things that make it home. Good luck with your move!

    • Thanks! We are going to go for the home inspection on the new place today and if all goes well we will close on the house early September. Now to get our current house sold…

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