Monday, June 28, 2010

Motto for the year

It works. This is the brownie pan, "as seen on TV," made for the edge lover. The divider, not shown in this picture, lets the brownies cook so that every brownie has edges.

My sweet sister-in-law Sherry gave us the pan for Christmas. I finally used it for the first time this weekend. I only waited six months to try it out.

I used the special brownie mix my other thoughtful sister-in-law gave me. Duncan Hines Chocolate Chunk, since discontinued, was my all time favorite. Susan found two boxes in her grocery store and sent them to me, a while ago. I had used one, but had been saving the other for a special occasion.

What could be more special than celebrating successful surgery? In hindsight, there must have been hundreds of times I should have used that last brownie mix. I had been saving it for years evidently, as it had an expiration date of May, 2006. Time does fly, doesn't it? The brownies were still deliciously devoured.

But that brings me to admit that I am a Hoarder, historically using "seconds and surplus" for everyday, saving the "good stuff" for "special" occasions.

I come by this attitude honestly. After my grandma died in her late eighties, her daughters found dozens of brand new nightgowns and other new clothes in her drawers. She was waiting to wear them until she had to go somewhere. She never did.

I grew up using and re-using. Brown paper lunch sacks, plastic sandwich bags and aluminum foil were used over and over in the lunches my mom packed for me and Dad. Scraps from one dress made the accents for another (or went into a quilt.) I wore my best dress only on special occasions. We had everyday stuff and "company" stuff. That's the background of a lot of people my age, growing up in the sixties with parents who themselves grew up in the lean thirties and forties.

Flash forward thirty years and I'm finally "getting it." I am learning to value my stuff by what it does, not what it costs. Do I have designer clothes I never wear, perhaps even with the tags still on? Now I pass them on without hesitation. I don't have to earn the right to get rid of nice things. Let them be nice for someone who will appreciate them. The same rule applies for furniture and nick-knacks and (especially) gadgets that seemed so necessary. Rather than move stuff from closet to garage to attic - just pass things along. It lets me smile.

And for those things I keep, I am trying to use them! How ridiculous to save a brownie mix for four years.

And for the things (shoes) I truly want, I now give myself permission. Recently, I agonized over replacing my kitchen mixer with a new one in a more modern color. There was nothing wrong with my thirty year old mixer. But how silly to keep something just because once it was expensive and still works.

We're hosting a garage sale next month, a fundraiser for Wiley's soccer team. I've started filling the back porch with stuff - bedding, laundry baskets, storage containers, pet paraphernalia, dishes, books, clothes, shoes, electronics........

Love it, use it or go ahead and lose it!

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I'm glad the pan worked. I read this when you first posted--but didn't have time to respond. Amy and Phil swear by Ghiradelli brownies with extra syrup. I love your musings here; I too am trying to use the lovely or just special things instead of save them. But it's hard. Have a great week.