Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stuff...Saying Goodbye

For several summers in a row now have spent my time from April through until October at a seasonal campgrounds down the road from where I now live.  For reasons that don't really matter much, I will not be able to spend my summers there, the last few weeks once the decision was made spent cleaning out the camper that was home, throwing away and getting rid of the stuff that had accumulated there over years...

Getting rid of things, parting with ones stuff is a hard is not so much the stuff in and of itself that creates the heartbreak, but rather the memories associated with your things, the memories that those items helped to make over years.  

There was the Tiki bar, just a small four foot assembly of wood with two shelves, and two bar stools that matched.  The first few years the bar was outside, an umbrella shading my guests during the heat of the day, providing just enough cover to sit at the bar during rainstorms having a Jack and Coke with friends.  In later years as the campsite grew, a deck with a screened in room was the bar's new home, along with other additions including a table with four chairs and a small color TV on which to watch the Yankee's play.  It would have been nice to have one final farewell weekend at camp this season, but that was not too be.  There were no friends there to help say goodbye, no last night sitting around a campfire, no patrons at my little self serve bar to send it off to the trash heap in proper form.  The little Tiki bar served me well, that simple little four foot space where friends gathered leaving behind a lifetime of memories, but caressing its aged wood, remembering all those times shared around its simple shape saw me shedding more than a few tears as it was tossed into the dumpster, soon disappearing under a pile of more stuff suffering the same fate.

The camper...a nice 40 foot long home on wheels will be hauled down the hill this coming week, sold for a pittance of what it was purchased for years ago.  Devoid of stuff, cleaned and scrubbed it looked much the same as it did the day it was bought...I remember that day, remember looking at the camper, then driving up to see the campgrounds, choosing a site and becoming a "seasonal camper". At that time, the beautiful interior seemed almost grand, but over the year as tables, wine glasses, pillows and other items from home made their way to camp, the camper took on personality, became cozy, inviting and was also home for the better part of six months each year.

Packing dishes each meal shared on them remembered in bittersweet recollections of a time that was/is now officially over.  Silly little items that had been bought just for camp, decorative little things, or functional in an antique kind of way...each having a story, a memory, as if each piece within the whole that is stuff was special, magically imbued with the ability to make me recall in perfect clarity as if looking at a photograph each of the special times that item had played a part.

Today, all the stuff is gone...some of it packed in boxes sitting in my apartment, other things packed up and sent down to Peekskill where they sit in Pina's house, each of us with our own tears to be shed when those boxes are unpacked, the things put away.   I closed the door to the camper for the last time at just after two this afternoon and said goodbye.  Standing there alone, I knew that an important chapter in the story that is my life was officially over.   Taking one last drive through the campgrounds, perhaps it was fitting there was no one there to witness the tears as they streamed down my cheeks, proper that no one was there to ask me what was wrong.  How do you tell one you are crying over stuff, how do you tell someone you are crying over the fact you know you will never be coming back.

I over time will not really miss the stuff...have more than enough stuff as it is, and need to get rid of some if not a lot of it.  I will though miss the memories that stuff helped to form, will miss the fact that with the letting go of that stuff, a family I had been a part of for so many years will be moving on, and as days and weeks move into month, no longer a member of that family, I will too quickly become a distant memory seldom if ever remembered and recalled.

Saying goodbye to Skyway today in some ways was almost like a mini death, a foretelling of a death we all one day shall have to endure, and looking at this one, the one down the road some day is not going to be an experience I will enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment