Who Wants What

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There was an interesting article in the Kitsap Herald this week called: “Who Wants What?” and other things in flux. The article talked about a family trying to figure out who got what when their parent or relative died. It is something that with the events of the summer has been on my mind. I realized what may be of value to us, can be of very little value to someone else. Just because we either received something wonderful as a gift or saved and bought it with our own money, means nothing to many people.

From the days when I lived a more urbane lifestyle I have a collection of beautiful crystal, china and silver. I became aware in the last few years that some younger people not only do not think of it as valuable, they disdain that I have not sold it for the money it would now bring. It is of no value to them. Several years ago, a new family member randomly took a glass from the cabinet to the beach, then left it over night on the arm of the chair by the fire pit, no knowing and not asking if it was okay. I don’t usually take my Waterford to the beach or leave it outside over night. That same visit another new family member used a couple Waterford crystal bowls to put chips on the picnic table just going into the pantry and taking the first thing they saw. Those bowls were a gift from my late husband that he bought as a surprise from a jewelry store going out of business. They fit in the lifestyle we had at the time. They are a fond memory of someone I loved and I don’t take them outside. I was informed I should sell these things and no one should keep glasses or bowls worth so much.

I started looking in to selling as I discussed in another article, but find it is no longer worth what I paid for it. So do you sell or enjoy?

As I approach my sixty-eighth birthday next week I have been pondering what will happen to all the “stuff” I have collected all my adult life. It seems the older I get, the less I want. I love the look of a perfectly clean clutter free countertop, but I do love the feel of drinking wine from a beautiful stemmed Riedel wineglass. For some reason scotch takes better to me in a heavy leaded crystal glass, so I think I will keep these as long as I can enjoy a little glass of something in the evening.

For twenty-five years I’ve moved two big boxes of Lionel Trains to different houses. This last year I offered them to my sons, thinking they would want them. Only one son wanted any of them and he only wanted the four oldest ones; so I sold the rest and lightened my moving load. I started asking my sons this summer, what if anything they might want. My oldest plays chess and wanted the ivory chess set his father bought forty years ago when he was in the military. My youngest said he would like toys from his father’s youth and his fishing rods; so he can have them any time.

And so it goes as I look around my home and wonder if they will want any of it when I am gone? I am thinking of making an excel spreadsheet list with all the good stuff, send it to each of them and see if anyone wants anything, then put the outcome in my will. I do want my own sons and no one else to be left what they want to have. I don’t want to add stress to their already busy lives, by having them have to deal with “stuff”, so I think I will donate what they do not want to a charity of my choice. I don’t want them arguing about “who gets what” or who or how do we sell all this stuff. I would rather see it donated to a good cause, rather than sold at some creepy garage sale like my brother insisted that we do with my mother’s belongings when she went in full time care.

When I go, I want to leave behind good memories and happy thoughts for my family, a few things they can pass on to their families and nothing more.

Who Wants What

Changing Lifestyle

As we grow older we realize the beautiful and expensive things we have collected over a lifetime are not important to anyone in our family but ourselves. It seems the times of collecting fine china, crystal and silver belong in their dark ages.  The time in life when we entertained more lavishly is gone.  Our family will not enjoy our collections and will sell them or donate them (not knowing the value) after we die.  I have found in my personal life that not only do my step-children not value or respect what I have, but they resent that I have it at all and cannot understand why I have not sold it.

So surprise to you all, I am not waiting to die, so they can have it.  I worked hard to earn the money to buy what I have and now, or received them as gifts from loved ones, and I am going to be listing it all on Ebay, Replacements ,Amazon or with an auction house and take a nice cruise with what I may earn. (maybe take two cruises)

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I bought these gorgeous, (no longer made) wine glasses when I worked at Macy’s, then The Bon Marche.  I would buy them two at a time when I had a good sales month in the Interior Design Studio I managed within the store. Back then they were $160.00 each on sale with my manager’s discount.  I used to love purple and now after it being my favorite color for twenty years I don’t really even like it.  So almost twenty years ago I was still entertaining and setting a beautiful table. Today, some nicely stemmed Reidel wine glasses take their place on the table. These ten perfect glasses will be on sale soon.

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These two beautiful Waterford Scotch Glasses were a gift from a good friend many years ago.  At the time they sold for over $250 as they were a special edition one year and never offered again.  My stepson took one of them to the beach and has never forgiven me for asking him not to take them for drinking booze on the beach.  He will never understand that they were a gift from someone special in my life. He never thought to ask why they were special to me. He didn’t think to ask if they friend were still alive or if they died. His older sister just thinks it is stupid to keep something this valuable.  Life memories that involve an object rather than a sailing trip do not register to her.  It is funny that neither of them asked why I only had two? So guess what guys, they will be on the market too!

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These four tiny cordial glasses made by Waterford were a wedding present to my late husband and I in 1976 from one of his partners and our good friends at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  I love the feel of them, the texture of them, the joy of putting something wonderful in them and enjoying every last sip.  The memory of receiving such a lovely wedding gift always made me smile in the past, but now knowing the resentment they brought me, just by keeping something I cherish I can’t look at them ever again, and they will be sold soon.

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These smaller Waterford Brandy glasses were another 1976 Wedding gift and have been lovingly cared for and used for over 45 years.  I am not really sure how I feel about someone coming into my home and my treasures and treating me badly because they do not believe in collecting anything.  My own son’s know the history and respect it, but my new family never asked. They assume I am a bad person because I have nice things and want to keep them nice.  Is that a crime? Is it a crime that I do not want them used at the beach or around the fire pit.  I have safely used them in the house for a very long time.

Now I do have a little Mesena Baccarat which is from a terrible marriage that last three months and for Heaven’s Sake I should have gotten rid of those many years ago.  It is soaking right now, as it is dusty from not being used in so long.

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In reality, this is what I would love to do to all the collections I have proudly collected, but I am realist.  These are no longer popular and damn it felt GREAT to throw them in the garbage and hear the glass shatter. I started laughing at what I had done and did not feel an iota of guilt. Looking at the shards of glass I had the passing thought, that life has harsh edges and we can hide it in a glass of wine, but it is still there.  It did my soul good.

No one in life should make you feel bad about what you have, what you like, what you nurture, what you care about and what you don’t want or need to share with them.

No one should ever think that what you have is automatically theirs or theirs to use. What happened to asking permission?

The home I live in now with my husband is not a “Family Home” although I was recently told it was.  No family grew up in this house, nor is it that “lake cabin” where you went every summer.  A family home is one where the family grew up in or went to every summer or winter. Ours is a home where I personally bought waterfront land, designed and built a home to live in, in any manner I chose. My sons family home was sold many years ago. It was a beautiful designed for my sons to grow up in and hopefully remember their father.

Grown children are welcome to come if they can abide by three or four rules.  If they cannot, they do not need to visit. It is sad to me that some grown children (not mine) think they have the right to come in to a house now shared with a wonderful man and think their rules (or lack thereof) apply to our house. It just isn’t so.

 

 

Changing Lifestyle

The view from my window.

Diana's Window 1The view from my window.

The view from the window of my office has always been ugly, as it looks at the roof of my next door neighbor. I am very lucky to live on the waterfront, but where I live the houses are very close together.

If you have been following my posts, you know one of icons of travel is the Airstream. I started collecting miniature Airstreams as I do not yet have an Airstream of my own. As the collection grew I had nowhere to display them. One day I looked at my office window and decided glass shelves would display them in an artistically interesting way.

Here that are!!

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