Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.



Ambush: Make a surprise attack from a concealed position.

I’m trying to declutter the house in preparation for the painter. We’ve lived here a long time, and, I guess I haven’t put things away as promptly as I might have.

I thought I’d start with the guest bedroom – how hard could it be to sort through the stuff piled on the dressers in there? I was sure most of it could be tossed.

But under the piles of old sheet music, bad clarinet reeds, the patterns for sweaters I might have wanted to knit once upon a time, the maps of campgrounds and parks I’ve visited, under all that detritus, was a stack of Christmas cards.

I know I keep Christmas cards way too long. They sit in a basket on the kitchen counter until the next holiday season comes along. And then I have to just toss them all at once, I can’t look through them or I won’t be able to heave them into the trash. So why would a stack of Christmas cards be sitting on a dresser in a guest room?

I shouldn’t have looked.

They are from 1997; cards and holiday letters from many people who are long gone. Cards from people who are gone from my life because relationships faded, divorces happened, or they moved and we just lost touch. And an awful lot of them have died, including one of my best friends, my adopted up north grandma, my father-in-law (that’s him in the center), my sister-in-law, and my own parents.

Merry Christmas, circa 1997

So I’ve sorted through the stack, and have saved the very special hellos and happy holidays, the handwritten notes and newsy letters of those that have gone ahead, and tossed the rest into the trash. But, man, being ambushed by so many memories sure took the wind out of my cleaning sails.

And if you’re wondering how the paint decision is going, I went back to Lowe’s and got four more samples this morning.

It’s complicated.

More of the same.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

16 thoughts on “Ambushed

  1. It’s complicated because whatever choice you make, it’ll probably be around for awhile. And it’s further complicated when more than one person is involved in the choice.


  2. When you’re gone, you won’t people to be stuck for a comment on your life and finally have nothing to say but “She kept her house completely free of clutter>” Those old cards and notes and letters are treasures, demonstrating that you have been loved.


  3. A nice surprise to come across such old cards. Choosing a paint color is always a long task it seems


  4. I toss it all. I love going to estate sales but always come home thinking, “I don’t my house to look like that!” Uh….good luck with the paint.


  5. You can toss the cards, but you can’t toss the memories. Odd how taking a trip down Memory Lane saps your good intentions for accomplishing stuff, huh??


    • Yes, even this little picture of some of the special cards might be enough. But for now I kept a small batch. I was on a roll cleaning and then stopped to read letters and miss people and that was that. But I’m back to cleaning now so all’s good.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like you are very busy. good luck with the ambush, lol. Don’t know if I told you how much I LOVED your Christmas card this year. (Often put it at the front of the card basket to admire it. Such a sweet little bird.)


    • Awwww…thank you! I loved that little bird too. I couldn’t resist him when I saw him at the store.

      I’m busy decluttering the house in preparation of painting. What a job! We’ve lived here 25 years (I know, that’s nothing compared to you…) and I wonder why we didn’t throw more stuff away! Still each throw it away decision seems to take time even now.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m liking the polka dot pattern. I admire your planning. I painted my kitchen walls the times in a month then years ago. The butter walls and khaki cupboards displeased my husband. So I tried to appease him by changing the wall color to a hearty burnt orange. My sister walked in as I was finishing and remarked :”putrid pumpkin”. I let my husband choose and we ended up with bright yellow walls and pistachio green cupboards. Totally puke worthy.


  8. I completely understand the struggle with getting rid of cards! Completely. Good luck with that paint choice. Ugh.


    • Picking paint is right up there with buying furniture on the list of stuff that is hard to do with another person. The cards most difficult to let go of are those with handwritten notes in them. And if they’re from someone gone? Then the card has to stay with me.

      Liked by 1 person

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