So I've got to move again, next year.  Hopefully, next spring.  I can't really afford to stay here in this big sprawling one-bedroom apartment in Pelham when my job is over on the Hudson side of the county, and my budget is more on the studio side of living.

    And I find myself making choices as to what I can give away to the library, and to the “Sal”.  The “Sal” as it was always affectionately called in my family because my paternal grandmother worked tirelessly for the “Sal” for years.  I have plenty of clothes that won't fit me, and some furniture that won't fit a studio, so I'll be calling the “Sal” at some point this winter.

    I'm definitely keeping my CD and DVD collection, though.  I put a lot of care and thought into the films and music that I buy for keeps.  And I'm holding onto the majority of my knick-knacks, because the ones I have on display are the ones that make me happy whenever I look at them, and the ones I have in boxes are the ones I want to hand down to my nieces and nephews some day.

    I have this incredibly cool copy of The Wizard of Oz in Pop-Up Book form that I got for free a few years ago, and a doll's-sized tea set that was handed down to me from my grandmother's best friend who had it when she was a child.  I have a ton of my mother's Storybook dolls that are now in a box, each doll encased in its own ziplock bag like murder victims in a bodybag....and, I hate to say it, but I sort of helped make them look as disheveled as they appear, thanks to me rearranging their hats and dresses and combing their carefully glued little wigs when I was a kid.  I have three Hummels that were once my grandmother's, all originals but woefully worn.  I know they're worth nothing in dollar value now, but whenever I look at them on my bookshelf I think of those days when I was a child and I stared at my grandmother's Hummel collection in toto (she must have had at least 90 of them) sitting behind glass doors in the hutch and it makes me remember the awe that I felt back then.  Awe over the number of them, and wonderment over the looks of wonder on their individual faces.  Childhood awe is a gift we should never fully let go of, I think.

    I felt awe over President Kennedy even though he was assassinated before I was born, just as I felt awe over Lincoln.  I felt awed by Nixon because he was the President I knew as a child (LBJ not having any affect on me simply because I was born in '64 and didn't pay attention to presidents until I went to school).  Ford was simply that nice man who pardoned my mommy's bad president and Carter was that Southern dude whose brother liked beer.  At first, anyway.  By the time Carter's presidency was ending, I was old enough to know a little more, and I thought:  Yikes!  Gas lines and hostages!  So, coming of age to vote, and being raised a Republican, I thought Reagan was tops when he came along.

    Woo wee.  Look where that got me!

    Took me a long time, but I finally figured out that my politics and those of my family don't match.  Took me a long time, but I finally questioned my beliefs, my feelings, my stance, and realized that I'm not a Republican.  Took me George HW Bush and George W to figure out we don't need anymore Bush's, and Clinton (much as he screwed things up in many ways) to figure out that Dems handle deficits much better than Republicans do.  That's why I registered Democrat in 2006.  Well, one of the reasons, anyway.

    Some heirlooms are worth keeping, but a lot of baggage is worth questioning.  It's my hope that by reiterating my own personal political shift here, I can help some strays find their own way home to a new party too.

    Question yourself.  Ask yourself whether the party you belong to really fits your personal beliefs.  Ask yourself if you vote a certain way simply because your family does and you were brought up that way.  Ask yourself what is most important to you, and to your vision of America in the future.  Ask yourself what you'd like to leave behind for future generations to come.  Ask yourself if the rhetoric and campaign slogans really make sense to you, compared to what you can find right here.  Ask yourself this before next Tuesday, please.

    That's all I ask.

    (PS:  This post is NOT directed towards the regular commenters here at Dag, btw...in case you couldn't tell.)


    I'm not a regular commenter here at Dagblog, so I'm just going to go first because you started up all these questions, and now a few of my own come to mind:

    Ask yourself, are the Dems really Fascists or Communists?

    Ask yourself, were the Republicans really responsible with the people's money, or the people's trust?

    Ask yourself, is adding the Department of Homeland Security and the Transporation Security Administration really shrinking the government?

    Ask yourself, will suffocating education really improve this country? 

    Ask yourself, should we really be allowing employers to hire full time workers and pay less then a living wage?

    Ask yourself, did the greatest generation become great by ignoring the plight of those less fortunate?  Really?

    Ask yourself, if we can produce things without pollution, really, why should we produce things and generate pollution? 

    Ask yourself, did the corporate profits ever really trickle down?

    Ask yourself, really, why are we celebrating the production of a trickle as an achievement?  Couldn't we aim just a little higher?

    There are a ton of questions to ask, and this is the best advice, because of the resource you have at your disposal, right now, as you read this on the web...ask yourself...then go find the answers, really, not some wisea$$ answers from a pundit.  From a reliable, impartial source.  Really, just ask yourself.  The real answers may surprise you.


    Excellent questions, Gregor.  Thanks for adding to and enhancing my post. 

    After a certain age down sizing becomes a constant job.  Now that the weather has cooled down I can work at it.  My trunk is full for a trip to good will.  It sometimes is hard to do because as you unearth forgotten documents and objects it brings back memories. 

    The only political memory I have from my childhood was going to a large rally with my next door neighbor for Nixon and Lodge campaign.   They were democrats but enjoyed the free intertainment because money was scarce and it was close enough to walk.    

    LisB, nice post. I know the "Sal", scrounged for used books there before everyone else caught on. I've carted my books around the country, spending more on storage than most of them are worth. But objects, especially books, are personal history. I have thousands and on most I can recall when and where I found them. 

    Our objects speak to our world view of culture. For me it is books, including great dust jackets which I sometimes individually frame in order to see them while preserving them. For others, culture is going to rock concerts and putting the ticket stubs in a scrap book.

    Then, there is the culture that most of us don't understand--God, guns, wild hog meat and 350 duallies. These people fear losing their culture and in a sense they are correct, the culture is becoming more diverse, minorities are gaining on whites economically, homosexuals are being given citizenship at long last. This group will vote against their own health care because they perceive that to have it means a destruction of the rest of their culture. Individually they are generous, have a love of family. They simply view Democrats and liberals as the people from "away" who will take their culture from them.

    A neighbor's child has had cancer, they had to fight their insurance company to get coverage and there is a fear of re-occurance. They are fundamentalists Christians. Guess what their politics are.  

    Very perceptive, Oxy Mora.  And isn't it incredible that even facing such an awful situation firsthand, your neighbors choose to vote against their own best interests.  Amazing.

    Ah downsizing. If it were not for moving, I would have more junk than a 2 block long surplus store. I guess it's my background. Having to scrounge for so long for the stuff I got, I become a major pack rat. But now I too need to unload as much as possible since I will be relocating myself. Out of state actually. Bigger move means bringing less stuff. So there will be a number of trips to the complex dumpster.

    Good stuff I just don't want I set outside. It is usually gone with in a day. Just junk goes into the compactor. My politics, liberal/libertarian I guess come from my background as well. I do not see how one can live a life that borders on poverty and be a republican. To be and/or associate with people like that requires one to have enough money so one can not give a wet slap about anyone else.

    I do 90% of all of my own repairs and construction.  When I need hardware, parts or material, I must make a 50 mile round trip in order to procure what I need.  In order to avoid additional trips, I usually purchase more items than I require.  I have a full three car garage with material on shelves and items hanging on nails.  I am, now stacking things on other things.  Finally, I placed plywood floors across my rafters and started storing stuff up there (Not recommended as the garage was not built sufficiently strong for excess weight across the rafters.)

    Over the past few years, I have become the last descendent of my immediate family.  I have been responsible for the the disposition of my loved ones possessions upon their demise.  All of us were, basically, blue collar and own little of value.  As I went through the homes I became aware that one person's treasure is , basically, so much junk once one has tipped.  I guess one could have yard sales, etc., but why go through the trouble when the buzzards offer a penny on the dollar?  Now, I realize that I'm in the process of smothering my wife with the same conflicts that confronted me (She's 8 years younger than me.)

    Damn...All "my stuff" is so critical to my sense of well-being!

    I have a standing invitation to winter in a two-bedroom condo on the beach in Puerto Rico.  Won't accept the offer because my wife is still working and I wouldn't have access to my "stuff!"


    The joys of Florida.  I set my stuff out on Sunday afternoon so all the pickers can have it carted off by night fall and what is left get picked up by trash on Monday morning.  

    Under English Common Law there were two types of property: Real Property and Personal Property.

    Personal property was also referrred to as personality.

    About ten years ago I lost all of my personality.


    Most people got no personality anyway, Dick. Property-wise, or the other type. 

    So..... logically..... therefore....

    The End.

    I super-downsized when I left the country. Now, everything I own in the world can fit into two suitcases and eight boxes. I've never felt so free as the moment of the last Goodwill pickup.

    As a young Buddhist monk once told me - The more you have, the more you become slave.

    "Those who want the fewest things are nearest to the gods." - Socrates

    There's a middle ground to be desired in this downsizing business that has very little to do with "market value."

    I lost most of the material things I had acquired (paying for them myself) to Hurricane Ivan. Big things, small things; didn't matter. What I did hoard was at least half my books, paintings, plus the things I had inherited.

    Times toughened; I realized that in the things I had inherited, I still had, ironically, some things of "market value" although I had kept them as things of "family value."

    So I sold those -- recognizing them, anew, as sources of independence. I felt remarkably free, thereafter. Yet still I hoarded some boxes of books and paintings and a few pieces of sculpture and the odd thing, worth nothing, that had sentimental value based on its association with life experience.

    I still have some of those things. Because, curiously, the big freedom came from giving up my books.....GASP ..... Why?

    Why? Because now I am free to enjoy the public library again that was so much a positive part of my childhood and adolescence. The search, the ability to reserve, to request, the relationship with a librarian who, wherever, wants nothing more than to sponsor READING.

    The only down side? Of course, no allowance for margin notes, no tolerance for turned down tabs on pages worth revisiting; rather, it's now back to Post-Its and the discipline to type in passages that seem to have relevance or meaning. Sometimes I turn in a book and then realize that there was one, or two or three references I wish I had captured before the book's return. But hey -- the library lives to serve.... and so any good librarian -- and they are everywhere -- will reserve the book again, and again -- as one of the great government services of our culture.

    Go ahead. Downsize. Keep what matters. When you really think about what that means.

    You can have my books, "when you pry them from my cold dead hands."

    That's what I used to say, because I believed it, Donal. So I recognize and value your point of view. 

    However, would you keep your books until they are pried from your cold, dead hands if, by selling them, you were able to afford one month of critical healthcare for yourself, or for your wife or for anyone you hold dear?

    All is relative.

    Excellent point, WWS.  Though I have to admit a lot of my books were bought from book clubs where you buy six or seven at discount in order to join the club, and a lot of them are paperbacks bought for me by others who thought they knew my reading taste, but didn't.  Those books I will happily donate to the library before I move, yes.  They make up a good 50% of my collection.  The other ones, however....I can't give up.  Not yet.

    My sister is amazed that in the seven years I've lived here in Pelham, I have never gone to the library.  Never obtained a library card.  All my life, up until now, getting a library card in whatever new community I moved to was paramount.  It was one of the first things I did upon moving in.  I don't know why, this time around, that changed, but I can assure you that when I move next spring I will be getting a library card wherever I end up.  I miss the same things you mention in your comment above - the requests, the searching....even the plastic jackets and the way they crinkle under your hands.  The hush of a library, the whispering, the rows and rows and shelves and shelves of books....yeah, I miss it all.


    My comments only meant to share my own experience, Lis -- fwtw. Not meant in any way as a judgment about anyone else's choices ... other than that I made, to Donal, as a gentle comparison to greater imperative vis a vis healthcare or whatever.

    You have a new job, for which I congratulate you; you've earned it and then some.

    Thanks.  Laughing  And no, no, I didn't see any judgment in your comment at all.  You just reminded me of how lovely libraries can be.  This is the one I visited a lot as a kid and it happens to be in Tarrytown, where my new office is.  So, if I'm able to find a studio apartment close enough to the office, Warner may just end up being my library again.  I wouldn't mind that in the least!


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