My parents are in the process of resizing, downsizing and moving from Canberra to Sydney. So last week, my brother and I went back to our childhood home to help them hold a garage sale.
An informal inventory of the house revealed that my mother has enough saris to clothe a small nation and my father, enough carvings of Hindu deities to furnish his own temple (or a few). Who would have thought my mother had time to use all of that Pyrex or my father time to read all of those books. Important philosophical questions were raised such as: why did they have years of Gourmet Traveller magazines in the garage (and if they had a subscription, why did we eat rice and curry every single night for dinner?)
They have acquired and hoarded as people do, and watching them let go was telling. For example, my mother took most of my father’s possessions to the garage and thought “they” were done. My father asked her if she would like to sell him too. She smiled but didn’t answer.