Taming the Glass Menagerie


I'm hearing a certain Sesame Street song...

Urgency Day 275

500 Things Items 218-222: Five Glass Redundancies

  • History: After a while, does anyone really remember?
  • Value: Some, I suppose
  • Parting Pain: Zip
  • Un-possessing: Donations

This hasn’t happened very often. Today, I pulled an item out of the “To Be Downsized” box.

I keep a box for my 500 Things project. As I come across things I can easily imagine living without—usually while I’m having to dust, clean, store or otherwise maintain them—I put them in the box. Time in this holding box varies based on any of several factors:

  • Scheduled donation opportunities
  • Blog worthy moment still needed
  • One last hurrah desired

So far, not many things have fallen into that last wistful category. Probably as I approach the end of the 500 days, as we downsize into smaller digs and the Self-Contained Unit takes up residence in his ivory yet-to-be-determined tower, I will find it necessary to downsize many more things that, with a less minimalist sensibility and a different life course, I would have kept.

But for now… I still have a lot of crap!

My holidays start on Sunday with the arrival of my beloved niece Laura. If you refresh your memory by reading the birthday tribute I wrote for her last May, you’ll understand why “It’s a Jolly Holiday with Laura.”

Then, a few days later, the rest of the par-tay arrives: Sister Donna, brother Jim, Mom and Charlie the Dog. We won’t be an excessively large group for Thanksgiving, but that’s in keeping with the theme of my project, isn’t it? Still, this wonderful group can hold its own, “spirit-wise.” <ahem> We will certainly miss my niece Erin and Phil, Erin’s husband of exactly one year last Sunday. And Bodhi. We will all miss Bodhi.

Well okay, Mel our cat will not miss Bodhi, a VERY ENTHUSIASTIC! Vizsla our Mel doesn’t find quite as manageable as Charlie the zippy back up Dog.

Anyway, in anticipation of my darlings who are very very partial to their morning coffee and afternoon tea (and midmorning tea and late-afternoon coffee), I was thinking about our downsized collection of coffee mugs and its possible inadequacies. Loyal readers of this blog may scratch their heads trying to remember when I culled our mug collection. Please, stop scratching. Our collection has been “downsized” in a very traditional way:

By the too frequent dropping of mugs down onto the floor which changed their size.

I, however, decline to purchase new mugs and certainly reject any paper or Styrofoam option. But I also hate the idea of the endless dishwasher loads of mugs and glasses used only once. The easy solution came to me when putting another item into the to-be-downsized holding box. I saw that a while ago, I had put in the box some of those stemware baubles people use at parties to help guests identify their misplaced beverages.


I retrieved them and intend to use them constantly with my visiting family, so everyone can keep track of their mugs, wineglasses, cocktails and anything else I can attach them to in hopes of downsizing our holiday washing and purchasing.

And maybe I’ll even attach one to the dog’s tail.

Lord knows the cat may try to “downsize” him.

Charlie waits for his turn on Facebook.


6 Responses to “Taming the Glass Menagerie”

  1. Jimmy Says:

    You’re wonderful! Can’t wait for Tuesday.
    For all of us I can say: WLYMMM

  2. sthibeault Says:

    Thanks! “We’ll have a Thanksgiving far more glorious than grand!”

  3. Jimmy Says:

    I’m looking at that purple vase and wondering if it doesn’t have Laura’s name written all over it.

  4. kara Says:

    As I cart boxes of books, china that I don’t really want and a large piece of furniture to hold the unwanted china to our rented truck, I had to take a break and get a dose of your blog. I’ve been chanting your mantra, keep the memories ditch the stuff, as I pass the donate box over to my mother-in-law or sweetly hold open the trash bag and give a couple directional head nods to Andrew as he examines a Smithsonian from 1989. After dinner I’m going to gather everyone around the computer and plan to read ever one of your blog entries to them, but on day three of moving the mother-in-law, it may be too late!

  5. Elizabeth Says:

    I actually got rid of half our mugs back in September when I was cleaning away my “My BABY is in KINDERGARTEN!” stress. Wow. What a difference. No mugs come unexpectedly flying off the shelves when you open the cupboard.
    Have a great holiday week!

  6. melanie Says:

    Please get your work copyrighted; I’m too tempted to steal things from you, like your explanation of how things get “down” and “sized.” Or re-sized? Too funny.

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