Monica's baskets defy everything I've said
about downsizing. They don't link to the past, yet they
are impossible for to get rid of.
We had (and have) a lot of baskets. I first noticed them
when a pile of baskets repeatedly encroached on the hot water
heater's pilot light. For years I pushed them back,
re-piled them, and complained (sometimes not so nicely) about
how many we had. The pile grew until it blocked access to
the basement cabinets. By this year the pile was
waist-high and had started to spill over the wine crate and onto
the basement floor proper.
When it came time to downsize, we carried the baskets in the
pile into the backyard. When the last of the pile was
spread out in the yard, I was stunned to see how many we
had. Then Monica hauled out another load.
(What?! Where did those come from?) Turns out the
basement cabinets were also full of baskets. And the area
under the back stairs.
When all the baskets were outside, they covered a third of the
Obviously, a passion for baskets on this scale cannot be tamped
down by a mere need to downsize.
Monica gave two dozen baskets to a friend -- no discernible
impact. She then took some of the lesser loved baskets and
put them out in the front yard with a sign saying "Take as many
as you like. Pay what they are worth to you."
Generously, sixty baskets went this way. (Monica was
shocked that, despite the sign, some people took baskets
and didn't pay anything. It wasn't that Monica wanted the
money, it was the confronting the fact that there are non-basket
lovers in the world: How could someone think a basket was worth
nothing? Do people like that actually exist?)