Passing Stuff On

I just received two specially rescued and rejuvenated (just for me!) books from my friend who has started a project called Bequeathed. From the site … “Bequeathed is an experiment and social outreach project designed to reintroduce vintage, small, culturally relevant items to the world.” You’ll have to check it out to understand the project, but it caused me to revisit the idea of What Do We Really Need one more time. Down-shifting our lives to be able to live self-sufficiently on the farm also meant that we had to do a great deal of down-sizing of possessions. The most major down-size came this past spring when I moved to the farm full time. I had an apartment filled with leftovers from both of our past lives. Some of it I had been dragging around since high school just in case I might need it or I might want to see it again. Giving all that stuff up required a tectonic mind shift for me and I have to give my daughter great credit for helping me muddle through it.  But once the shift happened, it became really fun.  It comes to mind because of the philosophy behind bequeathed.com… “passing stuff on.” Instead of my things continuing on in stasis in my storage boxes I began to see them as things people might really be able to put to good use.

tomatoes
Ripe, JPM

Three decades of costume making and collecting, plus extra sewing materials were delivered to a delighted Shakespeare company. Craft materials dating as early as my high school days and as late as my daughter’s high school days went to a youth program along with games. Piles and piles of books went to a bookstore that gave me store credit for some and delivered others to the local prison. You get the idea. The list goes on and on. Craig’s list was a lifesaver! It connected me with people who allowed me to part with, among other things, my favorite purple couch, a hard-to-transport but much-loved curio cabinet, my electric piano and several paintings by my daughter and I. Their enthusiasm for their “new” things made my grief at losing them disappear. Grief is a strong word but I was grieving until I realized what fun I was having passing the stuff on.

eggplant
Eggplant, MAM

To say that I made a completely clean break would be an overstatement. I kept plenty of things that I really don’t need and eventually they’ll find a home, or maybe even a new purpose here. Everything in stages! Meanwhile, check out what rediscoveries are happening at bequeathed.wordpress.com!

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5 thoughts on “Passing Stuff On

  1. Barb January 9, 2011 / 6:36 pm

    Thanks for the link. I signed up so I can and hopefully do the same. I have given away a lot of things since buying the farm but have also collected a lot more (mostly stuff I might use at the farm). It does feel good to give unconditionally.

  2. jenpm January 9, 2011 / 9:35 pm

    Barb it was really funny that the things I saved were farm oriented … trash baskets and bins that could move vegetables and weeds as needed. Thanks for staying in touch!

  3. Kori January 17, 2011 / 9:09 pm

    I would love to talk to you about an issue that I feel is a hot topic in environmental news. I have written an article that I think your readers would be interested in seeing on your blog.

    Encouraging grocery shoppers to branch out from their usual selections and to join the local food movement, will help us conserve the forgotten species, and create a more sustainable agricultural system.

  4. jenpm January 24, 2011 / 9:18 pm

    I don’t really have guest bloggers at this point, but if you have something to link to you are welcome to send it. We are big advocates of the local food movement and work in our community to build alternative ways to create access to good, fresh, local food. You remind me to write more about that. We also grow (and celebrate) many forgotten species and bring them to market, encouraging people to take a taste! Check out our plant list.

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