There is an Italian card game, one of the two most popular in the country, known as "Scopa". The word translates as "Sweep" and the game, one that makes almost no sense, involves sweeping cards away from the deck as it gradually gets laid out in the center of the playing surface. When I think of the word "Scopa", I wander over to another word, one with which I was much more familiar in my post-graduate nursing days, "Scopolomine", the drug that was combined with others to medicate totally unaware and unprepared women as they went through hours of labor. It was part of a trio of drugs and it was the one responsible for preventing the nausea caused by its partners. So sweeping and preventing nausea or "side effects" seem to go together.
When we were house hunting last Spring, our realtor found a key phrase for us. It probably was her way of guiding us down the right path and it did very well to keep us in check as we had a tendency to wander off, switching our objectives rather often. God bless that woman, for patience was one of her distinct virtues. Her mantra? "Five Year Plan". She reminded us, over and over again, that we probably were not going to be in our current lifestyle for more than five years so when viewing homes, we were to keep that in mind. I only hope she was correct in thinking that we haven't yet begun to live exactly as we wish, that we are in a holding pattern, courtesy of our elder parents. And so, we bought our condo with that wisdom and knowledge and with the idea that maybe it would survive the plan and would serve us for the happily-ever-after. We're closing in on seventy.....who are we kidding? But, I refuse to believe that we'll be anywhere near here forever. I'm not that kinda gal. I'm always looking over the rainbow.
So, back to Scopa and drugs and wise realtors.
I didn't do too much "downsizing" before our move. Honestly, I had already done a lot of that earlier, due to circumstances that pushed us into smaller and smaller spaces. The thought of large rooms, big expanses of house, really do terrify me. I can only trust my decorating skills and budgets so far. But, we haven't had the pleasure of a basement, all to ourselves, for a very long time and now that we do have one, we have lots of room to spread it all out. Which brings me back to the Five Year Plan. I don't want to move it ALL again in five years. So much of it is "stuff", memorabilia, things I thought I HAD to hold on to. Heavy burdens. Responsibility for keeping things that nobody else in the entire family wanted or expressed a need for. And now, as I look ahead to the rest of those five years, I'm feeling a sense of liberation. I'm finally ready to part with Aunt Mae's dishes and her over-sized lamp, neither of them my taste. I'm going to toss out picture frames, old photos of police cars that my adorable husband thought important as memories of our trips. Who uses CD's any more? They're going bye-bye. Books, they better be relevant and interesting or they don't make the cut.
As I sift through the vestiges of our former lives, I keep the mental broom at the ready. Sweep it all aside. Memories do not reside in "stuff". And, some memories, well, I can live without them, trust me. I'm Italian. I keep hearing about the past, over and over, every time I meet a person who shares my heritage and I want to scream sometimes. "Yes, I remember the holidays at Grandma's!" but I also remember Grandma telling me that she grew up in a house with dirt floors and maybe she did not want to remember that in the same way that I don't want to remember parts of my childhood or that my babies have grown up and moved away or that we are approaching our seventies. But I will keep in mind my determination to not move as much out as we moved in.
So, on to the big sweep.....as soon as the damned humidity moves out.