DANCES WITH WORDS: An abundance of stuff to store

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Nick Wolochatiuk

Take a tour of the Upper Canada Village homes. Look carefully. Notice the scarcity of storage space, cupboards and closets. There was no such thing as walk-in closets.

Fast forward to today. To successfully market a new home today, you must have an abundance of storage space, including a garage that is larger than the everyday homes of the nineteenth century.

We accumulate stuff, all kinds of stuff, expensive stuff, seasonal stuff, lots of stuff that soon gets obsolete or just out of fashion. We soon run out of place to stuff the stuff.

We have our recreation stuff to store. We have to find off-season places to store summer’s Sea-doo, canoe, barbecue, bicycles, picnic tent, lawn mower, pool equipment, golf clubs and lawn furniture. At the opposite time of calendar, we have to find a place to stash winter’s Ski-doo, snow shoes, alpine skis, XC skis, snow tires, ice-fishing power auger, snow suit and snow tires.  

Then there’s the stuff the previous generation off-loaded onto us: Grandma’s dresser, china cabinet, tea cup collection, oriental carpet, steamer trunk and travel memorabilia. On top of that, we are expected to store the bikes, hockey equipment and high school text books of the at-university son and the daughter working in Fort McMurray. Then there’s the class projects stuff of the still out-of-work oldest, holder of a master’s degree in Middle East carpet weaving. He’s living in somebody’s basement rec’ room with his girlfriend, but we’re storing his stuff.  

None of the offspring are under the age of 20, yet we still store their tricycles and their little one-speed bikes with training wheels, in the hope the grandchildren who have not yet shown any sign of being conceived will ever use them.

We hold on to the play pens, high chairs and car seats that have long-been banned as safety hazards

We’ve both been retired for almost ten years, but we just can’t dispose of all those lesson plans that were so carefully prepared during those 35 years of teaching, and the electric typewriter used to make out the report cards. Who knows, adding machines may come in handy again some day!

The spouse hasn’t worked in an operating room for just as long, but she can’t give up the medical text books she studied when she was in training in England in the early 1960s.

We hang on to stuff more tenaciously than a Jack Russell does to the other end of a stick.        

We came into this world with absolutely no possessions. Ever so gradually, we accumulated more and more, so much more that the storage space we need is greater than our living space. There’s no room left in the garage for the car, so we have to rent a ten-by-ten storage space for $125 a month.

Have you ever seen a hearse equipped with a trailer hitch for towing a U-Haul trailer? 

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