Simple things carry strong memories

Published 1:12 pm Saturday, October 15, 2022

By Ronnie Michel

When I moved into my current home five years ago, I said I’d become a minimalist. The desire to adapt this simple, clutter-free way of life began when we rented a pod during our move. The idea was to purge our belongings before packing the necessities. It was a great plan until time ran out, and our closets were emptied into boxes that were crammed into the large metal storage container.

The mover informed us that we had tested the 6,000-pound limit. “Books are heavy,” was my feeble response, and I vowed to unpack only what we absolutely needed and donate the rest.

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The term “absolutely need” is relative. The boundaries of that category were stretched when I opened a box marked “fragile.” I unwrapped small pottery bowls and a cat figurine. The bowls were formed by my daughter Victoria during a class she took as a child. The cat was given to me by my niece Mattie when I was ill. Soon after I received the cat, my sister-in-law saw it on display and commented, “You’re not a cat lover.”

“No,” I replied, “But I love Mattie, and I’ll never get rid of this cat.”

The next box I opened housed a burgundy tea set my friend Brandy gave me when she returned from a trip to Russia.

“I’m so glad it survived,” she said as she placed it in my hands. “I carried it the whole way home because I didn’t want to pack it and risk it breaking.”

Those three items, currently on display in my non-minimalistic home, make me smile, and sometimes cry. And as long as I remember their stories, they’ll remain.

Ronny may be reached at