I’m actually doing quite well watching my possessions march out the front door, day after day.

Goodbye, jigsaw puzzle collection. So long, candles and clothing and Christmas decorations galore. Adios, furniture and artwork, rugs and appliances.  And all that paper?  Say hello to my little friend, the shredder!

But in our mid-40s, we have a decent collection of personal memorabilia. I’m wrestling now with what to do with it all.

Baby Shawn. Aw, so cute!

Most is going into storage for now. Hundreds and hundreds of pre-digital photos, letters & cards have been boxed up and await transfer to the climate-controlled storage unit. Once I’m delightfully unemployed I’ll take the time to digitize some, put a treasured few into albums or send to relatives, and discard others.

Other items pose a more perplexing problem. Storing them indefinitely doesn’t seem to make sense. But giving them away — at least at this stage — feels uncaring and cold.

My paternal grandmother’s secretary desk. The afghans (3!) lovingly knitted by my maternal grandmother. The velvet quilt stitched by my great-grandmother. My mother’s cool old steamer trunk with the broken latch. The German Shepherd statue that wears the collars of the four dogs we have lost. Our framed 2’x2′ wedding photo. Things that weren’t just purchased at the mall.

I really do want these items to live on and be loved and cared for. I’m just not sure I want it to be by someone else.

So now begins the awkward conversations with family. “Do you want…” “Could you store….”  “Will you keep this….” until we reverse our wandering ways and settle in again.

Well, maybe I can make room for the statue….