White Dog has none of the pack rat qualities her momma does. Thankfully. She has retained a few precious toys from her puppy days only to watch the "new"baby, Zsofia, murder them. The little box of White Dog "firsts," like her first collar and tags, a lock of puppy furs, and one of her baby teeth, make her laugh. "Really momma? What are you EVER going to do with those?"
She was the perfect choice to oversee the project to greatly reduce our abundance of Christmas decorations and knickknacks. When Steve's mom passed years ago, we inherited her huge collection of fabric holiday items as well as multigenerational handmade and lovingly collected ornaments. It was a tradition during our college years, as we hosted friends unable to go home for the holidays, that every celebrant brought an ornment for the group tree decorating fun. There is the usual collection of bows and miscellaneous stuff that makes you ask "Where did this come from?" In other words we needed to pare down.
A nine dog White Dog Army and 1000 square feet of living space means that we must stay lean on decor. An indoor Christmas tree became impractical when we had free-roaming 4' iguanas; male pups reinforced the impracticality. For awhile we set the tree up on the sunporch but during the cold of winter, that room is seldom a destination.
We now have sweeping tails capable of clearing lovely arrangements from the low tables and candles simply make me too nervous with so many curious White Dogs (of ALL shades). I cannot imagine the fate of ornaments on ribbons hung in the living room windows during the daily song to the mailman. Our holiday decorating has become simple wreaths on the doors and Christmas cards hung upon the door between the living and bedroom wings.
It was time to bring all of the boxes down from the rafters of the storage barn and to give them a second chance to twinkle and glow...as part of a new family's tradition. We live in the University area of town and consequently have a large population of students just beginning to acquire the treasures of adulthood. Perhaps THEY will come and give homes to the items we have (with White Dog's help) decided to part with. Those items that do not get snatched up at Saturday's Yard Sale (which every single White Dog of the Army has volunteered to take part in) will still have a chance.
We have a friend whose nonprofit tries to provide the amenties of everyday life for those in need who have recently found housing. She makes a point of collecting housewares and decor items that we take for granted and then...this is Bella's favorite part...gives her clients the opportunity to pick and choose what they would like. Can you imagine someone hugging you for matching towels? The WDA thinks she would find wonderful homes for the Christmas and holiday festives that we ignore on the shelves.
So as we sorted, every time I faltered or thought to maybe just keep "this" one or "that" aside, WD would ask me..."When are you going to use it? Where? And what good does it do as a secret treasure hidden away?" She is right and watches like a hawk to make sure I put it in the box for Saturday.
Fortunately there ARE some treasures; items with such special value that no one else could appreciate or understand. These I am allowed to keep. The Eskie photo ornaments. The WDA annual ornament gifts. The first ornament Steve made for our tree a million years ago....and all agree that I can keep the one wing stuffed muslin Angel I made and embroidered in a joyful celebration of the evolution of perfection.
White Dog licks my face. "Good job, momma! I know it was not easy." Steve snapped the lid on the tote and set it on the porch with the other sale items. White Dog huddled with the Army. I knew she was talking about me even before I heard her say, "OK everypup, YOUR job is to keep momma from going back into those boxes before Saturday."