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Sentimental value gives items ‘keeping power’

It took a lot of sorting and value-weighing when we downsized from our home in Etta to Brandon living.  Sentimental value reigned securely in deciding what would be in the “to keep” pile and the “can live without it” pile.

Just four years in Brandon have given us time to crowd our reduced storage places and launch into a major spring cleaning.  It’s called abundant blessings and a portion of hoarding in place of sharing!

Last week when Spring finally convinced us that she had arrived, we began transferring fall clothes for spring clothes.  A four-season closet isn’t part of our abundant blessings but a large attic is.  That meant steep treks up the attic stairs while balancing storage containers.

I chose my transferring first with the climbing assistance of Othel.  After I finished, Othel began his transfers.

Perhaps it was the repeated, awkward climbs into the attic or the conviction that we had too much stuff, but Othel began a comprehensive clean-out of his end of our closet.

“I didn’t wear this once this year — it’s going.”

“I wondered where this sweater was.”

“This has never fit right, and I’m getting rid of it.”

“I’ve got a whole squad of Ole Miss T-shirts; I’ll never wear them all.”

“Just how many worn work-shirts does a man need?” 

These comments helped build the give-away pile as Othel worked relentlessly.

Suddenly he stopped and pondered over a stained and worn T-shirt.  He held it up and said, “I’ve got to keep this — yes — I can’t let it go.”

The T-shirt, when new, was a brilliant white and stamped with a victory image of Eli and two of his football team players — holding the egg trophy that they helped win many seasons ago.

The shirt had gotten too many stains to wear, but its sentimental value gave it “keeping power.” Othel would pack it away with the fall clothes and give it a similar transfer in the following spring.

I was reminded of that keeper shirt this week when I was reading in Isaiah.  God was telling His people, “I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you.”

Isn’t that so assuring to know that the Creator expresses a “keeping love” for His own?  It’s also celebration ground when I realize that I think with a seasonal mind and He thinks with an eternal one.

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to camille@datalane.net.