GINGER: Decluttering brings remorse for selling Grandma's cookie jar

-A A +A

Besides my hymnal collection, and the refrigerator magnets I pick up to commemorate my travels, I’m not much of a collector. In fact, I’m kind of the opposite.

I get tired of having stuff around, so I am constantly decluttering. With seven people in our home, things tend to accumulate rather quickly, and I start to feel like I’m suffocating.

I experience such distress when I see a commercial for the television show “Hoarders” that I can never bring myself to watch a full episode.

Of all the things I’ve parted with, only one has caused me regret. Twelve years ago, I sold a crock-style cookie jar at a yard sale. It had belonged to my grandmother.

At the time she was still living, and the cookie jar didn’t match my southwest kitchen theme, so it wasn’t a difficult decision to plunk it down on the sale table.

I have recently launched a search for it, so if you happen across a gray crock with the word “cookies” in blue, please let me know!  I’d love to have the original back, but would settle for an exact duplicate.  

We are in the midst of a kitchen remodel, which is what has started me to thinking about the cookie jar again.

I have several things that belonged to my grandmother, including two carnival-glass tumblers. As an adult, every time I sat and visited with my grandma, we would drink from those glasses.

They still bring me comfort, only instead of her freshly-brewed sweet tea, I now fill them with Diet Peach Snapple.

I have always said that I would not have glass front upper cabinets in my kitchen, because a tangle of brightly colored sippy cups, mugs advertising various businesses, and plastic, sectioned plates is not really something I want to display.

But lately I’ve been thinking that maybe I should start collecting something that would look beautiful in a glass cabinet.

The kids are getting older, so I don’t have to worry so much about breakage. In fact, my oldest is going off to college next fall, and she really needs to learn how to drink from a cup without a lid.  

So, I’ve decided that I will add to my meager carnival glass collection. The pieces I am interested in are not worth much, and they are easily obtainable, but the multiple hues and beautiful patterns give me such a delighted feeling.

My mom always taught me that the best dinner plates are solid white because you can dress them up to match any occasion or season.

In my 20 years of marriage, I have never strayed from solid white Corelle, with the exception of the plastic sectioned plates that I use for my toddlers. And I even purchased white Corelle sectioned plates for them to use on special occasions.  

When I imagine all the color that carnival glass will bring to my table, I get giddy!  It will be like…like…a carnival! 

Sometimes you have those moments when you realize that you are a grown up, and that no matter how well-meaning your mother was in her advice, you can choose something different.

Who knows?  Maybe I’ll get really crazy and pull out the antique china I bought two years before I was married, and have never once used. It has a lovely pink rose pattern with silver trim.

Obviously, I secretly longed to have a colorful table before I ever became a homemaker. Having resigned myself to the fact that I should never use anything but white, I have wanted to sell the china many times.

Hubby has thwarted every attempt because he thinks I would be filled with regret.

Maybe I would.

It’s hard to say without unearthing it and looking at it for the first time since stowing it in the attic years ago.

One thing I know for sure, I wish hubby had been home the day I tagged Grandma’s cookie jar for a yard sale.

Ginger is an author, speaker, and mother of five. Her award-winning column appears weekly in Indiana and Kentucky. Contact her at ginger@gingertruitt.com or visit http://www.gingertruitt.com.