Letting go

Our yellow lab Angus (RIP) on our chaise-and-a-half lounge.

I finally let go of our chaise lounges. We moved them from Palm Springs at my insistence. My husband wanted to leave them behind.

I recently wrote about my mom’s unnatural attachment to her flute and her reluctance to let it go HERE. Then I realized I was doing the exact same thing with two chaise lounges we’ve owned since the kids were little. For sentimental reasons, or for what those chaises represented, I couldn’t let go.

The chaise lounges in our Palm Springs backyard.

For the two-and-a-half years we’ve lived in Arizona, we’ve never once sat on our chaise lounges. They’ve been sitting under waterproof covers. Their fabric was deteriorating. But someday I was going to do something about that.

I watched as a chipmunk made trips across our patio, back and forth, with something white and fluffy in its mouth. I finally figured it out. I lifted the cover to a chaise lounge and there was a one-foot hole in the cushion. The chipmunk was using our chaise lounge to “feather his nest.”

Because of harsh desert weather, I’ve had the chaises recovered several times through the years. One of my best friends has an upholstery and sewing business. She recovered them for me at her cost. We used to live close enough to drive them to her.

I shopped online and the chaise-and-a-half cushion is not a standard size. I’d have to have them made to order and now it’s no longer the fabric, but the stuffing is ruined too. For a little more than the cost of new custom cushions, I ordered two standard-size chaises from Costco. We’ll even be able to lounge on them!

What did the chaises represent to me? Why couldn’t I let go? We got the oversized lounges so our young children, dripping wet from the pool, could snuggle in next to us. Angus our lab would spend evenings laying by my side as we watched the sunset. That was one of his favorite things to do. Mine too.

Those years are gone and nothing will bring them back. Not even holding onto chaise lounges that hold my dear memories.

It is bulk trash pickup week. I finally let go and my husband took the chaises to the curb.

The chaises were picked up from our curb — before the bulk pick up truck made it to our neighborhood! I hope they found a nice home and the new family enjoys them as much as we did!

Have you ever been attached to a physical object for sentimental reasons? Was it clothing, art, chaise lounges or something else?

36 thoughts on “Letting go

  1. Keep for sentimental reasons? Yeah, my Army Ribbons and Medals, too start. I have been retired for 27 years, and they are sitting comfortably in my shadow box in a location few actually visit (spare bedroom), but they represent my career, my exploits, dangers, and comradery. They are not trinkets, they are a representation of who I am and a time period where I mattered.

  2. I feel your anguish, Elizabeth. The photo of Angus on the chaise? Oh my. What a treasure and your beautiful memories of the kids, wrapped up in towels, warming them after pool time. Precious. Most of all, I love that you shared this **today**. I’m having a very hard time with a decision about a pair of chairs from our teeny tiny sunroom. As we’re remodeling the kitchen, we need to let them go but both were the favorite napping spots for our sweet dog Sadie…they were HER CHAIRS and although she’s gone and the hubs says he’s done doing repair work on the wonky chair legs, I don’t want to let them go. I’m going to wrangle a way to keep one…maybe just for a little while longer. xo! 💕

    • Angus was one special dog. Those chaises held so many memories, they represented my years as a mom. I’m still mom, but the kids are adults and on their own! I understand totally with your sunroom chairs. It’s tough to let material possessions go. I say yes to keep one chair for a bit longer. 😊

  3. I understand your sentimental attachment to furniture. I’m that way, too. I think about all the people who’ve been around the furniture and the good times we had, then I never want to get rid of it. I can let go of clothes and jewelry and photos, though. They don’t call to me.

    • You’re absolutely right. It’s the memories of people and pets our furniture evokes. I was able to move a few pieces from our Palm Springs house including the table we ate at for every meal and the kids sat at for homework.

      • I remember we used to put things my daughter didn’t need near the dumpsters and they would be gone in a couple of hours

      • I was surprised. I haven’t seen that in our neighborhood before. I’m glad someone got to enjoy your daughter’s things.

      • Yes, like you, we also felt that it was good that it didn’t end up in a recycling facility.

  4. I can be sentimental about some things- but probably not furniture. I like order and minimal clutter or extraneous stuff so having something that I rarely use, even if it is a memory piece, I have to say I likely wouldn’t keep it. I think in terms of leaving stuff that my kids have to deal with when I’m gone and knowing that they would have no interest in the things I thought were important.

    • That is a thought I didn’t deal with before. What my children will have to go through. I learned that when my husband’s mother died and she had been a semi hoarder.

      • It really helps to have a conversation with them I think and mine have no specific feelings about anything I have so it works out well for us. My focus is leaving them with the stories that I can share now and they are all happy with that and don’t seek anything else 🙂

  5. I am not very sentimental about items but I have kept my mom’s journals from when they first went on the road in RV after they retired. I found them very revealing and interesting. I also have more than 5 photo albums which after I am gone I often wonder who will they go to…

      • Mine are in albums. I put some in albums and my husband when I was away in the UAE got bored and took some of my photos and put them in an album. He likes order. I appreciated his need to do so!

      • I did one photo box each for my kids, of photos I think they’ll enjoy some day. I have at least 20 albums that take up so much space that I’m going through them and removing the photos I want to keep.

  6. Once you realize your kids have no sentimental attachments to certain things that we might keep, it becomes easy to give those things away. Why, because those things make us feel old. My opinion. Nice to change, keeps us young.

  7. I’m the worst. I still have Shaggy’s favorite chew toy. I have my kids teeth (what the hell am I going to do with four sets of baby teeth?), I have tons of stuff from my mom that I need to weed through, and even more long forgotten family mementos. I’m so proud of you. You’re inspiring me to take a look around and make some decisions. Hugs, C

  8. Oh, this is so sweet. I can just imagine Angus and your kids cuddling up next to you. I can totally understand why you’d hang on to those – and why you’d let them go. There are things I hang on to like touch stones – just rubbing my finger along them takes me back in time or conjures up a feeling. It’s kinda like time travel.

    • Yes, I had such a hard time letting the chaises go. Time travel is a perfect way to describe it. But after two and a half years of not getting the cushions redone, it was time to let go!

  9. I have a box of stuff in our storage locker that I won’t let go, and a few things here and there, but for the most part I’m not a keeper of objects that aren’t practical

  10. I have a box of memories, mostly letters I got as a child, or crafts people made for me. I’m glad to have grown up at a time where handmade items were still a thing. So yeah, don’t think I’ll ever throw that box away!

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