A simple enough assignment on the surface: pack up and organized my dad’s belongings. Dad was not a hoarder, not ever much of a collector. He did have several fields of interest that he enjoyed and since moving to our Scripps Ranch home in 1970 he had managed to accumulate about the normal amount of stuff. On the one hand many of the items are easy decisions—“keepers” all the way: home movies, family photographs, career memorabilia, billiards trophies, favorite hit DVD’s (blockbusters and sleepers alike!) On the other hand are the easily decided upon “non-keepers” like the extensive auto-service records from the 80’ and 90’s for long-ago sold vehicles, the belt collection that appears to contain a different entry for every day of the year, and the junk-food stash tucked away in various cupboards throughout the house…the man loved his sweets! Finally, on the third hand, if there is such a thing, there are the great unknowns. They can be anything, for instance, a glass paperweight with the image of Shakespeare that I bought for him several years ago. I know it would probably fetch $5.oo at a garage sale if I were so inclined. I’m also certain that the Goodwill would be more than grateful to haul it away along with our other discards. It would certainly make a very touching gift for any number of my dad’s family members that would welcome a reminder of their shared bond. And, of course, it would make an outstanding paperweight on my own desk. I suppose the Goodwill will have to hold off on this one for awhile.

                                        Daniel J McAuliffe

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