Posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2016 by Katie Beedy
Ever since my grandmother passed away two years ago, my parents have dreamed of renovating her home on the family farm and moving out there when they retired. Now my mom has retired and plans have been drawn, and although contractors and finances have led to a few setbacks, it looks like their dream may soon become a reality. As exciting as this is, it also means a lot of work; somehow, we need to make that house livable and our current house sellable.
So, I spent most of Easter break doing my part: decluttering and reorganizing the bedroom I called home from ages 11 to 18. I dug piles of boxes and tubs and bags out from my closet and under my bed (where they had sat, unopened, since we moved into the house eight years ago). I sorted through old pictures, toys, clothes, and school projects, picking out what could be thrown, what could be donated, what could be sold, and what just couldn’t be parted with. My nostalgia got the best of me a few times, especially when I placed several of my favorite childhood stuffed animals into a garbage bag to be donated.
My mother/cleaning partner and I ended up with two cars full of things to donate. Our first stop was Churches United for the Homeless, but when we arrived we were told that, due to some changes, they could no longer accept any donations other than linens and toiletries. So we took our carloads down the road to Second Time Around, a thrift store in north Moorhead devoted to hiring adults with learning and developmental disabilities who might otherwise have a hard time finding employment. The store’s profits help them make their living, and the business aspect teaches them valuable life skills. My nostalgia took over once again when I realized that one of the workers, Alex, was one of my elementary school classmates. When I asked Alex if he remembered me, his face lit up. “Yes, yes, yes!” he said. As much as it pained me to part with some of those old keepsakes, it warmed my heart to see the joy on the employees’ faces and hear the sincere gratitude behind their “thank yous.”
When I gave my childhood room one last look-over this morning before heading back to campus, I was hit with a wave of emotions that I can’t quite explain. I was sad to see my closet so empty, but I was relieved to have finished the task and proud to have contributed to such a good cause in the process. Getting rid of the old, making room for the new and exciting. New beginnings. Fresh starts. That’s what Easter is all about, isn’t it?