ETHAN ALLEN vs. WEST ELM

The thing that got me started thinking about my “stuff” was a conversation I had with a complete stranger while we were standing on line at the Marriott in Birmingham, AL.  I was there visiting my step children.  Out of the blue, the woman in front of me on the line for breakfast omelets started telling me that she was in Birmingham to clean out her mother’s estate.  She could not believe how much stuff she had to go through.  She said she wished that her mother had given her a manual full of stories because she could not fathom the reason behind the items.  What did they mean to her mother?  To her they were just junk.  She could not make heads or tails out of the clutter and she did not have the time to go through all of it.  She had to get back to Texas to work.

When we got home, I looked around my tiny beach cottage home.  I saw all the paintings that no one will be able to store even if they wanted to.  I saw my furniture through the eyes of my daughter and step children.  I have Ethan Allen traditional pieces alongside garage sale chic.  Every item has a story.  But who had time to tell the story and who had time to listen?

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And besides, the adult kids all want West Elm.  They aren’t interest in our stuff.

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