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When “stuff” loses its original purpose

I got an email recently from Steve Becker, a former newscaster and media expert, who has been around in media ways forever. He's leaving Spokane for new opportunities in Vancouver.

Steve and I crossed paths many times during my 27 years at The Spokesman-Review, and we often had profound and insightful conversations. So I'll miss running into him.

True to form, his good-bye email was filled with wisdom.

Here's an excerpt:

In the process of our moving I became aware of a friend's daughter buying her first home and contrary to past practice just decided to give her and her husband most of the day to day household tools we wouldn't need in a new home in Vancouver: the lawn mower, shovels & rakes, hoses, the gas grill, shelving, patio furniture. Everything I could think they might be able to use was loaded and given away to new owners. And then I wondered why? We could have had a yard sale or sold it on Craigslist.

A couple of things happened this year that reshaped the way i view material objects, especially the day to day things we use around the house: both my father in law and stepfather passed away and I was asked to dispose of most of their belongings. I was struck by how things lose their purpose and much of their apparent value when they are separated from their owners. They're just things, lifeless things that need to go somewhere. And if they aren't being used, they need a new home.

Good luck in your new adventure, Becker family!

(S-R archive photo)

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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