Stuff: matter, material, articles, or activities of a specified or indeterminate kind that are being referred to, indicated, or implied. Easy to have too much of it. Americans spend lots of money getting more of it and then spend money to have enough room for it.
The actual name is Trash and Treasure, but my church is getting ready for its 12th annual GIANT RUMMAGE SALE! The sale, technically, is Friday and Saturday – June 20 and 21 – but it started last night and will be going on all week. It is so big that it completely fills the gym at church, using every table in the church, and then spills out into the foyer and even outside, weather permitting. It is so big that it takes all week to get set up for it. People who bring stuff in for the sale can shop when they drop their stuff off and the workers can shop anytime. It is a lot of work but also a lot of fun and you never know what you will find – hence the name Trash and Treasure.
We don’t have a large congregation, so I am always a little surprised that we get so much stuff in for the sale. This year Tom and I contributed a lot of things because we were downsizing so drastically. Some of the stuff coming in makes perfect sense to me: people buy puzzles and books one year – read them or do them – and then bring them back the next year. But other stuff is really treasure in the eye of the beholder – partially used candles, two ironing boards (already – just on the first day you can bring stuff), well-used toys. Some stuff is brand new, never out of the box. I’m sure you have some of that around your house – things you bought for a project for someday and just never got around to doing. If you have lost weight (or gained some) then this is a good place to come because we always get a lot of clothes.
Most of the people who bring in stuff stay and shop. I think some of them take as much stuff as they brought. So I guess it shouldn’t really surprise me that we always have plenty of stuff for the sale.
Why do we buy so much stuff? Not just at the Trash and Treasure Sale (which is at least a very cost-effective way to shop), but at stores that we enter all too frequently. Tom and I downsized considerably this year, but we still have plenty of stuff. The pantry in the RV is full of boxes of food that is more than I will fix (see previous post on Burned Rice) in the next month. When I go to the grocery store, I usually buy at least two of everything – or did until we moved (I am trying to cut way down on that). Does our stuff make us happy? Give us more time, more fun in our lives? If so – it would be worth it.
I have never found more stuff to be better. That doesn’t mean I don’t buy stuff that I don’t need, just that it doesn’t really enrich my life much. Things that are worth the money spent: trips with the family, the once-a-year Indians game with my parents, my sister and her family, my brother and his family. A dinner out with friends. But the very best things are not stuff – they are times shared with others. The stuff that enhances the times shared with other is worth it. The rest of the stuff – goes to the rummage sale!