On Combining Households

glassware-to-keep-smFor this couple who have indeed met on Match, the combining of household goods faces us. We looked at each other on Friday morning, knowing neither had urgent work in front of us. We said, “It’s time.”

He has a curved display cabinet–the kind that used to be in every home. It was so stuffed with “stuff” that it was impossible to tell one item from another. Plus, we had bought a lovely ancient vase back from our trip to Israel last spring. We both wanted it to have a special spot where it could be easily seen.

Inevitably the emptying of this cabinet led to the emptying of a larger one. It groaned with sets of china and crystal. Nor could we ignore the shelves in the den above the wet bar, also crowded with various pieces of glassware.

Everything came out. The dishwasher ran continually; I washed by hand the very delicate items. We dusted cabinets, wiped down glass fronts, installed lighting.

He carefully packed the extensive teacup collected from his lovely late wife. Children and grandchildren will treasure these. Objects and sets of glassware and stemware with no emotional attachment were packed for charity.

The entire project took about a day and half, both of us working steadily. We still have to bring “stuff” from my dwelling. The longer I worked, the less I decided to bring.

Enough is enough.

We also dedicated ourselves to using all these things. It seems that fewer coming behind us want the extensive china/crystal/silver collections that characterized many of my generation. That era has mostly passed. Smaller houses, more flexible lives, fewer formal meals at home, more double-income families making elaborate entertaining nearly impossible.

My-favorite-of-Gene-and-Me-full-resolution-smBut we are older. We get to use the things that have before gathered dust. Wine really does taste better when using a crystal goblet. Food eaten off china is savored and ingested more slowly.

So is our relationship: it is meant to be savored slowly. We are exceedingly aware of the passing of time. We don’t want to miss a moment of possibility with each other.

But there was nothing easy about finding each other. That story is still to come.


  1. My wife and I met on a dating site. Second marriage for both. We combined our household in my house in Santa Clara and then back to hers in Napa. Each time we shed more stuff. Last year we had a big earthquake and lost more dishes and tea cups. In the backyard is a shed full of more stuff. We never use it, but cannot live without it.
    It seems that it is part of the process of grieving and adjusting.
    Blessings for your new life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that you are using the good stuff as the saying goes. What good is it if you never use it? My mom always used what she had and I grew up eating off of nice plates. We used paper and plastic when needed, but we always had nice things and it did make things better. At least then you felt like it was home and special.
    So happy that you have found some one that you can enjoy retirement with. It sounds as if he is just what you needed.


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