Traveling light into the new year

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Over the weekend I read a story from the Philadelphia Inquirer about a couple who had a novel way to deal with 45 years of overabundant “stuff” that had accumulated in their home. The couple, in their 70s, held a downsizing party, complete with mimosas. They invited friends and relatives to come and take everything from pots and pans to candlesticks and linens.

The timing to come across the article could not have been more serendipitous for me, a self-confessed keeper of all things. Over the holidays I invited a daughter who was visiting to take anything she wanted, and would fit in an extra suitcase, for her new Arizona condo. She filled the suitcase and I was elated.

I don’t have garage or yard sales. I don’t shop at garage or yard sales. They are an incredible amount of work and I don’t much like haggling with people over some knick knack with a 25 cent price tag. And with a houseful of my own stuff why in the world would I introduce someone else’s stuff to my collection?

The reality is that my daughters’ generation and my grandsons’ generation have little interest in family heirlooms, china cabinets and curios. Those generations are traveling light and likely won’t live in the same house for over three decades as we have.

My gift to my children is to not burden them with having to one day sort and empty a house filled to the brim with mementos and things that have no rational reason to save. While we’re not planning to move or heading to assisted living any time soon, it’s never too early to downsize the clutter and say farewell to things.

I’ve extended the invite to my family to come visit and take with them anything that means something to them or they can use. By this fall I hope to be planning my own downsizing party for friends so I can live happily ever after, surrounding myself with more good memories than things.

• • •

Just before Christmas came the sad news of the passing of longtime friend Lyle Ekness. Lyle was born in 1938 in a small town in North Dakota, spitting distance from Montana. He was a Norwegian through and through as evidenced by the fact that he knew more Ole and Lena jokes than anyone I know. That’s saying a lot since my husband is a Norwegian North Dakotan, too.

Lyle and Joyce moved to Coeur d’Alene in 1967 and opened Ekness Meats. They were on the cutting edge of the catering business here, and their children and grandchildren still run the business.

One of Lyle’s good friends was baseball legend Don Larsen. They shared a birthday, Aug. 7, although nine years apart. Oh my word, spending any amount of time with those two in Lyle’s shop / man-cave was a treat. A pair to draw to if ever there was one.

On New Year’s Day, just two weeks after Lyle’s passing, Don passed away. The irony is that late last summer both men were diagnosed with esophageal cancer. They were loved and are missed but I can’t help but think that just beyond the stars Lyle is telling Ole and Lena jokes badly and Don is sharing baseball stories. And there’s laughter, lots of laughter.

• • •

Things to Do:

Thursday, Day of Influence from 9 a.m. -1 p.m. at the Kroc Theater. www.influencepower2lead.com

Friday Jazz at the JACC, 6:30 p.m., Jacklin Arts and Culture Center, 405 N. William St. in Post Falls.

The downtown Coeur d’Alene Music Walk is Friday from 5-8 p.m. www.artsandculturecda.org

2020 TEDx Coeur d’Alene on Saturday at the Kroc Theater from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. www.tedxcda.com

• • •

Happy birthday today to Christopher Chaffee, Joy Rogers (40!), Jerry Sparling, Donna Trueblood, Sandy Wendell, Fondra McGee, Marc Kroetch and Rebecca Mort. Tomorrow Carrie Miller, Dan Ryan, Pat Mitchell, Jim Magnuson, Avery Hunt, Jennifer King, Esther Webb, Robert Coles (50!) and Cathy Evien blow out the candles. On Friday Mary Jane Hahn, Shelley Rosenberger, Nathan Johnson, Katrina Jaeger, Jan Harris, Tom Iverson, Paul Matthews and Ronan Kennedy will celebrate. On Saturday Kathy Kress White (70!), Chris Hansen, Luke Gonzales, Tim Elder, Cora Cole, Amy Morfitt, Ivan Bosanko and Nathan Johnson blow out the candles. Sunday Deborah Shaw, Pat Russell, Mike Baker, Wendy Wallin, Debbie Oliver and Ryan Wichman put on their party hats. JJ Dion (70!), Joni Clevenger, Janice Myers (60!), Mike Jorgenson, Karen Gage, Judy Manley, Tory Lee, Karen Holt, Teddi Johnson, Tasha Holmes and Andy Irgens take another trip around the sun on Monday. Teresa Wasileski, Addison Baltzell, Judy Eichelberger, Anita Weaver, Claudia Elliott, Jason Wereley and Jaden Alexander mark the day of their birth on January 14.

• • •

Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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