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Used throughout Europe as a way to cleanse the palate between courses, intermezzos are usually a light and refreshing treat. Today was my Intermezzo. I took a much needed break from sorting what to keep, what to let go of, what to sell, and doing the work to get it where it will be seen–and bought–by someone who will enjoy it. A break from separating my emotions from my  “things,” be it clothing, a stereo cabinet, or a set of martini glasses.

A dear friend invited me to meet him for lunch at a chic little French restaurant. I felt a momentary twinge of guilt for abandoning my post… then, like any sane woman would, I gladly accepted!

Champagne? Yes, please. Mussels in a spicy broth with dill, cilantro, and jalapenos? Yes, thank you, I would love a bowl full of them. Chocolate mousse for dessert? Oui! Oui!

My friend brought his trademark informative and witty conversation, and for our two-hour break, I was his rapt audience. His last name translates to “magic,” and in our 25 year friendship, he’s always brought the magic! As we were leaving, I asked if he would help me unload five boxes worth of donations at our favorite thrift store, which was just around the corner, and he kindly agreed.

When I opened the trunk of the Mini-Cooper, we oohed-and-aaahed over three boxes of books that had filled my sweetheart’s mother’s bookcases. After a rude awakening from the buyer at Half Priced Books, who told him, “We would only throw them in the dumpster,” he finally decided to release them after carrying them from home-to-home for 30 years. My wonderful thrift store was happy to accept them.

Among them were the 1928 collected works of Charles Dickens, Voltaire,  Nathaniel Hawthorne, Gustave Flaubert and Leo Tolstoi. Speaking of  Tolstoi… There’s a new translation of Anna Karenina done by a world-renowned friend of his from here in Austin! In honor of my sweetheart’s mother, I saved the Oscar Wilde for myself.

While it is hard letting go of some of this “stuff,” it is, after all, just that… Stuff.
And for all the rest, there’s storage!



  • 1010ParkPlace May 30, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    It is just STUFF, but the further you get into this process, don’t be surprised if it gets harder. Either that or you’ll just say “chuck it all.” I’ve done this twice and next month will finish the process. Not easy, but worth it. I will tell you, “Out of sight. Out of mind.” You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll forget you even owned that stuff! xoxox, Brenda

  • Mithra Ballesteros May 31, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    Out of all the possessions I own, books are my Achille’s heel. How to let them go? I just can’t. It’s so selfish but I would rather wait and let them get distributed after I’m a goner.

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