We got woken up the other weekend by strange noises. It was our elderly neighbors' daughter and her sons in law, clearing out the old barn. The barn full of treasures? That really woke me up! Like the true village woman I've become, after spying through the closed shutters, I opened the windows, leaned out, and asked what they were up to. "We're clearing out the barn," was the cheerful answer. Clearly, I'd asked the wrong question. I should have asked, "Why are you clearing out years worth of outdated and randomly accumulated junk, forgotten by all but the spiders?"
Unfortunately, Tom had also been awakened, and when he saw the familiar sparkle in my eye, he gently reminded me that we live in a small, cramped house, and that more stuff might actually suffocate us. Needless to say, suffocation wasn't what I had in mind that Sunday morning.
All day long, they burned ancient wooden casks and old doors with chipping paint, they discarded dozens of demijohns, piled up rusty tools ... it was so sad that I had to look away.
At the end of the day, Tom carried away a small dresser that our neighbors had custom-made sixty-five years ago when they got married. Never mind that we don't have the space for it: I've saved one little piece of trash that's part of those two peoples' history, and it has become my treasure and my memory.