It is a struggle, but I have come to understand that I am not responsible for finding homes for everything that crosses my path. Except the kittens who are born in my backyard, of course. I was responsible for them, but other things? Not so much.
Many years ago a friend gave me a handful of hollyhock seeds. I had seen pictures of hollyhocks growing in front of Swiss chalets, so I didn’t expect them to grow in the desert, but they did! Not only grow, but thrive. They also re-seed themselves, and they are not discriminate about where they land, so they drift across the fences into the neighbors yards. This gives me a stunning wall of hollyhocks every spring and summer. A joyous display to gladden the heart.
At the end of the season, when they are done blooming, I collect the excess seeds in baggies. In the beginning, I would give them to friends, offer them to neighbors and people at church and take them into the office where I put a picture of the hollyhocks in bloom and a sign saying “free hollyhock seeds.” I was surprised that not everyone was as enraptured as I was by these beautiful flowers. At work for instance, there were still baggies of seeds on the break-room table at the end of the week. I started loitering in there, ambushing people who came in for a cup of coffee. After several days of this, my friend Judy pulled me aside and said, “Robin — I do not believe that God is going to hold you personally responsible for finding a home for every hollyhock seed.”
I suppose the fact that the coffee consumption in our office had dropped dramatically should have been a clue — people were hesitant to come into the break room, for fear of being accosted. Reluctantly, I conceded that I might never find homes for the remaining seeds, so took the rest of the baggies home. And people at the office went back to drinking coffee.
This all crossed my mind last week as I began culling my wine glasses. Wine glasses are my weakness — I cannot go into a thrift store, or any store for that matter, without checking out the wine glasses. I’ve bought Waterford goblets and Tiffany and Dom Perignon champagne glasses for 99 cents at the thrift store. I have more than I will ever use, even if I have a party and we do a side-by-side tasting using 2 or 3 glasses each. It’s an affectation, I know, to have one cupboard and my dishwasher full of wine glasses. So, yes, time to sort them out.
I started by putting the glass (not crystal) ones in a box for the thrift store. I did keep a couple of glass ones because they were from wineries I’d visited. For awhile the winery gave you the glass (with their name on it) when you paid for a tasting. Some of the wineries are now defunct which make them more special. Some of those glasses are Reidel, the ne ultra plus of crystal for wine consumption.
I looked at the glass from the UNLVino 25th anniversary, and decided to send it to Opportunity Village along with some really nice glasses that I simply had no room for. I hope they’ll all be bought by someone who loves wine and enjoys nice glassware. Some of them were hard to part with, but Judy’s words came back to mind. I am not responsible for every single wine glass that has ended up in my cupboard — or dishwasher.
So now I can use the dishwasher for washing dishes again and have told myself that I will not buy anymore wine glasses, no matter how tempting. Unless, of course, it’s Baccarat. Or Waterford. But other than those, I’m not going to drag home anymore crystal. Oh, wait, maybe if it’s Tiffany …