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The Lesson

July 31, 2015

Here we are, thcanale end of July and my annual month on Cape Cod is coming to an end. And though this winter will probably fly by, still, it’s a long wait to July 1, 2016.

As usual, it’s been a super fun month. Daily bike rides along the Canal, stand up paddle boarding on our pond, late afternoon strolls on the beach after the tourists have gone back to their motel rooms (Cape Codders know this is the best time to visit the beach), barbeques, evening ice cream cones, even a seal cruise in Orleans, and just an all around good time spent with friends and relatives who come for visits.

sealBut no “Felice Vacation” is complete without projects accomplished. The garage freed of another year’s accumulation, the backyard shed cleaned out (and dead mice removed, thanks George!), closet clutter removed, etc. Yet despite the good feeling I get when I’ve returned from another trip to the dump or to Goodwill, I always am conscious of the money spent to acquire these expendables. I’m not the only one who thinks about this.

palm pilot“This may not work,” Dad said, removing a first generation Palm Pilot in pristine condition from the garbage. “But it’s a classic… and it was expensive.”

paddleI sighed. “I know it was, but still, it’s worthless now.”

At one point everything we bought was for a good reason: to wear, to read or for “efficiency.” On very many occasions though, in time the item will become irrelevant. It breaks, shrinks, or is superseded by Version X. (The last Palm Pilot update was at least 10 years ago.)

So how do you keep your possession-bulk at a reasonable level? I’ve concluded that you simply have to be merciless when it comes to purchasing in the first place. Ask, “Do I really need this or am I buying it mostly because I can?” We can justify disposal by giving our “Buh-byes” to those in need, but if we keep buying stuff we don’t need, guess who’s going to become the needy one?

As I wrestled the Palm Pilot from my dad’s hands, he said, “But the kids might like to play with it.” I pointed out that the kids would take one look at it and when they realized it didn’t connect to Wi-Fi, it would be discarded faster than the dead mice from our shed.

Thus ended the lesson.

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9 Comments
  1. Alexis Fishman permalink

    Good lesson! Though I think I do need a new bikini… ??? 🙂 See you somewhere soon! Alexis

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Tom Olverson permalink

    Felice, as usual, thoughtful piece of writing! You are so dutiful cleaning out your stuff. Which is more important- the act of purging or the result of purging?

  3. Marilyn Solomon permalink

    I also have a palm pilot. Can’t remember when I last looked at it. Thanks for reminding me! Hope all is well! 😘🌹💞

  4. scoutronic permalink

    Hi, Felice. Let me know if you’re reading in NYC. Your posts show such a full and good life, thank you for sending them all these years. I’m just a tad too bitter and depressed to appreciate your updates in the form of a subscribed blog, but I wish you all the best and hope to run into you at some event. Sincerely, Lynn McGee

  5. True! This is me and makeup.

  6. Joe F. permalink

    It’s funny that you hit on a topic that I have felt at times with discarding old and past prime objects.
    It’s a slight feeling of sadness, remembering what it meant for you at that same time. Whether it would be an old sweater, an old calculator, or even an old book, the memory of the time will stay with you even if it just a minute, just like your memory of this past July on the Cape.
    As always, your blog effects me in a very pleasant way. Thank you

  7. I’ve become very aware of everything I want to buy and say to myself, “This is just something I’m going to have to get rid of at some point”. Usually, unless I absolutely need it, I don’t buy it.

  8. When those palm pilots first came out, my colleagues at work sniffed and said how ridiculous they were. Same with the onset of Blackberry (even though it was a Canadian product!). Now we all have smarty-pants phones and usually take laptops/Surface/ipads to all our meetings. Ah well.

    I agree about purchasing. I often put items in my Amazon or Sephora basket online and then leave the site. When I go back in a day or two I find I didn’t need the item or the thrill is gone. It took me months to purchase my Baggallini bag on Amazon but I was glad it did. I ultimately knew it was the right purchase and I was able to get it at the lowest price. A win/win :))

    Glad you’ve had another great Cape Cod July :))

  9. richard aberson permalink

    I’m like your dad so send that old useless dust catching,moldy Palm Pilot to me.  Only kidding!

    From: Felice Cohen To: richardaberson@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, July 31, 2015 1:26 PM Subject: [New post] The Lesson #yiv0960330469 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0960330469 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0960330469 a.yiv0960330469primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0960330469 a.yiv0960330469primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0960330469 a.yiv0960330469primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0960330469 a.yiv0960330469primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0960330469 WordPress.com | Felice Cohen posted: “Here we are, the end of July and my annual month on Cape Cod is coming to an end. And though this winter will probably fly by, still, it’s a long wait to July 1, 2016.As usual, it’s been a super fun month. Daily bike rides along the Canal, stand up pa” | |

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