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Culling the Herd

My paternal grandfather gave each of his grandkids a cow from his herd when they were born. He kept the given cow at his place of course but when the grandkids were old enough they could decide to keep the calf or sell it every year.

One year my red Simmental-cross cow didn't have a calf so Grandpa assigned me a yellow cow that had already calved. Wouldn't you know the yellow cow came up open the next year so I got the red cow back because she had apparently bred back at some point.

No one knows why that cow was still around. Maybe she raised really good calves for a couple of years so Grandpa decided to keep her around just in case. The cattle industry was more basic back then and Grandpa did well with his cattle so I'm sure he easily justified not hauling her to the sale barn. 

Many of us are guilty of justifying hanging on to things that don't work for us anymore. Those things may include cows that don’t breed back but most of the time it’s possessions. Possessions that bring with them waves of emotions either from memories we made with the people who previously owned them or the events where they were used.


There are now several methods of decluttering that have gained popularity in the last several years. Apparently the Swedish have just such a method that there's a television show based on it.

Culling the clutter has been on my mind as I think of the cabinet full of china dishware that my mother gave me early on in my marriage. It's from Germany and was given to my maternal grandmother by her youngest brother. The gray and white filigree around the edges of the pieces is beautiful but the fact that I can't run it through the dishwasher quickly squashes any desire I have to eat off of it.

As I looked over the assorted pieces though one group of small, teardrop-shaped dishes had me puzzled. After some extensive internet searching, I discovered that my set of china offered an ashtray for every place setting. No one in my family smokes so the ashtrays are of no use to me yet they remain.

Maybe someday I will stop justifying keeping them and the rest of my grandma's china around. Or maybe I should call the Swedish.



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