|Calin and I tooled around in his brother's |
Dacia on our honeymoon in Romania,
but it didn't take long to see everything
in his parents' neck of the woods.
Because his parents in Romania didn't attend our stateside wedding, Calin and I visited them afterward. Codlea, Transylvania, isn't exactly a tourist mecca, unless you count Dracula's castle about an hour away and the towering Bucegi mountains we traversed between the airport and Calin's boyhood home. But, poking around the family attic stands in for sight-seeing, when you're desperate enough--especially for someone in my line of work.
|Cutsi's Stassfurt TV is like this, |
In the front closet we discovered a derelict East German Stassfurt TV. People in less prosperous countries repair everything. Somehow, though, the Stassfurt never got fixed, defied resuscitation, or simply seemed too outdated to bother with (even my mother-in-law, Cutsi, wanted color television, eventually).
Cutsi has difficulty parting with unused items. Since Romania has no thrift stores, and a garage sale would elicit strange looks from neighbors unfamiliar with the concept, decluttering means giving to people you know, or to Gypsies passing in horse-drawn carts.
|Decluttering, Gypsy-style. courtesy: wwwimage.cbs.com|
In a society devoid of thrift stores and garage sales, a household's detritus should overwhelm. Wouldn't someone who won't toss anything even marginally useful--and who doesn't have a charity store to dump on--be awash in stuff? Yet, with the surplus interspersed throughout the home's pair of closets and attic, it didn't appear remotely excessive, despite being a whole life's worth of cast-offs.
Cutsi fixes. She gardens. She raises poultry. She uses everything when she cooks, even the turkey feet. She doesn't shop much. She doesn't concern herself with fashion. She gets everywhere on foot. When asked what she'd like us to bring her from the States, she requests a garden hose, and dental floss. When she receives gifts, believing them too good to use, she passes them along to friend or neighbor.
|Cutsi's nearly empty walk-up attic.|
|Cutsi tends her tomato seedlings.|
|Mount Magura, from Cutsi's back yard.|
|We brought our wedding clothes to |
Romania so Calin's parents could see.
Some waste is inevitable--even frugal, resourceful Cutsi can't find a use, or a home, for everything. But the biggest waste of all is a life selfishly lived. On this count, Cutsi has no regrets. Imagine your life's acts of giving all on one pile.
Would it equal Cutsi's Everest?
Next: A vintage engineering certificate found at a thrift store leads me on a Google search, and to tears: Treasures on Earth, Treasures in Heaven