A Family Garage Sale Taught Me How to Say Goodbye to My Childhood

For years and years, my father and mother battled about cleaning out the house. She was a keeper and he was a thrower-outer. The huge walk-in closet in our guest room housed many of my art projects from elementary school, toys my brother and I played with as children, my amazing Barbie camper van, my Crissy doll with adjustable hair length. (It is important to note — for my mother’s legacy — that while she was a keeper, she was a clean and tidy one! The closets were jammed but thoughtfully organized and the living areas impeccable. The 35-year-old baby clothes were washed every other year to prevent musty odors!)

Growing up in wartime Germany, my father became accustomed to minimalist living. He likes neat surfaces, ironed pajamas, closets from which things don’t fall on your head when you open their doors. He donated clothes every year and asked

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