Ross: Can you downsize standing next to shelves full of memories?

Jan 5, 2024, 8:39 AM | Updated: 9:15 am

KIRO Radio's Dave Ross was among five journalist invited to interview President Barack Obama at the...

KIRO Radio's Dave Ross was among five journalist invited to interview President Barack Obama at the White House about the Affordable Care Act in 2015. (Courtesy of Dave Ross)

(Courtesy of Dave Ross)

I saw an article headlined “How To Persuade Your Parents To Downsize (It Can Be Done!)” and it struck a nerve because I remember when my parents were facing that, and now I’m beginning to hear my own kids say things like “why are you keeping this,” and “why can’t you get rid of that?”

So, rather than getting all philosophic about it, I’ll give you a little tour of my home office to explain why nothing can be thrown out.

More from Dave Ross: Tech literate voters are needed to save ferry reservations

How can I give away my 1984 Encyclopedia Britannica? Suppose the grandchildren need it. What if the Internet goes dark one day? And what about the little clock in a polished wooden case that KIRO gave me for my 25th work anniversary 20 years ago? The battery is dead, but it’s inscribed, and it’s pretty. I’m keeping it.

Here’s a brass gong I bought during a KIRO trip to China in 1984. It makes a cool sound. And hanging from the same bracket are all my old press credentials, including the first Obama credential ever printed. That’s a historic artifact. Feliks Banel would instantly subpoena me if I threw that out.

Here in the corner — these are the portraits of a much younger me that used to hang in the old KIRO building. They’re life-size, and I know they have to go, but who could I trust to give them a good home?

And then there’s the awards shelf. All very impressive, but they all have my name on them – who wants a bunch of awards with somebody else’s name?

Finally, the stuffed animal shelf — it’s a small collection, but it includes this little fuzzy blue duck rattle. This is what was called a “focus” — I held this up for my wife to focus on in the delivery room while she was giving birth. Apparently, that helps a woman get through the pain, along with chewing the ice.

And in this file cabinet are mementos of our children going back to their first whooping cough shot and the first things they ever wrote, with many pictures of them from when they were cute.

We can stop the tour there. I think you see the problem. These are memories! A lot of them are of our children. You’re to blame for this. We’re forever trying to re-live the good times we had with you!

(Plus, there are the instruction manuals for all the major appliances we’ve ever owned and the actual ball I used for my historic first pitch at a sparsely-attended Mariners game in 2018.)

The bottom line — as much as we might want to plan ahead to downsize, you kids are probably going to get the house as-is.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

KIRO Newsradio Opinion


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Remote Work Tech Bros Turn Into Stay-At-Home Dads

Men statistically hold jobs that have translated far better to the remote work landscape: tech, finance, engineering. It’s created a shift in the dynamics of the nuclear family. Mom goes into work, and Dad stays at home with the laptop – and the kids, and the piles of laundry and dirty dishes. Is it a […]

9 hours ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Are You ‘That Guy’ In Your Office?

Jack Stine came to a startling realization while scrolling through a Reddit thread where people were complaining about ‘that guy’ in their office. He might be ‘that guy’ at KIRO Newsradio. Spike O’Neill thoughtfully reviews the evidence and attempts to give an honest answer. Tune in live to The Jack and Spike Show weekdays from […]

2 days ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: AI-powered Tech has Entered the Security Game… with Paintballs

ICYMI AI technology is rapidly growing, and now… it wants to protect us. From what? Unwanted people at the front door, porch pirates, and more. It’s pretty wild. It’s also weird. Listen to the John Curley and Shari Elliker Show every weekday at 3pm on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM

3 days ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Nestlé Is A Mega Corp, Not To Be Trusted

A report has found that Nestlé adds sugar to baby formula that’s being sold in poorer countries. It’s not the first time Nestlé has been in the news Tune in live to The Jack and Spike Show weekdays from noon to 3pm on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM. And if that timing, or our location in […]

3 days ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: MAGA Comedian Rob Schneider Crosses the Line with Republicans

Rob Schneider’s comedy set at a Republican networking event was reportedly ‘gross’ and ‘vulgar’ to the point of being yanked off stage. Schneider has denied this, calling it “woke BS.” What happens when a MAGA grifter goes too far? Tune in live to The Jack and Spike Show weekdays from noon to 3pm on KIRO […]

3 days ago

Photo: Third Ave in downtown Seattle....

Spike O'Neill

Spike O’Neill: Why Seattle’s new art space won’t work

I can't help but think about the announcement of the new art space designated to inhabit the old Bed Bath and Beyond in downtown Seattle.

4 days ago

Ross: Can you downsize standing next to shelves full of memories?