KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

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.

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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.

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Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
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Ross: Can you downsize standing next to shelves full of memories?