If there is space, I fill it. But that doesn’t mean I should.

The basement is a maze of boxy rooms totaling the size of a spacious New York apartment. On tabletops, I threw clothes the children had outgrown, beside the upright bottles of wine I’ve collected.

In the storage room, carefully folded baby clothes in plastic bins – the pale pink knit and chiffon dress Eliana wore at her simchat bat, a black ski cap with words in white, Big Bro, that Asher never wore. They were waiting for a dashed dream.

And so I opened the bins and pulled out the baby clothes. Newborn, six-month, one year, two. Into big black garbage bags, for the Purple Heart.

The Passover dishes came out of the cupboards into the plastic bins, stowed under a table where I chop carrots each spring for soup. The empty cupboards await children’s games.

Why stop there? I boxed up the best baby clothes to send to my brother, who is soon to have a daughter. Into the garbage cans on the side of the house went four cardboard boxes full of napkins engraved with Avy and Lynne in gold. So, too, my bridal bouquet, long-since dried out.

To live only with what we need – is it possible?

Late afternoon sun reflects bright off the white siding of my neighbor’s house. It is a beautiful fall day.

Yesterday, I ate at a deli with my oldest friend. Heaping bowls of chicken soup with matzoh ball, kreplach and noodles, thick carrot chunks. Cheese blintzes sweet as the day, dipped in sour cream and applesauce. Chickpea salad and smoked sable, silky-flaky, as white as today’s sun.

We sat in a booth for two in the middle of the afternoon and laughed over love and affairs of the heart. Every life is built on moments. Every life, built of moments.


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