Farewell to Summer, plus Some Deep Thoughts

I have some pretty heavy stuff on my mind and heart, but I will start with the tablescape so that you can quit reading after that if you are not interested in those types of things.

Kathleen is once again hosting one of her famous challenges. This time she wants us to set a table that says, “Farewell to Summer.” I am not really sure if my table qualifies…it may say hello rather than goodbye. I live in central MS; the temps here are in the nineties with the heat indexes in the 100s. We will have summer for a good while yet. Football has started, and it is very hot and sometimes dangerous to be on the field. A tragedy at a metro school game last week sobered up everyone to the dangers of dehydration, sodium loss, and heat exhaustion. While coaches and school administration take great care of their players, not everything can be predicted. Pray for the family of a young man who lost his life tragically after a seizure and brain swelling last weekend during and after the game. I will not give any identifying details, as it could be any young person out there on any field here in the sweltering Southeast. And to all of you, be careful!


Sorry, I did not mean to get so preachy and serious…let’s visit the beach! I purchased these beachy napkin rings quite some time ago and am just now using them. I love this great sand dollar.


The sea horse looks great on the aqua napkin which match my placemats with the same delicate watery colors.


The sea turtle is an endangered marine animal, I think. I learned a lot about these turtles and the lengths that people go to in order to protect their nests of eggs by reading Pat Conroy, one of my favorite authors. Hopefully, these animals will eventually be taken off the endangered species list.


Of course, what would the beach be without starfish? Love this napkin ring set! I see a lot of using it in summer tables of the future.


I placed my Pfaltzgraff Seaside plates on top of a plain white Nikko plate for emphasis. I love how the colors of the plate blend with the placemat colors. That is why I put the white plate first, so that it will stand out and not be lost on the placemat. I still enjoy my Dollar Tree shell plates from a few years ago. They are perfect for this last table of summer.


You may remember earlier in the summer that I found these cute beach-themed plates at a local flea market (not mine). I know that I will really enjoy using them for years to come.


You don’t see flatware at the place settings? I decided to put my aqua flatware in a chrome caddy that my mother gave me recently. I like using a flatware caddy sometimes, especially when I want to evoke a casual attitude.


These goblets were finds at our flea market. It was hard to find a true aqua goblet. The way that the soft green stem is gradually variegated from the clear bowl part of the glass gives the illusion of the varying shades of blue and green found in water. I really like the way they look. I think that they add to the theme without being too over the top.


You have seen all of my centerpiece elements before. Most came from Dollar General. I love the beach chair votive holders…probably among my favorite pieces. The vase, shell votive holder, and shells were all purchased at Dollar General on clearance last year. They are great tablescaping items to pull out for summer tables.


The seashell teapot also came from our flea market a while back. I love the way that it helps to carry out the theme, and I loved the price. Suffice it to say that it was very, very cheap. Very. I should be able to resell it at a profit if I ever get tired of using it.


The shells and blue bead to symbolize water scattered on beach towel runner finish off the look. Farewell, summer…we’ll miss ya!

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

So now for the heavy part….David and I recently went into a hoarded house. The neighbor of our relatives had been hoarding for many years. She died a few months ago, and her family is finally ready to start dealing with the house. Our kinfolks are friends and are helping where they can. We were offered a look at some of the things that have been found so far to purchase for our booth at the flea market.

We knew it was bad, but had no idea how bad until we walked in the door. I watch a lot of the hoarding shows, so I thought I was prepared. I was not. Pathways had been cleared so that we could get to each room. The main rooms had fairly clear spots so that we could look at some things. I don’t even want to think about what it all looked at before these spaces had been somewhat cleared.

All of the other rooms were hoarded out. We literally could only stand in the doorways and stare, openmouthed. All we could see were boxes, sacks, stacks of stuff, too much to name.

I was there to look at Christmas items, and look I did. I liked some table runners and placemats. As I began going through them, I was amazed. All were still in their store packaging, never used, and there were multiples of every item. For every table runner that I liked and kept for myself, I took 2 or 3 more just like it to sell.

I spied a nativity scene, brand new in the box, sticking out of a box on top of the hoard in one room (there was no way that I could go through boxes on the bottom of the hoard). I tilted the box a little so that I could pick up the Nativity. I did not know whether to laugh or cry. There were at least 10, maybe more, identical nativity scenes… brand new, in the box, never used… in that box.  One of our group mentioned that we could open a Fred’s with this hoard, and they were so right.

I picked out a few other items, but could not look at things like I normally would at an estate or garage sale. Not just because I could not get to them, but also because I just felt so sad. I kept walking from room to room saying, “This just breaks my heart.”

David and I talked a lot about it later. Shouldn’t someone’s possessions give them pleasure? We recalled a time many years ago when we were visiting David’s grandmother in her apartment at her retirement home. She had her family pictures, her blue bird collection, and her miniature colored bottles, among other things, showcased around her home. Once she said, “David, I enjoy my things.”

Shouldn’t that be the way it is? Shouldn’t we “enjoy our things” and not be weighed down by them?

Most of you know that I am a Dave Ramsey fan, and he talks a lot about “stuffitis.” Dave says that “stuffitis” inhibits our financial freedom and keeps us from fully living the way we should. One of the first things that he tells people to do is to purge the “stuff.” Get rid of the boats, the 4-wheelers, all the extra things that we don’t need and that are tying up our money and keeping us broke.

He is right, but this weekend’s experience hit me in the face that there is so much more to “stuffitis” than its contributing to our financial bondage.

This woman’s “stuff” was inhibiting not only her financial health, but her physical and mental health as well. I can assure you that nothing was clean in that home and that there was no way anything in there was healthy…well, I guess it was to the roaches and termites.

Every single part of her life was negatively affected by the importance she put on the hoard…relationships, money, health, time…I could go on and on.

Most of you know that when I purchase items at an estate sale or thrift store, that I love going through them… cleaning, sorting, identifying, pricing, and usually even photographing for the blog. As I washed and sorted the items that I brought home this weekend, I took no pleasure in the task. All I could feel was that overwhelming sense of sadness washing over me. Sometimes I even felt myself close to tears.

Most of you know that I have a rule when it comes to shopping for my tablescaping and decorating items….something comes in; something else goes out. I have firmly stuck to this rule in the past almost 3 years since I began the tablescaping hobby. I now have an even firmer resolve to not waiver from my determination.

Thanks for sticking it out and reading all of my ramblings. If you get nothing else from reading this post, please understand that treasures are to be stored up in heaven, nowhere else.

I leave you with a paraphrase of my late grandmother-in-law, who was very wise.

Enjoy your things!

I am joining: A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday, Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life , Vintage Thingie Thursday at Colorado Lady,   From the Farm at The Homesteading Hippy, Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday, Metamorphosis Monday, Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage ,  Cozy Little House for Tweak it Tuesday,  Under the Table and Dreaming for Sunday Showcase ,  The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home, Brown Gingham Creations for Rednesday,  Cuisine Kathleen for Let’s Dish, Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch to Yours,  Cottage Style at Lavender Garden, Homemaking Paty at Hope in Every Season,   The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday, What’s It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants; Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now, Meet Me Monday at You Are Talking Too Much,  Spotlight Saturday at Classy Clutter, Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage, Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound, You’re Gonna Love It Tuesdays at Kathe with an E, Mop it Up Monday at I Should Be Mopping the Floor , Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style ,  Make it Pretty Monday, Anything Blue Friday at The Dedicated House,  Create It Thursday at Lamberts Lately,   Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring,  Tuesday’s Treasures at Uncommon Suburbia,  Return to Loveliness at A Delightsome Life, Centerpiece Wednesday at The Style Sisters, Time Travel Thursday at The Brambleberry Cottage , The Scoop at The Stone Gable, Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner , Sizzle into Summer at DIY by Design






About Bev

I am a retired teacher who has only recently taken up tablescaping and blogging. For more information, see my About Bev link.
This entry was posted in Summer, Tablescapes and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Farewell to Summer, plus Some Deep Thoughts

  1. Wow! I can relate to this post. A very close friend’s Mother was a hoarder and her home was so bad that she was receiving warnings from the city health department. You have seen the hoarding shows so you know what I mean. My friend saw it getting worse and worse over the years but she ( my friend) finally had a melt down and took her mother kicking and screaming to live with her. She takes her to see a counselor too . My friend hired people to clean sort and sanitize the house so it could be reevaluated . After six long months it was deemed habitable and was put up for sale.
    I am similar to you with regard to old out when new comes in. xo

  2. Julia G. says:

    Thanks for the reminder of where we are to store our treasures. I try to make sure my things are owned and that they don’t own me! Your words were not rants just a sensitive heart speaking out.

  3. Vicky Hunt says:

    Love the farewell to summer table. It makes me long to go to the beach…I didn’t get to this summer with all the renovating. Wise words about the hoarding…we do need to enjoy what we have and not just box it up and store it away. Dave Ramsey is awesome…I went to one of his seminars once and love him! He has great advice and I have tried to follow it over the past few years. Have a wonderful evening.

    Blessings, Vicky

  4. bj says:

    I love your beachy tablescape. What a fun party…I am loving it.

  5. Jen says:

    Thanks for sharing. I once read a quote saying that we do not own our possessions, they own us.I think that is true. I need to learn to stick to the one in one out rule!

  6. Being a southerner myself, I can relate to the heat! Summer won’t be over until Nov 1 around here! Love those goblets and napkin rings! Sorry about the hoarder experience, so hard to understand, it must have been shocking~

  7. The Quintessential Magpie Blog says:

    I understand about severe heat. Years ago, we lived in Central Florida, and the summer heat, so intense it could fry an egg on the sidewalk, nearly did me in. I had what I am convinced was a heat stroke, and somehow The Lord gave me the presence of mind to get into a bath with ice. It helped, but I was plenty sick beforehand and after. Going in and out of air conditioning is also dangerous. now that i am older, i try to stay out of the sun from 10 to two if at all possible, doing ny errands and visiting early or late. I grew up in Southern heat so I respect it. So sad for that boy’s family.

    I have a friend who is trying to come out from under hoarding. And I have a lot of stuff which I need to sort in an effort to downsize. As my husband says, it is good stuff, but too much of anything can weigh you down. I understand how you feel, too, about going into that lady’s house and being overwhelmed with sadness. I feel that way about some estate sales. People thought we had left everything in my MIL’s house when we actually had taken three moving vans of stuff! She had tons, too, and was in the same house for 50 years and was previously an antiques dealer.

    I enjoyed your tablescape, and if your napkin rings go missing, you needn’t look far! 😉 I could have used them in my tablescape today!



  8. Kitty says:

    Your beachy table is perfect for a farewell to summer. I especially love the chair votive holders and the teapot. Yes, it’s so sad about the hoarder experience and you’ve passed on some very helpful, thoughtful information.

  9. Jacqueline says:

    Such fun items for your end of summer table. I have decided that beachy tables should be around year long – they just make me happy!
    I can’t imagine what it would be like to actually enter a hoarder’s home like that. My aunt was pretty bad, but it was just the borders of her home – piles of magazines and empty jars and plastic containers in the kitchen. I am glad that there will be a great use for the items.
    Hubby always says, “Haul it in to haul it out!” but at least I am willing to let go of things and let others enjoy them, athough I do have a couple of areas that need organization again! Seems to never end.

  10. Susan says:

    Fun tablescape Bev! You just reminded me to start cleaning out the garage. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  11. Kathe says:

    Love your table and your words Bev. When we moved last year, I was painfully aware of all of my “things”. My dishes, glasses, flatware, props. I have since taken on the same ethic as you. Something comes in, something has to go out! Whenever I load a box to take to donate I think to myself, the house is now 10 lbs lighter (wish I could say the same about MY weight LOL!)! Have a safe and, hopefully, cool holiday weekend!

  12. Love your beachy table. So cheerful and happy. I love the beach and it is fun to recreate that pleasant feel of the beach at our tables at home. Your napkin rings are darling.

    I can see you were very affected by the experience visiting the hoarder house. Thanks for reminding us of what is important in life.

  13. Just love your table, beautiful and it makes me smile. 🙂 We love our stuff too, but have been cleaning out. Told hubby I didn’t want to see myself on an episode of hoarders, lol.

    You did a great job on the challenge.

  14. Hi Bev,

    Your ocean-themed tablescape is so pretty. I love all the aqua; that has to be one of the most soothing colors ever. The Pfalzgraff plates and the glass goblets are so pretty! I especially love the placemats and the napkin rings. 🙂

    Thank you for your visit and have a great day!


  15. Christine says:

    I am imagining walking on the beach and seeing all the scattered shells on the sand. Pretty tablescape, Bev, and very summery indeed….Christine

  16. Rettabug says:

    Loved seeing your delicate watery colors in this tablescape, Bev & I appreciated your insights into the disease of hoarding as well. It is a mental affliction. So sad.

  17. Marigene says:

    What a neat beach table, Bev! I love the napkin rings.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  18. lulu says:

    I know some people who have stuffitis. All of us probably have too much stuff when it comes right down to it but, hopefully, not to the point it becomes an addiction. I don’t know how kids survive hot climates and football practice. It seems there’s always someone who doesn’t. Amongst your ramblings, you’ve done a nice table.

  19. Candy S says:

    Bev, First let me say your tablescape is lovely. I love aqua in any tablescape, but it is especially perfect for a beachy table. Very nice!

    I have been going through all of my “stuff” and purging over the summer. It does seem that one day you have a handle on the “stuff” and suddenly it all gets overwhelming. At least it has for me. We only have a four by six foot storage place under the stairs where I keep my Christmas tree and holiday decor. Over the past few years all of the miscellaneous started migrating to the garage and into the closets in the extra bedrooms. I hope to have everything purged before we put our house up for sale next summer. It is time to downsize.

  20. chinamom3078 says:

    Sounds like a hard week. The seashore napkins rings are so cute! As to things, it is good to be reminded where our treasures are.

  21. susie says:

    It breaks my heart hearing a story like this.I can only imagine how hard it was for you to go in there but how hard it will be for the family to have to sort it all out. I t becomes a mental addiction that gets like that. You have great power that you get rid of something before you buy it I wish I had self control.Sorry this had to happen for you.Susie

  22. Kathy says:

    I’ve never seen anyone personally – I can imagine how emotional a sight like that can be – especially after losing that loved one – very thoughtful post – I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  23. Sherry says:

    Hi Bev, I am sorry to hear about the loss of the player. It is not worth it to practice in really high heat. I love your shells on your beachy table. Thanks for sharing!

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