The Possessions Go, The Memories Stay
New York Times (03/21/01) Vol. 105, No. 11 p.2; Brown, Patricia Leigh

Madeleine Philips' life has gone through many phases, but no phase could have prepared her for her transition from a house she lived in for 14 years to an 11x18 room at the Claremont House, a residence closer to her children in Oakland, Calif. This is a major change many retirees go through. Philips' decision to move closer to her children was gradual, and after her 80th birthday, she sent letters to her children, listing her possessions. She asked them to mark their preferences on a scale of 1 to 10. Philips separated her belongings into three categories: things she had to have, things she never wanted to see again, and things she was not sure about. She then stored away the "maybes" in her child's garage. Now, Philips is ready to begin a new chapter in her life in a new place.


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