The boxes sat in my parents' garage for nearly two decades; the dust collecting; the items inside unchanged. My mom and I saved quite a few things from my childhood. Much of which was boxed up as I grew older and no longer needed it or when I moved away to college.
When my husband and I bought our first house, my dad decided it was time I take everything that had once been mine. That meant several boxes, many of which went from my parents' garage into my own, the boxes unopened. It wasn't until we moved them yet again, from the old house to the new, that my husband and I decided to go through them. It was time to decide what to keep.
If I believed in destiny, I would say it was fate that kept us from going through the boxes sooner. We likely would have thrown out a lot of my old toys, dolls and stuffed animals, paper dolls, and games. That would have been before Mouse. Now, we hold onto the items in case she shows an interest in them. Maybe one day she will. If not, we can decide what to keep and throw away then.
A couple of my boxes in my parents' garage escaped notice for years. My mother found them earlier this year and brought them with her on her last visit. Old sweatshirts and t-shirts from high school, quite a few Camp Fire camp and choir t-shirts. A couple of photos from my show choir days. A prayer plate that used to hang on the wall of my room. An old picket sign I used when helping my mom during a teacher's strike. My Cabbage Patch dolls and three only-for-looking-at-dolls. A model airplane (an F-16) I'd put together when I was a child, a truck made out of redwood, a Rubik's cube. Doll clothes and clothes I'd once worn. My first bra. And books. Books I'd read in middle school and into high school. Some of the books I remembered. Many I did not.
Among my finds in that box, was a framed poem, "If" for Girls by J.P. McEnvoy (inspired by Rudyard Kipling), that I had hung on the wall of my room when I was growing up. As I held it in my hands, with its yellowing paper and faded green border, I read the poem and remembered. It had given me strength when I was young. I turned the frame over and noticed the inscription on the back. There were two. I read the bottom one first. The poem had been given to me when when I was ten years old by my grandmother. My eyes went to the inscription on top. The same poem, in that same frame, had been given to my grandmother when she was 19 years old, in 1939. Tears filled my eyes. And I hugged that poem to my heart. One day there will be a third inscription on that old frame when I give it to my daughter.
© 2013, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
My mom was a saver too, and also recently dumped boxes of my stuff on my doorstep when they downsized. I would not have appreciated this stuff 20 years ago, but now I do. And it inspired me to keep a small collection of my kids' things. They don't want to have anything to do with their toy train set or the dolls, but someday they will!ReplyDelete
Sandy - I have set aside a few of Mouse's things that I thought were worth saving. Probably more than I should. I will likely go through my "Mouse drawer" in the near future and cull it some. It's been quite a trip down memory lane going through my old boxes.Delete
Some of those book titles sound a little dramatic. XDReplyDelete
The story about the poem is very touching though. I think it is great that you have something like that to pass on to your daughter.
Lisa - They're middle grade/young adult books, so it goes with the territory. :-)Delete
I hadn't even realized I or my mom had saved the poem. I'm glad we did.
A walk down memory lane for sure! I have nothing from my childhood. I think maybe just one or two pictures. My parents moved a lot and they tossed whatever they had between moves. I have nothing from high school. They tossed all my trophies, etc. I have one yearbook. That's it. Very sad.ReplyDelete
Ti - Yes, it definitely brought back memories! I am sorry your folks didn't save anything from your childhood. I imagine it would have been different for us if my dad hadn't retired from the military and we hadn't finally settled down.Delete
Interesting to see your books, especially. I love the poem idea, what a lovely heirloom it has the potential to be, the words are eternal and already there is history in it.ReplyDelete
Charlie - I don't even remember most of those books. LOL At least until I saw them. Honestly, I don't know that I will keep most of them. Most of the ones from my childhood I treasure are the ones already on my shelves.Delete
I was really excited to find the poem. And it means so much more since it was given to me by my grandmother.
Oh my, you just can't beat treasures like that or memories. What wonderful things to find and hopefully one day share with Mouse. The poem is certainly to be treasures and and I bet one day when Mouse receives it from you she will think it just as special.ReplyDelete
Darlene - No, you can't! I was shuffling boxes in the garage the other day and Mouse got into my barbie doll box. She took right too them. She's still a little young for all the clothes and accessories I saved, but maybe when she's older if she's interested. Of all the dolls in my barbie box, she chose a Blueberry Muffin doll to keep out--the poor doll is half bald now and her clothes are permanently stained. I love though that Mouse chose her of all the dolls in that box to hold onto.Delete
Oh my gosh, I would hug that frame too! What a treasure to own! I adore the photo of Mouse holding the protest sign!ReplyDelete
Kathy - Isn't that something? My mom requested I save the sign for her. She wants to take it to a retired teacher's meeting. :-)Delete
What a bunch of treasures to find :*)ReplyDelete
Jennifer - It truly is!Delete
Some of those books sound vaguely familiar. It amuses me that so many people think YA books are something *new.*ReplyDelete
My husband and I spent some time a couple of weekends ago going through some of our own boxes. I don't have very many things left from my pre-college years, but my husband found a bunch of stuff he'd totally forgotten. Treasure indeed!
Florinda - I'm with you. YA books have been around for quite awhile--the subject matter may vary depending on trends, but they've just about always been there.Delete
It is fun to revisit the past that way. My in-laws cleaned out my husband's grandmother's house recently and found quite a few treasures. Mouse is too young yet to appreciate some of the papers and memorabilia we found, but hopefully one day she will appreciate our saving what we did.
Cabbage patch dolls!!!! I bet your daughter is just loving those :) My parents saved all of our old books from when we were kids and now they are my kid's books. It worked out quite well!!ReplyDelete
Samantha - Surprisingly, she isn't too taken with them. She has two of her own that she got for Christmas last year and they mostly are left alone. I think it's their size. She's small herself and so prefers the smaller dolls right now.Delete
Mouse has all of the childhood books I saved. A couple have become her favorites and we read them over and over and over again. LOL I'm not sure I will save the young adult books for her though. I may donate them to the library.
A true treasure! And, of course I had to get a close up picture of your YA books :)ReplyDelete
Iliana - There's a definite theme, isn't there? LOL It was fun coming across all those books again. I hadn't remembered most of them.Delete