I actually love it when I lose something. It usually leads to a cleaned out closet or finding something unexpected and satisfying.
I've started gathering papers in preparation for the annual IRS ritual of filing taxes. We sold some stuff and I need to find the papers from the purchase many years ago. I'm pretty organized these days, but back then - what with six kids and a full time job - I was anything but, so I began to search through the boxes in our storage closet. Of course, nothing is labeled and business and pleasure papers and memorabilia are all mixed in together.
Opening the first box I am confronted with old photos and a box of letters that I saved from my mother's house when she died some 15 years ago. Even knowing my papers weren't going to be in that box, I started flipping through the contents. I pulled out a picture of my best friend Pat Denver and me in our dorky Mariner Girl Scout uniforms posing on the 3 masted schooner that we guided around Cape Cod. With us were Gregory Peck and John Houston who were filming Moby Dick. It was quite an adventure for high school juniors. We had to earn the money for the trip and I did so by cleaning houses. I have hated housework ever since. The next picture was of our 22 year old grandson, fresh from the womb - I remember thinking, "what big ears!" He has now very handsomely grown into those ears.
I must have spent an hour on the pictures and moved on to the letters. Most of them were from my children to their grandmother, my mother. Our son wrote to tell her all his adventures at Georgia Tech and I learned a lot. The only time we ever heard from him while in college was when he was short of cash. I also found a letter from me, the college junior, to my sister describing my soon to be husband and wondering what my parents would think of him. They had not met him yet. Another letter from my sister to me bemoaning the fact that she was having to miss her high school party because of the date of my rehearsal dinner. I now can empathize with that sentiment, but at the time it was all about "me".
On to the next box. All papers - this time ones that I have written. From grammar school, the re-written version of Litte Women that my friends and I would perform in one or another of our basements. From high school there were the rules and regulations for the Chatham High School cheerleaders vis a vis behavior. I guess I was practicing for motherhood even then. Next came series of Odes that were typed and mimeographed and cut into index card size. The cards were all titled "An Ode To...followed by the following: Atlantic Ocean, Chatham,Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Wastebasket, Tasmania, Mt. Everest and the Florida Everglades". God knows what that was all about as my only experience with any of them was the wastebasket ..."always taking, never giving...", Chatham and the Atlantic Ocean. From college were two papers on which I had written "late because of illness", a bold faced lie. I don't ever remember being sick one day in college. One was written from the perspective of an 8 year old whose father is sent away to a mental institution and although I'd never witnessed any dementia or Alzheimer's back then, ir was a spot -on description of what I now know it to be. It couldn't have been based on my parents as they (and their siblings) had and still have all their marbles.
I know I kept all this stuff to create a memoir and memory books for my kids and maybe someday that will happen. Now on with the hunt. In the fourth box I found the records that I needed. By this time I had wasted so much of the day in the search and the trip down memory lane that I realized I didn't have anything to prepare for dinner. I started a search of the freezer, and hidden behind the vodka and the spumoni was a large bag of the unused pierogis that my daughters and granddaughters and I had made for Christmas Eve. Voila! Guess what we had for dinner? An unexpected treat.
Thank you IRS.
Here’s your new Puzzler for July!
4 years ago