Today my mom’s internal list of things to do included taking up one of
the indoor/outdoor rugs she has in the living room, carrying it into the yard,
scrubbing it down and laying it out to dry in the sun. This pretty much sucked.
When wet, it smelled like wet dog which is kind of unpleasant. It definitely
looks better and apparently we are doing the smaller rug tomorrow. Then it was
on to her car. She vacuumed and washed it. Next was the attic. Last week we
destroyed these two dressers and brought them downstairs and put the pieces in
my Uncle’s little cart for disposal. Today she was sweeping up there and told
me to start going through my stored things. I started today with this basket
that I have had forever. It is kind of an odd thing, shaped like a piece of
luggage, only wicker. Very 1970s.
I took the basket which is covered in attic crud out into the yard to
sit outside and go through. There was definitely some stuff worth getting rid
of like old college papers and directions on culturing Ceriodaphnia (why did I
keep this?) The rest of the box is just full of emotion. One small box is
bursting with memories. There is a mimeographed (remember that smell?) 6th
grade newsletter with sections like “Some Juicy Tidbits” (Did you hear about one boy in sixth grade who has a secret lover in fifth grade? Not to mention any names but his initials are J.L.) and “Dear Agnes” (Dear Agnes of A-6, I have this problem.
I like this boy but he doesn’t like me. Should I give him up or keep on liking
him? He’s really really cute. I should be nameless or else you’ll
definitely know who I am.)
This small box contained handwritten notes from both of my
grandmothers, my great grandmother & great grandfather on my Mom’s side. The
notes from my mom’s mom are written in handwriting that is artwork. Always in
red, usually with a thick tip, it has the essence of cursive but it is not. Her
letter Ts are a thing of beauty, swooping in on all the other letters, seeming
to cradle the entire word (Friday night we went to the band concert in Greenport and thought of when we went last year and sure missed you.) Memories of my great grandfather (he lived to over 100) are of a small old man smoking a pipe in the living room of the house I am in right now. To this day the smell of a pipe fiercely jets me back in time. I have a note he wrote to me when I turned 13 on April 13th (Some people say 13 is not a lucky number. Those people are afraid if a black cat runs in front of them or if they walk under a ladder. We know better.) Voices, voices from the past some well
remembered and some a distant blur. The whimsy and personality in my great
grandfather’s note make me wonder what he was like when he was younger. I may
This only scratches the surface of the materials collected in the basket.
Reading its contents is emotionally draining and sometimes painful. Spanning
lost loves and lost lives. Too much for one post. It makes my heart heavy. It
makes me feel too much. Sodden and sappy, I retire from blogging tonight.