Monday, September 12, 2016

What You Store Will Come Back to Bite You!

Two weeks ago, my son-in-law delivered a truck load of my things that had been stored at his and my daughter’s house while I was in Sri Lanka for 14 years. Oh yippee.

My daughter warned me that there were 28 boxes. What she didn’t warn me about is that in those boxes were memorabilia from my childhood onward. In the first box I opened I found my ponytail that I had chopped off in 6th grade. Back when my hair was dark brown with red highlights. There were small notes that my stepfather had written to my brother Mark and me when we were just 4 and 6 years old. Letters from my father that made me sad for three days. A letter from my mother writing about Mark several decades after he died. I couldn’t talk after reading that one. There were copies of wills of my dead relatives. Letters from old beaus, ex-husbands, my granddaughter at the age of 6 and my grandson at the age of 5. And ashes of my dogs…and my mother…and my mother's aged cousin that I took care of for 13 years. My mother told me (before she turned to ash) that I should put all the ashes into my garden and call it ‘The Family Garden.’ But I didn’t. I wasn't ready. Besides I sold my house, with the garden. Couldn’t leave the family behind.

This room used to be empty!

Wallet-sized photos of high school classmates that I had lugged around for 50 years!
I actually sent them to this year's reunion and reunion-goers pinned the 50yo photo on to themselves so people could remember who they were/are.

I can't believe I still have this. I won first place at the
4th of July races when I was 5yo. I was the only kid in the race - 
I was the only kid who could swim the width of the pool!

Who still has these?

Wedding videos? Poetry readings?

A small version of the mess each box made!

Two boxes were full of old income tax returns. Stuff to shred. Lots of stuff to shred. I put the shreddable into the super clean, empty garage. Oh yippee.

Several boxes were full of framed photos - some dating back 150+ years.

Each time I finished a box, I had to go lie down and take a nap. The stress of all the emotions was like the time I tried to clear my mother’s things from my garage in Whittier California. She had died 5 days before my birthday and I found her birthday present to me among her things. Crying, I closed up the garage and eventually cleared it two years later.

No wonder people never tackle the things we store in closets, attics and garages. No wonder my daughter sent my stuff with my son-in-law. I’ve sorted all but eight of the boxes and had to buy a shedder for the taxes and other items with my data on them. I’ll continue until I’ve culled out all the unnecessaries and photos I don’t remember taking. I’ve thrown out probably 1,000+ photos. The ‘good’ stuff will go into the second bedroom’s closet. And guess what? My daughter will eventually get them back when I croak! And then she can add my ashes to the bunch!

This is the best I could do. It's down to 10 (so far).

I put up a new FaceBook page as soon as I landed in California. It’s
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© ShadeTree Productions, Lucy Llewellyn Byard, Lipton Jayawickrama

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