It can be difficult to even begin with it. Such was the case with my garage full of boxes of memorabilia that I have carted around with me from place to place all my adult life.
Originally most of these boxes were stored at my parents’ house in their attic, but one year one of my brothers decided to “help” my father out and divvied up the common childhood games and such and delivered it to me.
Good grief! It was just what I didn’t want at the time.
That’s how it ended up in the garage stacked up with other boxes of items collected over the years. In the end all these memories took up a space where a car should have been parked.
Ten years later I started the process of going through each box to decide what to save, sell, recycle or throw away. It turns out mice made many decisions for me.
Somewhere along the line, the mice invaded nearly every box leaving behind a micey mess.
I bought a box of Hefty Bags and threw out half of my life.
But I didn’t feel bad about it at all. As a matter of fact, I felt relieved.
I almost completed the project when I hit a lull. Five boxes remained. A month passed.
Then I got the call. “We’ll be arriving to install new carpet. Everything needs to be moved out.”
“Holy cow,” I replied.
Going through five boxes was nothing compared to the zillion books that needed to be boxed and moved.
In the mists of freaking out, an old friend, whose nickname used to be “Gorilla Arms,” said he needed “some exercise.”
He transformed the dining room into my study by moving three bookcases and a desk.
I think I’m going to keep it that way too.
I was now ready to tackle the five boxes. They turned out to be the most interesting of the whole bunch. Serendipitously I saved the best for last.
One box was filled with my first writing and coloring. My mother must have put it together. In one box I found some short stories that I had written in eighth grade. My English teacher, Miss Newman, loved them.
I cringed reading them now, but that was my creative writing beginning, so I kept them.
One box had very early college papers and correspondence of that time frame. Another box was full of later college stuff.
And the final box was early career papers and such. I took myself so seriously back then.
I saved most of the contents of these boxed time capsules.
The whole progression reminded me of this time of year when we look back at the past and look forward to the future. So I decided to try a new project, one that I won’t wait for ten years to start.
I plan to take items from each stage of my life and devote a few pages in a scrapbook to them. Nothing fancy, just a short narrative with plenty of blank pages for the coming years.