Saturday, January 14, 2012

Today was one of those rare Saturdays that I did not have a set schedule.  As the afternoon progressed, I headed for the attic to continue on in my organizational mode.  I was bound and determined to clear out, organize, and clean.  Let me tell you, I was so unprepared for what I found.



As I mother, I do ask for your help.  What is a mother to do, when she has three married daughters who still have their "boxes" in our attic?  It has been mentioned to them from time to time.  I hear answers like, "wait until we have a bigger place", or "wait until we are out of school", or "we will get it all at the right time, really we will."

First thing I found was the middle daughter's "Precious Teddy" collection from years ago.  They are sitting on the white wicker shelves in the corner of what used to be her room.  She wants them for her little girl, but not yet.  So, there they set, in all their cuteness...waiting to go to their next home.




As I examined them, the memories start flooding over me.  I remember clearly when she first decided that she wanted to collect them, and then I remember how happy she was with each one she received.   Quite honestly, like this little sign says, "my heart was starting to melt".  The resolve I had in my heart as I marched up the stairs to begin my mission, was already starting to fade.




Then I opened the first box, and what did I find but the cutest little guys ever...the longed for, coveted "Beanie Babies" that ruled our youngest daughter's heart for a few years.  Oh, how she treasured each and every one.  She learned early on that the individual tags must stay on, to keep their value.  As I looked over her collection, I smiled as I saw all the tiny white tags still attached.  How could I possibly get rid of these adorable, soft, cuddly creatures?  I felt the resolve melting even further.




Everything old that was Coca Cola...that is what our oldest daughter collected.  Old Coke bottles, old wooden Coke crates, tins, signs...she treasured them all.  Most of them she now displays in her home, but I did discover some remaining memorbilia in some of the boxes that I opened. 
Now understand, in between these discoveries, I did come upon items that I found quite easy to discard, but others, as I've shared, seemed to have unexpected strings attached to them, and that I found a bit disconcerting.




I opened this box and there I found an array of beautiful sea shells, and suddenly without warning, my mind went back, and I saw little girls walking on the beach of Florida, and so happy to discover each and every sea shell.  Excitedly they would run to me and share their every find.  I felt tears, totally unexpected, as I remembered...




As I opened another filled box, this white banner fell to the attic floor.  I looked down and saw the words "sophmore princess".  Instantly, I pictured our oldest daughter, in her little black dress, walking down the field at the soccer game halftime, in the homecoming court.  Things were going down hill for me, with each box or bag that was opened.
How did it happen that our girls saved so much of their lives, in our attic?




Then, the answer came, I discovered boxes from their great-grandmother, and realized she had the same malady.  A coloring book of Mrs. Beasley was on top of the next box of magazines.  It was a box that my mother, and their great-grandma had packed, along with...




...many old magazines.  There was the lovely Joanne Woodward and her daughters, dated July 1971.  Now, certainly I could throw this piece of history, into the trash, couldn't I?  No, I could not.  It is, at this moment, still in the same box, at the same spot of my attic.  What is wrong with me?  Why couldn't I just dispose of it?  Why would I keep it?  Who would want it?  But, no I could not throw it away.




Same is true of my mother's treasured record albums.  Really, Lawrence Welk's Most Requested T.V. Favorites?  My mind immediately took me to the Saturday nights, when with our own daughter's were in their young years, we all sat, watched Mr. Welk's show, and ate popcorn.  Yes, I also remembered their rolling eyes, and heavy sighs as to our choice of entertainment, but, nevertheless, the memories were so strong.




The box of photos was the last one I tackled, and at this point, I was emotionally spent.  I saw this photo of the three precious daugthers that God had blessed us with.  So much time had passed since this picture was taken, and so much change had transpired.  I found myself progressing three steps and then back two steps.  I do feel like I accomplished some of what I set out to do, but I discovered that the sentimentality that I didn't think I had, had risen to the surface, on this wintery Saturday afternoon.  I like clean, I like organization, I like to get rid of, but...
the other side of me, just had to keep some of the treasures that I had come upon.
How about you?  How do you find yourselves when in my situation?

14 comments:

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I know whereof you speak! So many of my attempts at clearing things out, just result in moving things around. And it's so good to have 'real pieces' of the past to go with our memories. I see why you could not dispose of those treasures!

a woman who is said...

Two storage units and a garage full...that's how I find myself. Oh seriously Judy you are killing me here...lol...no seriously I am crying with you. I have been avoiding the mess for too long. Now I must explain a little, I am not a real horder. That's what they all say right;) The truth of the matter is we have my oldest son's stuff when he came home, and failed to take it with him when he left again. We have youngest daughter's stuff when she came back from Seattle, and now we have Dan's folks stuff after moving them three times last year into smaller and smaller places (due to illnesses and care need change. ) Then throw in two hip surgeries and you have a mess we desperately need to tackle. PLUS and this is the big plus it will be a sentimental journey. You only have a few boxes girlfriend, it's all good!

lindsey said...

Lovely post as usual Judy. Yes our attic has some of those boxes too. But none for our youngest daughter who got married first...she is a hoarder and I remember when she was getting married how we packed up all her belongings and drove them around to the flat of her husband-to-be and passing them all on to him....I am sure he has never forgiven me for that ;) But we have plenty belonging to our other daughter especially winter clothing for all the our boys.
I love your photo's, what sweet collections. I can imagine how you will just look at them, remember them and repack them again!

Sonja said...

oh I love this Judy! I also like order, and I also have at least 2 bins out in the garage full of pictures and school papers and trophies that our kids have never taken. Now THEIR kids favorite thing is to sit and go through those bins when they are here, reading and laughing over a low grade one day or a note of very sincere apology from their parent to us. They just LOVE that their parents weren't perfect either!

So, I have learned that one corner of the garage is going to stay that way, I just make it as neat as possible and ignore it. After all... if that corner were perfect, what would be so great about standing in my garage and seeing concrete instead of the heart of our family as they grew up. :)

Having said that... I also HAVE condensed stuff, since order is important!! :)

xo

debi said...

Up in my attic;
A box of stuffed animals that belonged to my son's...I found I still knew the names they had given each :-)
A box of Star Wars characters, along with very large modes of transporting said characters.
A box of Transformers,a box of Leggos and army men....the two most painful things a Mom could possible step on in her bare feet, thousands of times.
Little notes they wrote to me, Mother's Day messages....still I hang on to them.....
A silver and a blue trike. :-( sniffle....
I realized when we remodeled and I was determined to make them pick them up and transport the stuff to their places.... Then I realized, they were my memories as much as theirs. Touching those stuffed animals, brings back my youngsters if even for a moment. I might wait until they ask for them now :-)

Hugs to you Mommy.....

Dale said...

Judy,
Glad I am not alone. In the rare moments when I actually try to weed out some of our 'treasures', it results in a trip down memory lane. My tidy mother is still handing out items from her attic from 30+ years ago. It's just part of life; and we can be thankful for the fun memories we have.

Debbie said...

How funny; both our eldest daughters collected 'coke' stuff! :D I think they know each other! Not only do I still have a lot of things they didn't take but want to keep, but when Mr and Mrs Marine went to Japan in August...much of it came back!
How blessed we are to have so many reasons for them to keep returning!
:DDD
Hugs, Debbie

Christine said...

Treasures and memories are so wonderful. I had to part with a lot of treasures but the memoies will last for ever.

Marty said...

Did you find a way to see into my own head... and heart? I've always called myself a sentimental packrat. The memories that a certain piece of 'junk' are just priceless and so hard to part with. At this stage I find myself asking 'if my kids need to go through this stuff later will it be a burden or a joy'? That helps.... a little.... in determining whether to keep or chuck.

Connie said...

How wonderful that these things brought back such great memories. I have now passed along to my older two all of their keepsakes for them to go through. My daughter didn't want to take hers but we were moving and she had been married 8 years so I thought it was time for her to have them. I delivered boxes slowly to her and she did enjoy looking at all her things. My son bought his home and took his stuff with him on his last visit. Recently I had my youngest go through his memorabilia and he kept one plastic tub of his things and we ened up selling some of his toys on eBay. Love the memories....can't give them all the photos yet though....love looking at them....that's when I get the tears. Love the old magazines....I couldn't get rid of those either.

Happy@Home said...

I think this is a topic that mothers everywhere can relate to. I know that I can for sure, as evidenced by two upstairs bedrooms filled with hockey trophies and underbed boxes filled with Pokemon cards, sports collectables, Beanie Babies, etc., etc., etc...
The picture you shared of your girls is so cute. Hard to believe how quickly their journey through childhood goes, so I think it may be a good thing that we are left with these things to remind us of the many happy moments along the way.

Cheryl said...

I've decided that the things I can't let go of will be taken care of by my daughter when I'm gone. There will be no meaning for her, so it will be easy for her to toss out my memories. For the time being, I'll enjoy them as long as I live.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Both my children left much at home, and as time passes they tell me to dispose of all of it as they can't possibly use or want it anymore. Non-the-less I have saved many good toys and some of their school papers and other bits of memorabilia. I feel it doesn't do any harm allowing those boxes to remain in the attic, as it is unused space, anyway. Now I am in the process of clearing out my Mother's house. She lived in the same house over 60 years so you can imagine how many memories are there.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Oh Ho! Have I got an idea for you!
I have wrapped up my children's childhood storaged toys and slipped a boxful under the Christmas tree. They are such a big hit! And I laugh to think that I thriftily managed to get two Christmas givings while only buying the stuff once.

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