Thursday, December 18, 2008

What I should be doing

is getting the house and studio ready for my husband's family and my dad's imminent visit. Things like cleaning, making beds, baking cookies, decorating, etc.

What I did do was went through 4 very large boxes of stuff I had stored at my parents in the early 70's. My dad brought them to me several years ago and I've been putting off looking through them. They have been stored so they were musty and full of mouse poop. But happily, no actual live mice.

Most of the bits and pieces were sufficiently old and destroyed that I had no problem with tossing them. Lots of old purses, school papers, and frankly garbage that I have no idea why it was important enough to be put in a long term storage box.

The hard part was the letters, cards, diaries, old comics, magazines, kid's books, and general papery historical documents. I don't have very many memories of my childhood so it was really odd looking at things that I could identify my handwriting but had no memory of the event I was writing about. There was someone that was my friend and we traveled together some and I have no memory of her. Letters from boys who I don't know who they are. I was struck by actual type written letters from people. Actual handwritten letters from people. I apparently kept carbon copies of letters I wrote.

I threw away boxes and boxes of old papers. I finally wore out and kept a small box of letters and cards to be sorted later.

It was mostly really frustrating. I certainly didn't write letters with any context of "Dear Bob who I met at 4-H camp in 1970" so most of the letters reference people and events that cause no stirring in my memory. I did find a picture of my 6th Grade class and my teacher Mrs. Larsen. She is my favorite teacher and was a wonderful person. She looks so young in the picture. I look so young in the picture.

I was struck by when I visit the memories that I have, I tend to view them with my eyes today in an odd way. When I look at actual documents from the time, I realize I was someone else. I found an un-mailed application to a "Meet the Monkees" contest. I don't know why I didn't mail it off but yikes. It was full of exclamation points and "I'll just die"s. I guess I was quite the fan. *grin* I found a few letters between myself and a friend discussing the finer points of the band. I never got to watch them on television until re-runs years later so my views were entirely formed on the few teen idol magazines I was able to afford. I kept them as well.

So I managed to get 4 giant old smelly boxes down to 1 box of comics, newspapers, and magazines that I plan to give away to someone who wants them; 1 box of thing I can't throw away, and 1 box of thing going to Habitat. A pretty good job, I think.

I feel happy to have it mostly done. Done enough for now. It seems like every year when we have this tiny break we get something important done. The upstairs and the studio are in pretty good shape in the sorted out department. There is just the usual clutter that takes only a couple of hours to deal with.

The basement on the other hand is almost solid with detritus. Well, solid minus 4 boxes. All the junk that has no home in the upstairs or the studio has washed into the basement. There are unpacked boxes that we moved here 15 years ago. I know a lot of them are mementos. I am stupid sentimental. Not being able to remember stuff did make it easier to throw things out though. I really would like to get my sentimental objects down to one trunk that I could actually open and look at. Box after box of stuff that is too overwhelming to me to open is not a good way to commemorate my past. I love the movie portrayals of the hero with a tiny metal box of treasures. Hah! I have giant rotting cardboard boxes filled with mouse poop and terror. Top that Mr. Spielberg!

Thinking about this while blogging, I am reminded that a lot of stuff was put into the basement while I was dealing with the BI. It was really hard for me to concept what was important and what wasn't. So I just kept everything.


M came over and we picked up the sleeves on the sweaters we are knitting. It went well except for me arsing up the circular needles. I only knit a bit on the very long circular needle before M figured out what was wrong. So I switched over to the DPNs early. It will be just fine. As the Yarn Harlot says: the knitting police will not visit. I am looking forward to getting some good time to knit while people are visiting.

I am dusty, moldy, and have mousepoop in my shoes. I am off to shower.

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