Memories that Don’t Fit in Boxes
I’ve written about the experience of selecting the new old home that I didn’t really want, the exciting adventure of restoration, and a lot about our new old town of Edenton. The new old house is a mess right now with different restoration work, cabinetry and carpentry, plastering and painting. Library shelves are being readied for family pictures and our beloved books. And I really do love it now.
But here in my mountain house, another part of the downsizing activity continues. We are, of course, trying to sell our beautiful log home, and keep it staged and realtor-ready all the time, while wrapping possessions and packing them in moving boxes.
It’s a difficult task. Not the wrapping, or the packing, but deciding what to wrap, pack, and move. What do we have that we no longer need, enjoy, or want? What do we have that will or won’t work in the new old house?
Because we moved every two years for twenty years, I was never in the habit of collecting or hoarding. I culled possessions regularly; we kept only what we needed, used, and enjoyed.
The one exception was photographs. They moved every time. In addition to family albums of our family 1962-1999, I have twelve large albums of Girl Scouts, first grade through twelfth. I have special albums of trips to Europe, carousels of slides and 8mm movies that have no projectors and have laid in the attic for twenty years collecting dust.
Our family has grown in the last twenty years, and we’ve added wedding pictures, baby pictures, and graduation pictures. I added my parents’ photo albums during this time, as well. It’s time to cull.
Today I sent messages to several former Girl Scouts, alums from my troop, and asked them to pass it on to those I’ve lost contact with, asking if they’d like any of their pictures. It’s going to be time-consuming, but I know I will enjoy every moment of looking at them again, remembering the good times we had. And as they reply, learning about their lives and where they are today.
I keep memories in boxes, a cedar chest, in trinket boxes, and photo albums. But the best of all are the ones in my heart, mind, and soul. They don’t fit in the packing boxes, but they will move with us anyway.
Where do you keep your memories? Do you organize your photos, or stash in a box? I think today’s young parents keep them on their iphones! The amazing thing about special photos is that you don’t ever un-see them. The photo itself becomes the memory, to have and cherish.