Walking Through Memory Lane

Now that I have more shelves, cupboards, and filing cabinets, the boxes in the back of closets and stacked in the bedrooms can now be unloaded and put away.

I’m on Left & sister on Right

Not as easy as it sounds, I find.

A lot of family history in photo albums and scrapbooks are in those boxes. Of course, I knew that. What I did not know, what mom never told me about, were the pieces of US history, also stashed away – in the form of newspapers and magazines. For decades this history followed us through three big moves, in storage twice, and finally rests in my possession. To pass on to my granddaughters, and their children, so they can actually read and view the history they will learn about in school.

I realize that these treasures will not mean so much to them, now.  Some of this happened more than two generations ago, long before they were born. They are smart and healthy and into the things that little girls are into. History will be way up there, along with Social Studies (or whatever they call it now), on their ‘boringest* stuff ‘ list.

Then they will be grown, old enough to appreciate keepsakes from the past. What I save now will be relics, I suppose. They already look like relics – wrinkled and yellowed. Like those of us who were alive when it happened…

There were headlines in huge type “EARTHQUAKE!” for both of the devastating quakes in 1979 and 1989 – in the San Francisco Bay Area. Photos of the Cyprus section of I-880 collapsed and destroyed.

I found a plastic bag of newspapers, with front-page headlines reading “JFK ASSASSINATED!”, and other headlines just as shocking, reporting that horrible week in Dallas.

I saved the week of the September 11th, 2001 newspapers. [For non-US readers: When Al Qaeda’s suicide pilots destroyed the World Trade Center Towers and defiled the Pentagon]

As important as world History is, I feel that it’s just as important to learn about your family history. Hopefully through letters, diaries, stories told, scrapbooks and photo albums and not from newspaper headlines!

Aren’t we, as parents and grandparents, obligated to pass down the family ‘stories’? If not us, then who? Future generations depend on us saving newspapers and family significant things.

Save articles & momentous items in a desk drawer, paper bag, or hat box. When the mood strikes you, they will be ready to slap into a photo album or scrapbook.  😉
* boringest: adverb. Term used for describing extremely boring activities or events.  Taken from: The Dictionary of Words That Should Be

A Chaos Theory

chaosI must say this upfront, in case you are new to my blog –  I am not a scientist, nor physicist.

( My long-time readers can stop laughing now …)

Yet, I have proven this chaos theory many times over the years. In fact, I am doing so this week, in my very own office, just trying to move back in.

Somehow, despite all the cabinets and shelves my office has now, there is not enough room for everything designated to be there. SIGH. This turns the fun in putting things away, to dreaded decision-making. About my stuff crap.

Yes, I have gathered much, over the past 50 years, but I’ve only held on to the most precious crap. Then, my mother and sister move on to their eternal rest, and stick me with their precious crap. My inner-teen whines, “this is just SO unfair!”, as I go through boxes of precious family crap and realize I must keep a lot of it for historical and sentimental reasons. It is my duty as the only survivor.

I cannot part with the boxes of genealogical research, and reference documents my mom worked with before she became ill. They, combined with my hubby’s mom’s research, may help me discover the (missing) link between our individual Richardson family trees. If nothing else, there are some great things in there for a novel…

OK. I decide to put all the family research on the top shelf. It won’t be in the way there – I can’t reach the shelf under it without a step-stool.  The shelf I can reach, is the ‘staging’ area for the upper shelves until hubby emerges from his shop, or wherever he is at the moment, and puts them up for me.

Yesterday, hubby shocked me with the news that he needed some file space in my office too. What!?!  It turned out he only needed 5 hanging folders, but he scared me. He has most of his files in the shop’s filing cabinet, but wanted to keep personal files in the house. I gave him permission, what the Hell. Someday, I may need a square foot of shop space. For what, I don’t know. But it’s good to be prepared. The Military Girl Scouts taught me that.

Spring has sprung up here – the days are getting warmer, the bees are wildly spreading pollen, and the squirrels are flirting and chasing each other. I would normally be out on the deck with my laptop, re-writing chapter five of my novel, but I need to gather all the boxes that waited around in closets and the garage for me to put them away. Hubby wants to park in there – this year.

Then, the chaos should reach its peak, and in a few days, my little office will officially be open for business!