Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Unearthing Old Treasures

Well, maybe "treasures" isn't quite the right word.

I suppose it's just proof of what a terrible housekeeper I am, and my mother must be spinning in her grave about now.

I went looking for something I had misplaced. Never did find it. But I did turn up some things that probably should have been disposed of years ago. I'm glad they weren't because they brought back memories of old friends.

First there were cards I had received when I moved into this house. Then more cards and notes from friends and relatives, sent to me after my cancer surgery. I wonder if I fully appreciated them at the time, when I was under stress and not necessarily thinking of other people so much as I was of myself. One of those was in handwriting I recognized immediately. It was from Jack, my childhood friend who died a year ago. He had suffered a long time with Parkinson's Disease, and had not been able to write letters himself for so long. Seeing that handwriting brought back a rush of feeling. There were some photographs too. I don't know why they had been left among the papers.

Next came a copy of an email I had received from Trudy, who was my youngest daughter's maid of honor. It concerned the rehersal dinner, and was written in Trudy's own humorous style. I haven't seen her in about eight years. I even found the store receipt for the outfit I wore to that wedding. I was really pleased with my outfit that day - even the big hat I wore because my hair had not yet fully grown back eight months after the chemo. I was looking good!

Oddly enough, a couple of bank statements and cancelled checks were among these keepsakes. How could I have managed to leave them with such papers?

I also found a map of Mexico, a catalog from a native plant nursery, stubs from airline tickets - Philadelphia to Los Angeles to Monterey, and a notebook in which I'd kept a record of everything I ate day to day, right after I'd been diagnosed with diabetes and the dietician had asked me to record everything for a while, counting carbs.

Do you ever run across something from years ago that you never expected to see again? Or is it just me and my careless clutter? Well, there are advantages to leaving things around to be discovered years later. I did enjoy the walk down Memory Lane. And I will make use of the native plant catalog . Don't think I'll be running off to Mexico any time soon though.


Daryl said...

This happened to me twice recently. First a misplaced ring was found but not til I had searched everywhere. In the process I straightened up my dresser drawers ... then I went in search of a receipt ... I save everything and in the process of looking for the receipt, which I never did find, I found a lot of other papers misfiled that are now sorted out .. oh the receipt, well it turns out I bought the item via PayPal and the 'receipt' was an email which I did find.

Anonymous said...

It must be the same. I lose something and look for it and find a lot of stuff I was not looking for.

Sylvia K said...

I have moved so frequently for most of my life that I'm continually getting rid of stuff, but that being said, I do still find things now and then that stir the memories and it's always fun!

Have a great day, Bobbie!


Unknown said...

I get a sorting bug once in a while, too. Funny I should come here and read this post, Bobbie, because only yesterday I spent hours sorting through the drawers of an old filing cabinet I have next to my desk. It's tall, up to my neck and has 18 wide drawers. It was from WP's father's insurance office. I ran into stuff that was my step-daughters' when they were growing up, some things in the are now mine, after having lived her for five and a half years. I like it best when I run into a card or school paper or somthing my kids did when they were little...that can register a lot of memories...

About Mexico - me either but it's a place I've always wanted to visit.

Thanks for a great post, Bobbie

Celeste Maia said...

We love things which disappear and then are found after they are forgotten. Like Sylvia K, I have moved houses so many times, I always get rid of things, but yes, I tend to accummulate stuff.

Kathie Brown said...

Bobbie, what a happy accident that you found this stuff. It did bring you such happy memories so I can't imagine your mother finding fault with you. I save stuff also, too much sometimes. No, I am not a pcak rat, but I love to keep old cards and letters. Heck, old letters are going to be a treasure one day because no one writes letters any more!

Deborah Godin said...

This was such a neat post! I have experienced that once of twice, it's like finding a time capsule of your life you didn't know you buried!

ramblingwoods said...

I consider myself to be pretty organized yet I had been looking for something since we moved into this house 5 years ago. It was some recipes that my grandmother had written for me and she died when I was 12. I had kept them in the same place in the old house and lost them here. I took out a cookbook this past spring and out they fell. It was amazing. Now they are in a safe place...but yes, I do find treasures as I keep many cards that people send especially my husband. I have every card he gave me since we started dating ...many memories in the last almost 30 years... Michelle