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Old Things

December 20, 2010

Whenever I visit my mom’s house in West Palm, I know I’m going to go into my old room and be confronted by hundreds of high school memories in the form of notes, photos, letters, posters, artwork, and such things. It doesn’t bother me too much, since I don’t usually take the time to go through all that stuff. But of course, I had to face it eventually, and eventually has been the past two days. After church yesterday, we randomly decided to pull up the mildewed, smelly carpet in that room and replace it with some linoleum. That meant that everything had to come out.

The first thing I decided was that I was some kind of hoarder in my pre-college days. The second thing I decided was that if I ever have a house of my own, there will be absolutely no carpet allowed (it was disgusting, thanks to many years, two dogs, ants, and a door to the backyard). The first thing is more important for this particular blog post. Under my desk, it seemed that I kept every Christmas, birthday, and Valentine’s Day card I ever received. Taken individually, they aren’t so bad, but when I had to look at them all together, it was troubling. There were so many cards I had received from friends who I’ve lost contact with. The cards from my family mostly didn’t have personal messages, just signed names. Although I have to say, despite throwing away most of those, I kept most I got from my grandma. I don’t see her very much, but the messages she wrote in those birthday and graduation cards warmed my heart, even all these years later.

Sometimes I wonder, how well does my family really know me? Most of them, I see rarely. I hope this isn’t some kind of early onset of my midlife crisis! I guess I have to be thankful for Facebook this once; it is a way that my family and I keep in touch.
One card I found particularly distressed me. It was the last card that read “from Mom and Dad”. Now, I get one from each. It was from my 13th birthday.

I didn’t throw away any of the notes, the kind I got in the middle of the school day on ruled paper, with doodles and inside jokes. How could I throw them away? I even kept a love letter and a (for lack of a better term) hate letter. I put that kind of stuff in a shoebox of memories that I decorated with floral fabric. These days, I think of it as a pretty box of ugly things.

I’m embarrassed to mention it, but I also found a big box of junior high art projects. It definitely showed me that I’ve improved! I threw a bunch of that away, hoping no one would ever find it, but I did keep a couple of sheets. I can’t believe how many basic shapes Mr. Camizzi made us draw! There must have been ten sheets with nothing but rows of pyramids, spheres, cubes, and cylinders! Oh well. I remember all my art classes being fun.

Yes, this has all been mostly negative, but there was a lot of stuff on that old desk and in that room that can make me smile. Stuff from Mom and Emily, sculpture class projects, scrapbooks. I cleaned up a bunch, and I kept a bunch. I figured that I don’t need all that stuff to remember high school, and some of it I want to forget anyway.


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