Friday, March 15, 2013

Confessions Of A Hoarder

I think of it more like "saving," but I'd be hard pressed to explain why or from what, but I do keep things, mostly paper things.

Clay and I had finished a lunch of fried-egg sandwiches, a tradition that goes back to when he, Steve, and I would go cut wood in the forest, when Earle drove up to get a truck load of manure for his bamboo trees.  I have a nice assortment of that stuff between the chickens and the goats, but it's strictly "load your own."  It's a win-win deal as all it costs Earle is his labor for the garden gold and it certainly helps me keep hills from becoming mountains of this ever-renewing resource.

The tire on my wheelbarrow was flat so we moved it over to the barn to use the air compressor.  The main section of the barn was Steve's domain and I rarely go in there.  Opening the door was opening the door on havoc.  Whatever creature(s) that claimed this space had thrown tools and other items from the shelves onto the floor, gnawed on anything cloth, and chewed paper into confetti.  I keep stuff, but I'm small time compared to Steve.  Floor-to-ceiling shelves are crammed with anything and everything.  There is barely room to squeeze by all the boxes, crates, cans, and bags on the floor, and any walkway was covered with the mess left by the furry whatever.  A large crate stuffed with paper goods caught my eye.  Leaving Earle to fill the tire and get on with the poop scooping, Clay and I started pulling items out of the crate.  Would you believe that I found my (unofficial) birth certificate from the hospital?  An album of old photos, tons of cards and letters, a transcript from grade school, yellowed newspapers; it was a time capsule in a crate.  Way too much stuff to spend time on just then, we shook out the mice droppings and carried it into the house for my later inspection.

Clay's plans had changed and he wasn't able to spend the night, but we had such a great day and an early St. Patrick's Day dinner of corned beef and cabbage.  After he left, I thought to take a quick peek in the crate, and I fell through a hole in time.  It seems I've kept greeting cards from people and occasions I no longer remember, every card I've ever received from my Kids, pictures of good-old what's his/her name, and letters.  Letters from long-dead relatives, letters from friends who are still my friends to this day.  Even though years ago I lived not far from my mother, saw her nearly every week, and spoke to her almost daily, I wrote her letters, lots of letters.  She evidently was a saver too, and years after the fact she returned them to me and I've kept them.  Those letters are like a journal of time when my children were little, funny things they had said or did, and how their personalities were developing.  At some time in the future the Kids will enjoy reading them.

Long into the night, I ran these treasures through my hands.  I did ruthlessly sort out cards from "B."  Who the heck was "B"?  I threw out unidentified photos of faces I no longer recognize and pictures of ostriches at the zoo.  I got about halfway to the bottom of the crate.  I'll weed out more.  But there is a good-sized pile that I will hoard.  It's just the way I am.  Maybe some day I'll go into the work room and tackle the mountain of stuff in there.  Or not.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Besides having a great day with Clay, it sounds like you did, indeed, find some treasures. The letters to your mom...those "blog entries" from way-back-when...are priceless, and I think your children will be so glad that your mom and then you, "hoarded" those gems!