26 March 2015

Culling Memories

When we had the week from hell I had to empty Monica's Closet.  As I did it, I superficially cleaned it out as I went.  Superficially being defined as putting things into proper totes or making a goodwill pile or piling random items into a box. A better definition might be "Organizing it so I'm less embarrassed upon emptying it."

As we were putting it all back, Kevin mentioned (a few times) that there sure was a lot of stuff and what exactly was it all and why were we keeping it.  At one point, he was holding an album of cards and mementos from our wedding. "Like, this! What is this?"  This gave me a chance to redirect and say "Well, that's from our wedding. Thanks though!"

But really...he's right.  Although confined to Monica's closet, there is a lot of stuff in there. It's probably about three feet wide and ten feet long.  That's a lot of big totes full of stuff.

On one side is Christmas stuff, neatly stacked.  This is also something Kevin commented about but I could again deflect with "Half of this is your mothers. So...Nanner."

Right now I'm going through a box of greeting cards.  I really do struggle with throwing these kind of things away. This is not the first time I have culled through them but I've also added to them. 

I try to keep ones with written sentiment or that caused an immediate reaction.  So lots were kept from my bff's, or Kevin (although SWEET BABY JESUS, there are a lot of cards exchanged in this relationship), or if they're from someone who has since passed.

What I've found culling through these:

Sweet cards from Kevin's parents...for our anniversary, our birthdays, etc.  She writes sweet stuff in the margin.  Sometimes random stuff like "this card followed by an air mattress, when I find one."  Or "I better make Santa some cookies soon or I'm afraid he's going to pass us all by this year." (she was in her seventies at the time of writing it, so her kids are in their fifties)

I kept a few get well cards from when Kevin was sick.  I had kind of forgotten about that and the thoughtfulness of the cards were touching to read.

There were a few thank you's from my job at the school.  I kept those too because it's easy to forget those moments sometimes.

A thank you note from my then 100-year-old grandma.  It was startling to see her handwriting, she's been gone twenty years now.  She was blind and if anyone ever wonders where my bluntness comes from, it's genetic.  "Dear Surely and Kevin, Thank you for the picture. I'm glad it's big enough to see it.  You both look well and healthy."  We enjoyed Brother's visit and I really like his lady friend. ((I have no knowledge of who she was. It could have been a stripper for all I know))  I hope you have a great new year."
Her birthday and party was in April so I'm mildly confused with the new year wishes. But: 100 years old.

I found an anniversary card that Kevin had tried to give to me for our anniversary. In his Kevin-like way, it ended up being a Happy 50th Anniversary to Our Parents card.  He had scanned past the title of it, as it were, and just liked the sentiment.

Or the happy birthday card for Kevin from The Nephew signed "Dude, that's funny. Love, Nephew"
And the one to me where there are stick-on numbers for the age so he randomly chose an age then noted it on the inside.

I just found another gem from Kevin's mom: For Christmas: "Hi kids, I am trying real hard to get my cards done (and mailed) I don't know why I never seem to have time for everything. Maybe it's the season of my life if you know what I mean (getting old) Love you both!!"

I like watching the kids signatures change from their parents signing their names to the scrawly handwriting to grown up signatures. Or cards where there weren't kids yet, then one name is added then another. In some cases, five names! :)

Along those same lines, I've a few cards where the spouses have changed. It's funny how that changes over the years.  For example, I was expecting to read Joe and Stephanie and it was Joe and Jennifer instead.  Then I giggled because omg, that was one hundred years ago.

So, I've culled these down to one large zip-lock bag, with the intention of putting them into some sort of a scrapbook.  But this is what is going to recycling:

(glasses added to show scale...so you know it's not a small box and to prove I've not only thrown out, like, ten cards)

Next step to is cull through the actual boxes of memorabilia and make scrapbooks or memory boxes.  

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