Andrea's column: A treasure troveTwo weeks ago, my daughter and I went through the contents of a plastic tub my husband and I moved with us from our old house over 10 years ago. It was one of many containers that had collected dust in my many basements over the past four decades.
By: Andrea Langworthy, Rosemount Town Pages
Two weeks ago, my daughter and I went through the contents of a plastic tub my husband and I moved with us from our old house over 10 years ago. It was one of many containers that had collected dust in my many basements over the past four decades.
This particular bright blue bin had my daughter’s name on it but really, she had no interest in it. On many occasions, in fact, she had told me to throw it away. My husband applauded the idea with enthusiasm but I refused and stuck to my fantasy that someday she would want to share her class pictures, art projects and outstanding report cards with her children.
Finally, we came to an agreement: She was going to stay with me when my husband went out of town for a weekend and we would peruse the contents of the tub that bore her name. Once we started going through it, though, we learned it wasn’t filled with only her things but also with some of her broth-er’s. And mementos from my early years, too.
I discovered a huge scrapbook stuffed with cards my parents received when I was born.
When my mother glued the celebratory greetings to the pages of the keepsake album, she also wrote a description of the gift that accompanied it. “Silver baby spoon and fork,” on one from my grandparents. “Pink stuffed bunny,” on another.
Under the scrapbook was a white book where Mom had recorded my first smile, first tooth, first everything. It held a tiny beaded bracelet that fell apart when I tried to remove it from a page. A birth announcement trimmed with a pink satin bow was in better condition. It proclaimed my weight, height, color of hair, and that I came equipped with “leaky valves.”
Lying loose in the storage bin were two diplomas — proof I had graduated not only from kindergarten but from high school, too — and an envelope containing the first tooth I lost.
My son was supposed to join my daughter and me that afternoon but he called earlier in the day to say he had a sinus infection. We gave him permission to stay home because he sounded sick. Even so, when I called the next day to see how he was, I told him it wasn’t a lifetime pass. That there were two more tubs with stuff.
I filled him in on what items of his had been found so far. Stories he had written, a complaint from a junior high teacher that he wasn’t taking home economics seriously, and programs from when his team played baseball in the dome. He said he wanted me to hold on to everything, that it would be fun to go through
His wife may not agree if he brings a lot of the memorabilia home. She may react with the same fake smile and phony sentiment of my husband when he returned from his weekend away. “That’s great,” he said in his pretend voice when I showed him the baby tooth I lost 60 years ago.
“Wait until you see what else I saved,” I said. “There’s a nativity scene I drew in grade school and a booklet from summer camp with pictures of me, my sister and our cabin buddies. I’ll bet I find more in the containers downstairs, too.”
“So, the tubs are still here, huh? Great,” he said, with no hint of even a pretend smile.