Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sorting Out the Past

I have a number of plastic bins that have been in storage under the stairs for years. It is a project of mine to get them sorted out, dispose of a great deal of it, and organize the rest so that I at least know what is there. With that in mind I brought one container upstairs a few weeks ago.

One reason for this sorting is to leave less for my children to deal with when I am gone. I've had a clear reminder of my mortality recently, and, while I am not in the least morbid about it, it is a goad to take care of some things while I can.

While watching episodes of Hoarders with my granddaughter, I was inspired to begin the sorting work!

I pulled out two plastic bags and took them to the living room, where I could watch TV and go through the bags in comfort.

1977 Anne Marie in Cheyenne Wells, CO,
on a visit with Grandma Wales
One bag was filled with letters dating from 1975 to 1978. I began by discarding the envelopes and sorting the letters by author. Some were from people who had been passing acquaintances and the letters had little lasting importance. These I discarded. I read bits of some of the family letters, and was reminded of events I had forgotten. I did not read them all, as I find it more and more difficult to read handwritten items because of my vision peculiarities. These family letters I bagged in their separate categories and gave to Anne Marie. She can go through them and decide if there are any she wants to keep.

Jeremy, also in Cheyenne Wells. Is it just me,
or are his shoes on the wrong feet?
In two letters I found photos that I had not extracted before saving the letters: our children are aged eight (Anne Marie) and not quite four (Jeremy). The pictures were taken by their grandmother, Emma Wales.

The other bag contained items my mother had saved from my childhood and had given to me some years ago. It was fun to look at all these things, some of which were crumbling with age. About a third to a half of these items I discarded, as they would have no meaning to anyone but me. I certainly don't expect my children to make space to keep my juvenile artwork, etc., forever! However, before discarding, I did scan some of the pictures I drew when a young child and have them on my computer. One of the items I am keeping is my Baby Book. Here is my favorite page from it:

I have a lot more of my past to sort through. It will keep me busy for quite a while!

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