My mother is considering moving back to the Bay Area in the next few years, and part of that long-term plan is getting rid of the clutter around her house that she doesn’t want to move along with her. She’s been slowly cleaning out her basement, digging up boxes of Christmas ornaments she no longer uses and the doll house from her childhood, a metal one now completely rusted through the bottom.
All of those boxes of precious mementos from my youth that have been gathering dust for 15 or 20 years have also been unearthed, and last weekend while I was visiting, Mom presented me with box after box of stuff. Much of it brings back sweet memories of childhood best friends collecting matching trinkets, or of the grandmother I lost twenty years ago, or of the high school flag squad I was on. From the bottom of a deep box we pulled out my baby blue satin and lace dress from my junior prom. String Bean, of course, spent the better part of the day wearing it, tripping over the hem and holding the bodice in place with two hands, and loving every minute of it.
I never found the unicorn figurines that I can so clearly remember from my childhood bedroom, maybe they broke in the last move, or were sold at one of the family garage sales years ago. After perusing the contents of box after box, finding an equal number of favorite things as objects I literally have no memory of, I thought I’d narrowed down my pile of things to keep to one small stack. Then String Bean and Peanut got in on it, and now we have a vast assortment of dusty stuffed animals, ancient articles of clothing, and random curios destined for our house. Of course I’m amused at seeing these forgotten treasures getting a new audience to adore them all these years later. But I’m also secretly hoping not all of them survive the trip back to our house.