Memories

Jody managed to get a LOT done in cleaning out our garage this weekend. I wish I would’ve taken a “before” pic so you could see the difference with the “after” pic (which I haven’t taken either), but c’est la vie. Believe me, it looks 100x better than it did.

I helped a bit too, but spent a lot of time rifling through a box I discovered labeled “Amy’s crap.” It was a box of stuff from my youth – we’re talking toddler years through high school and beyond. Oh my! What a trip down memory lane that was.

First of all, I used to be a HUGE pack rat. I still am to some degree, but not nearly as bad as I was. I saved letters from friends from over 20 years ago! It was fun to read through hard copies of letters since nearly everything is done virtually now. There was no way I could’ve sat down and read through them all, though it would’ve been fun. I would probably still be sitting in the driveway if that was the case. I did read a few though, before tossing the whole lot of them into the recycling bin. (Eep!) One was from my childhood friend Melanie Langridge and was dated April 12, 1987. Yes, a 20-year-old letter! A few others I read were from an old guy friend (who was never a boyfriend, though I wished at the time that he was) named Steve Goodman and dated back to 1992. He was trying to give me advice (which I asked for) regarding my boyfriend at the time and whether or not I should go away to college or stay closer to home. It’s funny because I pretty much followed his advice and went away to school, but then was so miserable missing my boyfriend for two years, I moved closer to home to finish school, and, wouldn’t you know it, broke up with the guy. It’s funny how things all work out.

It was fun to see all of those old letters which didn’t even include the large bag of “notes” I have stashed in the basement from friends in middle school and high school. Oy. I save so much.

But anyway, after I dumped them all into the recycle bin yesterday, I laid awake in bed last night having serious remorse at my decision to go cold turkey. I reassured myself that the recyclables won’t be picked up for another week and a half and I can always go retrieve them if I change my mind. Call me crazy, but I’m actually considering it. When you think about it, how cool is it to have letters from old childhood friends from sooooo many years ago? But then again, what do I really need them for? I haven’t looked at them in God knows how many years, so why hold onto them?

I still hold onto cards and letters that Jody and I exchanged and plan to keep those. But do I need letters from people I am no longer in contact with? Where should I draw the line? How much is too much?

In that box of “Amy’s crap” I also discovered some old toys, stickers and sticker albums which I held onto (some I will give to Ava) and some of those little picture things from amusement parks like Cedar Point and Kings Island. I don’t know if they still do this, but do you remember when you’d go to an amusement park and they’d take your picture with your friends as you came in, then later in the day you could go buy an overpriced little key chain picture viewer thing with your photo in it? Anyway, I came across five or so of those and kept them. They were fun to look at. :)

So yeah, basically Jody cleaned out the garage, while I took a stroll down memory lane. ;)

We nearly filled up the dumpster, plus filled up our paper recycling bin, and took a bunch of cardboard to the recycling center. And I really did do some work. I “Freecycled” a few bags of stuff yesterday and today and have more items to list and get rid of this week. Plus we got a new Shopvac-type vacuum and Jody vacuumed up all of the mouse crap and there was no sign of any more live mice. After months and months of battling those little breeders, I have to say hooray!

In addition to the garage cleaning, we had a couple of people come to give us estimates on redoing our bathroom. And Grandma spent a lot of time watching the kids, as well as cleaning up other things around the house and yard. Thank God for grandmas to help out!

All in all, it was a VERY productive weekend. :)

Oh, and we never did get that snow that was predicted. We had two gorgeous weekend days – in the 60s on Saturday and in the 70s on Sunday. Sunny and beautiful!

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5 thoughts on “Memories

  1. Way to go – what progress you made! I know, cleaning out garages is SUCH a big job but it feels awesome to get it done.
    About the letters…I’ve kept boxes of mine too!
    HOnestly, though, I think if you threw them out you’d never miss them. How often do you want to “refer” back to them? Or, compromise and keep a shoebox-size full of them. That way, you still have some record of your past, but not a big ol’ bunch of ‘em.
    What would be so cool would be if you could scan all of them (I know, WAY too much time) but then you’d have them online and could toss out the paper. :)
    XOXO

  2. So funny. I’ve saved all my personal mail since like 6th grade. I have handwritten notes that were passed in class. I don’t read most of it, but for example, recently I went back to one of my journals (lots of those, too) and re-read something that just validated a bunch of choices I’ve recently made. Plus, it’s just fun. I think Leigh is right, you won’t miss it, and you won’t have to worry about moving it. But I have had some good ol’ times reminscing, too. :)

  3. By the way, I keep all hallmark cards, too. I just think they are too expensive to pitch. I have all the cards from our wedding…love that.

  4. I save all that kind of stuff too, but I wish I didn’t. I have to get rid of a bunch of things sooner or later–a lot of books, for example–because I can’t see lugging them with me to Europe. But I want to scrapbook my wedding cards, I think, and keep all the cards we got when the baby was born.

    I still have “love letters” from middle and high school. I think I’ll toss them. I’m never going to read that stuff, plus, why do I want to be tormented be reliving the angst of adolescence?

  5. Congrats on the garage! We need to do that too…MAJORLY!

    I am so bad about keeping stuff. I have all my old journals and I planned to save them for my kids so they’d know I was human too, once ;). I started to panic the other day that Tim or one of the kids will read them. I need to find them and recycle them!

    Sounds like a productive weekend!

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