Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Box

This arrived the day before yesterday, despite the ever-vigilant whippet's impersonation of a Very Large, Very Fierce Dog:

The box
I know what's in it, more or less. My mom died in January of last year, my dad about six months before that. My brother (Sparky – he's an electrician) has been cleaning out the house where they lived for some 65 years. They weren't hoarders, exactly, but they both grew up during the Great Depression. "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." If there was a thing they could ever imagine finding a use for in the future, they hung on to it.

The task is beyond ginormous. Its way, way bigger than that. I know I'm a bad person for being glad it's Sparky stuck with this little chore, and not me. At the same time, I envy him the chance to discover all those things my parents had stuck away in the back of a drawer, or in a box behind some books on a top shelf, and forgotten about.

In truth, Sparky is as intrigued by these things as I am, but if he stopped to sort through all the papers and photographs and whatever else, that garage would never get cleaned out. Instead, when he turns up stuff like that, he tosses it in a box. When the box is full, he tapes it up, and sends it to me.

I've been patching together bits of family stories for some years now, and I've been meaning to make a place where I could try to put them all together without boring the stuffing out of people who don't share my fascination – OK, obsession – with this stuff. Now is probably as good a time to start as any, don't you think?

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