Sorry I’ve been AWOL here.  Bet you thought I fell down the rabbit hole, didn’t you?  Well, after last week’s Pour-Your-Heart-Out post I fully intended to sit down this weekend and update you on positive progress on other fronts.  I have soooo much to share with you all.  But, alas…I did not write the intended posts.  No, instead I got immersed in another project.

Is this just like me, or what?

So, remember two weekends ago when I said that Mom and I would spend our May 14th day later than May 14th?  Well, we spent it on Friday the 20th.  I took a vacation day from work and headed to Mom’s as soon as I dropped the kids at school.  And, Starbucks cups in hand, we began the process of organizing all our historical clutter.

Clarification: Mom began this process much earlier than I did.  I just came in at the tail end of her progress and roped her into all my own clutter issues.

I am now officially de-cluttered.  Thanks, Mom!

And this was no small task, mind you:  MY MOM CLEANED AND ORGANIZED MY ATTICS.  All I was allowed to do was tell her what box(es) went where, and where I thought my historical clutter boxes might be located.  She did all the work.  And it looks completely amazing!!!!!

Historical clutter, for those of you who still believe I am lost too deep in the rabbit hole, is all of our keepsakes.  I spent the entire weekend knee-deep in my own past, organizing the evidence of my life into oversized white envelopes and Rubbermaid boxes.  I re-read cards and letters given to me by grandparents and great-grandparents,  twirled some batons, and reunited with my favorite childhood teddy bear.  I found mementos from countries my grandparents visited, old school photos, and my keychain  collection.  Of course, this weekend was not without its WOW moments:

  1. While rummaging through my elementary school keepsakes, I found a mimeographed note from a first-year teacher (or, more likely, a student teacher).  She handwrote sentiments of how much she had enjoyed us as a class, and how she would always think of us as her “first kids.”  I find it odd that I would have kept such a thing, so I must have thought highly of her.  Then I saw the signature, and realized that it is signed by the beautiful lady I thought I only knew as my children’s current school librarian.
  2. A box of old books held many novels I remember being “forced” to read for class, and many which I thoroughly enjoyed of my own choosing.  One small book with a plain red cover was once owned by my mother’s cousins, both of whom I met last month at our family reunion.  I loved them instantly, and now, a month later, here I sat in my den with a tiny piece of their childhood in my hands.
  3. I found competition medals for honors choir.  ME.  Remember, now…I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.  I am the eternal Band Geek – and with good reason!  God bless the poor souls who had to stand next to me during the singing.  How we ever managed a Superior rating with my mouth contributing sound is far beyond me!
  4. Though most of my life has been decidedly normal, 2007 presented for me the largest hurdles I have faced thusfar.  In short, 2007 sucked.  The details too cumbersome to go into here, I will just say that the year held pain, embarrassment, change, and forgiveness.  I travelled to the darkest places and yet managed to emerge in the light – refreshed, renewed, and somehow reborn.  The year held milestones I’d love to remember, and milestones I’d love to forget.  In sorting the memories this weekend, my oversized  envelopes were carefully labeled, each with its own year designation ranging from 1990 to the current year.  By the time I had deposited my cards, letters and keepsakes into the appropriate envelopes and took final stock of my progress I noted that the envelope for 2007 was empty. I was struck still by the coincidence.  And yet, it seems all too appropriate, for I will not hold onto pain and I will not be a prisoner to unpleasantness.  So let the envelope remain empty if it must.  I know who I am.

Three solid days, eleven boxes and six trash bags later, my historical clutter is content to retreat to its attic home. And with Mom’s mad organizational skillz, there is now room for future historical clutter (is that a contradiction?) – all the clutter my little heart desires.  🙂