Saturday, June 25, 2005

Time travel in the garage

I took a little stroll down Todd's memory lane tonight. Sometime in the early 90's Todd's mom packed up a bunch of his childhood stuff. In 1995, when Todd's folks sold their house and bought a much, much smaller house, the boxes of Todd's things went to live in the room attached to my parents' garage, where they lived for ten years.

When we were home last Christmas, my mom ever so subtly hinted that it was time for the boxes to find a new home, as she was attempting to clear out some of the clutter from their lives. So home the boxes came, to sit in our garage for a few more months.

Todd emptied a few boxes several weeks ago, setting aside some things to keep and some things to try to sell on Ebay. But he wanted my help with the last couple of boxes.

Now, I am the last person you want helping you sort through sentimental stuff. I am fairly good at purging our belongings once or twice a year, but the sentimental stuff always triumphs over me. So tonight I took the camera to the garage with me, to get pictures of the things that will not stay with us, and also of the things that will go into spiffy new Sterilite boxes, seldom to see the light of day again. It's easier to let stuff go if you know you have a picture of it!

Here are just a few of the things we uncovered:

What boy's childhood would be complete without creepy-crawlies?

Notes, drawings, and high school senior year term paper, entitled "Comparing Grippers for Use in Multi-Purpose Robot Arms." Riveting, eh? (I was in the same class, my term paper was on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts' Club Band." You can tell ours is a marriage of minds.)

Todd's baby plate, brush and comb, resting on his baby afghan. All together now: "Awwwwwww!"

A little homemade shirt that Todd's mom sewed for him. One more time: "Awwwww!" (You should see the print on this thing--large-headed Seventies kids doing wholesome Seventies activities. Very ummm...Seventies.) A vintage box of Legos: High school graduation cap and graduation party sign, complete with streamers: Ah yes, the Star Wars model that was never built. Don't worry, he completed plenty of others. Note the Star Wars jigsaw puzzle visible in the background.This was the stuff that made us a little sad. One is a birthday card from Todd's granddad, probably from just before he died...another is a card from Todd's other grandpa, from just before he passed away--the signature is so shaky. And a note to the family from Todd's great-grandma Fairbanks...speaking from 1979, about how lonely she is in the nursing home. Very sad. Todd's grandfathers would be so proud to see the man he is now, I just know it.

We'll end this on a happy's me with a little graduation doggy that Todd says I bought him for our high school graduation. I have no memory of that, and if I'd known him better then, I'd have known a stuffed animal was no way to win his heart. So we took a picture and Todd was finally able to throw it away, just like he probably wanted to do back in 1988!