During this process I've discovered some interesting facts, one of which is the items people keep. What makes someone keep one item while tossing another? Is it so we can revisit those memories years down the road? Or, perhaps, so future generations will have a better understanding of our lives? Is it just that we're pack rats? That we have trouble "letting go?" I let go of hundreds of books when I sold my house and I'm here to tell you...It. Was. Not. Easy.
They say that one man's trash is another's treasure. Here are a few of the "treasures" I uncovered during my de-cluttering journey.
My Girl Scout utensil set: This was part of the mess kit that went with me to Girl Scout camp every summer. The last time I remember using it was 1963 yet there it was in the box from my parents, clean, shiny and ready to use - an item deemed a treasure by my mom.
Letters: What an important part of our history penned letters have been. With the installation of a computer and internet access in most homes, the handwritten letter has fallen out of favor. I, for one, mourn its loss. One of the treasures I discovered this week was a packet of letters written to me during my time as an exchange student in Mexico. I was fourteen, in a foreign country, living with a family I had just met. Air Mail letters were my only connection with my family in the U.S. Reading those letters this week, I was taken back to 1966 and the memories of that wonderful summer - not only of my own experiences but also of what was going on back home with my parents, brothers and friends while I was off on my "grand adventure." Through her words and her hand, I was also gifted with a piece of my mom and the simple, happy times before life became complicated and illness and death took her from us way too soon. Another treasure.
Did you notice the postage on those letters? Eight cents to send a four page letter Air Mail from Michigan to Mexico City. My, how times have changed!
I also found old passports, a third grade report card, high school musical playbills, my sophomore year college ID and a 1961-62 School Safety Patrol membership card. In one of the boxes I hadn't previously opened I discovered my parents' original marriage certificate and photos from their wedding day that I had no idea existed. A trove of treasures.
Music: One of my clearest memories of Girl Scout camp is the music. Every night, we'd gather around the campfire and sing songs. Some we were taught by the camp counselors but many were taken from the American Camping Association "Let's All Sing" songbook. Yep, I also found the songbook - a compilation of musical memories from my youth including The Happy Wanderer, Kookaburra, Alouette, Sarasponda, This Old Man, Zulu Warrior, Kum Ba Yah, and, of course, Make New Friends. Oh yes, and while we're on the topic of Girl Scouts, my mom also saved my GS sash, complete with badges. Both the sash and the book are more than 50 years old. An antique treasure? *grin*
What about you? Do you "cleanse" your home at the start of each year?
Do you have treasures that were saved for you by your parents? What types of items are among your treasures?
What items are you saving for your own children?
Do you miss writing - and receiving - handwritten letters as much as I do?
Do you have as much trouble saying goodbye to your books as I do? How do you decide what stays and what goes?
Let's talk trash and treasures! I have a package of books for five randomly chosen people who leave a comment on today's post. (U.S. addresses only)