This is the view from my desk chair as I type and enjoy a tasty snack.
Today was a genuinely good day. Because I worked my usual day off this Tuesday as a favor for my boss, I got today off instead. It was a dreary dark morning and I slept in until almost 10(!). I got up, showered, put on my face, and got back into bed with a cup of coffee and watched tv. Sommersby was on so I watched it out of nostalgia, then remembered why I’ve never watched in all the years since I watched it with Mandy in her mom’s friends camper. I despise sad endings. Damnit, man, why couldn’t you have just admitted you weren’t Jack Sommersby! I’d rather be poor and ruined but happy with my love than dignified but dead. Bah!
After crying my makeup off, I picked myself up and made lunch. Yes, by then it was time for lunch. Lay off me.
After toiling away at making myself a Cup O Noodles, crackers, and a diet Dr. Pepper, I finished making the ornament wreath I have been making for about three days. I am just not good at craft projects anymore. I have to do them in stages, with each stage lasting one to two days. The natural lighting was terrible today so I plan on taking photographic proof of my handi-work tomorrow.
When Paul got home from work, I managed to convince him to go with me on a quick thrift run. Actually, he pretty much offered! We made three stops in all- two Goodwills and one Salvation Army- and I found some goodies! The main finds were: a brass reindeer, a retro cheese board/cloche, a giant glass jar with “Snacks” printed on it, a globular Danish mod teak condiment server with matching spoon, a green 1960’s crewel embroidery pillow that is embroidered with all different kinds of bright flowers, two brass quails, two 1940’s photographs-one of a WW2 army man and his pretty wifey, another of the same woman and her two daughters, and a black record album full of old 1940’s records. I found the photographs and the record album on the same shelf, which made me think the records belonged to the man and his wife. It made me sad.
It made me miss my Grandpa and all his stories of his wonderful forgotten era. Though I never knew it, I miss the era of big bands and orchestras, of the foxtrot and the waltz, of red lipstick and cufflinks, of bread baking in the oven and laundry fluttering on the line. When I buy things like those photographs and that album, I feel like I am rescuing a piece of history. I feel that by treasuring something that has been discarded or misplaced, I am somehow keeping the past alive, keeping a part of that person going. I know it’s nonsense but I actually feel that way.
Whenever I step into my Grandpa’s little room, the one where he had his desk, his record player and music and old papers, I want to grab a hold of everything I see and take it home with me. I want to touch everything he touched. The rocks and feathers on the windowsill that he picked up in his gardens. The ancient bird field guides, his handwritten notebook journals, his old flannel shirts, worn as soft as a baby blanket, still hanging in his closet. Because it belonged to him, it is priceless to me. A relic, a national treasure, deserving of preservation and love.
I don’t know how people can throw out or even give away things of their parents or grandparents, such as old pictures. I realize you can’t keep EVERYthing, but c’mon! Old photos? What a crime. It makes my heart ache, truly it does. I know not everyone sees it the way I do, but to me it’s like throwing the past in a wastebasket and saying “eh, it’s not valuable to me”.
At the same time, I know I have the tendency to cling to the past too much at times, dwelling on old memories, rehashing things that happened years ago. People from my past float in and out of my mind like ghosts, though they are still living, separate from me now. We all have stories to tell and our lives are stories in the making. The past is valuable but so is the present, because in the present there is possibility, there is empty space waiting to be filled. I am still living my story and I want to make it more colorful, more rich, more worthy of photos that some silly, nostalgic girl will cabbage onto some day as she sifts through abandoned memories in a second-hand store.