May 19, 2011

The Beginning

What do you keep?  Do all of us have boxes and drawers where we stash and save random items that only have meaning to us?

A blue crayon, a smooth brown stone from a walk on the day you fell in love.  Your child's barely legible doodles and the wonderfully brilliant pages of coloring outside the lines.   Cards your Mama gave you.   A photo of your grandmother staring out to sea.  T-shirts and pine cones.  Threadbare aprons.  Song lyrics and quotes.  Love letters.  Handmade treasures crafted with tiny little hands and from imaginations as big as the sky.  Faded photographs.

Life... in a box.

I know it's the trend right now to let go of things and I'm on board with that completely.  I can toss things out with the best of them.  However,  I'm going to have a problem if my keeps are ever thrown out.  Even if Mr. Magoo thinks they are nothing but rubbish.  I won't tell you about my meltdown (20 years ago) when my brother-in-law got caught washing his car with my Mamaw's handmade pot holders.  Let it be known that it was not a happy moment and that his life may have been in danger.  A little.  Ok, a lot.

So why do we do this?  This keeping?

For me, it's the swelling of my heart when I take one of these mementos in my hands.  They are from moments long past.  Moments gone way too soon.  Walking down Memory Lane is a lovely, lovely thing.  Funny how we can become completely lost while we meander there.  Do you ever start looking thru a box of keeps and before you know it the afternoon has passed?  I tend to say that I wasted the day away doing such things, but really- it's a happy thing.  Like visiting and embracing a dear friend you haven't seen in awhile.

I have so many things that I've kept over the years.  Things that touch me in sentimental ways.  Things that bring back the loveliest of memories.  Things that bring back tears.  But always, they evoke some very strong emotion in me and I love the days I come across something stuffed in a drawer or box somewhere.  Months have passed, even years.  The happiness that comes from these treasures is true and can only be understood by ourselves...the ones who do the keeping.

Yes, I am a sentimental girl.  Sappy, through and through.  I cry at coffee commercials.  Yeah, you know the ones.  I cry at dog movies.  I don't think I'll ever recover from watching poor Hachi.  I keep silly things.  My husband takes great delight in calling me out as such a dork.  Back at you, Mr. Magoo.  Mr. Don't You Dare Throw Out My Magazines Or I'll Know It.  (That's another post altogether!)  And by the way, I saw you get teary eyed watching Hachi, too.   Mr. Tough Guy.  Uh huh.

So I'll keep dusting off my box(es) and lovingly peruse their contents.  They are my keeps...tattered pieces of my life that are worn and faded and loved.  Waiting in drawers and boxes.  In cabinets, cubby holes and closets.  And in my heart.

That's where the things we keep really live.  In our hearts.  I'm trying to remember that.   Our worlds can change in an instant.  I know mine has.  Keeping some sense of balance is difficult.  Why wouldn't we keep the happy, silly, beautiful moments in a tangible way?   Give up the little gift wrapped box that my son made for me in elementary school?  Not on your life.  It's filled with his love.  And one of my most prized possessions. 

So, I say open your drawer of keeps.  Take down that box from the closet shelf.
Live and relive the moments in time that meant something to you.  Yes, that's the stuff that counts.  Let your heart open up wide and fill until it's overflowing.

It's a gift we give rediscover what we keep.


  1. This blog makes me happy, makes me remember, makes me smile, makes me happy to know that we share some of the same thoughts. I keep the silliest things of my children to some, but to me, they are a small reminder of how blessed I have been to raise these children. Thank you.

  2. I just wanted to read your very first post - and I love it. I cry at the same coffee commercials and Hallmark cards - fuggedaboutit! Sweet.
    No wonder I like you, T.


Thanks for taking the time to leave me your thoughts. I appreciate each and every one!