Thursday, December 13, 2012

One Box At A Time

There were a number of reasons this house seemed 'just right' to us when we were house hunting. Not the least of which was that there were rows and rows of shelves on two sides of the garage. And even though we had purged and then some before moving, I still had many boxes of things I wanted to keep as well as a few I hadn't had time to go through.
The way I had it planned, I would get all that remaining stuff sorted out and do something with it in the first few months we lived here. Those shelves on my side of the garage would be neat and orderly - all the boxes labeled, etc., etc., etc. If you can see at the very bottom of the above picture, under the white stack container, there is an envelope. Sticking out of it is a copy of our sale bill with the date, September 6, 2008. It has been more than four years and not only have I not cleaned out any of those boxes, I've added to them!

So here is my plan - just as I've had some success losing a pound a week, I will sort and empty at least one box a week. That should be doable, right? Along the way I will find things I had forgotten about - grist for the blogger mill.
"One box at a time, Ramona, that's all I'm asking of you. Give me the strength to do every week what I have to do. Show me the way to sort through the fray, one box at a time."  (With apologies for paraphrasing one of my Mom's favorite songs, 'One Day At A Time'.)

So here are the first three boxes pictured in the previous shot. (The shoe box was empty. I save them because they make good storage boxes and that one hasn't been used yet.) I have always loved wooden boxes; collecting them over the years. The large one was what Mom used for a hankie box. I remember when she taught me how to iron, beginning with pressing the hankies. When I got done ironing all the ones in that week's laundry, I climbed up on a chair and put them in this box which was on top of her chest of drawers. I thought it was fun and I was such a big girl.

I knew what was inside that box now - Mom had made it into a recipe box. There are recipes in there that I'll never use, but I can't just throw them away because they are in my Mom's handwriting. Which one of her granddaughters want these?
The smaller box is an 'Officer's Club' cigar box. Below the insignia is "Imported and Domestic" 8 cents; 2 for 15. Tucked away are some sea shells, candles w/Candlelight Service drip protectors (from when/where, I know not), a bar of Greengage & Company soap, a couple St. Patrick's Day cards (not shown), and A Bit Of Blarney postcard. On the back of the card is written: "R: If I had a million dollars and a million years, it wouldn't be enough to show you how much I love you. Your Husband, Bud" Aw-w..... 

Individually wrapped in newspapers inside the Georgia-Pacific Copier Paper box was this treasure trove of mostly pottery and ceramics. The antique glass flask at the top right back is something a friend of mine had collected. (You can see the bubbles in the glass.) After she died from cancer at age 50, I wanted something to remember her by. I got this at a garage sale her daughter had.
In the box lid are some cookie presses and a necklace made by the little hands of my grandchildren several years ago. There are a few more pieces of the pottery I made in a class years ago as well as a purchased raku fired pot (back corner, right). That's a 1944 wheat penny in the little pot, front left.
Middle row left is a "Cead Mile Failte" door harp daughter Kari made for me for Christmas in 1990. (After going too deeply into credit card debt for expensive gifts two years previously, she had learned it was better to make gifts and live within her means.)
Next to the door harp is another gift from Kari - a clay statuary piece of the Celtic Goddess Cerridwen designed by Paul Borda for Dryad Design, Ltd. She got this for me at the Women's Spirituality Conference in Mankato in 1998. Behind it, another Kari gift - a Tenmoku Pottery wall vase.
The black 'Tree Pentacle' in the back is another Dryad Design piece by Paul Borda. For as long as I've had this, I hadn't realized there are words around the edge. They read: "Seed, root, stem, bud, flower, leaf, fruit; representing the endless cycle of rebirth."
The black wall sconce next to Cerridwen was made by my son Preston when he was in fifth grade. He thought it was ugly. I think it is beautiful. I love it as well as the brown one behind it and the gray and blue ones in the box lid.
That's it. This week's box is sorted. Well, sorta'. Now what do I do with these treasures I've uncovered? A few of them are going to find places around the house. Most will probably go back into their newspaper protection and back into the box. See, that's the problem I have with going through the boxes of stuff - only a small portion will get disposed of. I'll still have box after box after.... on the shelves.

It might help me stay motivated if I keep this Richard Nixon quote in mind: "When I retire I'm going to spend my evenings by the fireplace going through those boxes. There are things in there that ought to be burned."

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