Back in the Day

Several months ago, after we bought the house, my mom gleefully dumped 8 boxes of my old belongings in my garage. And there they sat... until today. Parents, do your kids a favor and do not keep every stupid writing assignment, mother's day picture, and stuffed animal your child has ever acquired. They will forget about ninety-percent of it (unless you're my husband, who will forever be bitter about some kind of collectible Voltron toy that went missing in his parent's garage). Anyway, there were some gems packed away, like dance pictures from seventh grade, my old Brownie sash, a clay hippopotamus I made in eighth grade, and my two Cabbage Patch dolls, Wilma and Donna (Wilma has on her original clothes, just to let everyone know). 

There was also a lot of old artifacts that show how I became the book enthusiast I am today. For example, I wrote all the time in elementary school- my teachers gladly gave me supplies and whenever I finished my work early I read or wrote. My favorite were The Sophisticated Snobs from fourth grade (40+ typed pages, thankyouverymuch), The Panda Escape from third grade (complete with collage art), and Snow White's Party (I was "inspired" by a book I had already read that used real envelopes). I wrote rough drafts, edited and then made them into little books. If only I could channel some of that creativity now...

Nothing was better, though, than the time someone donated blank books to our class and I got to write my own book, which I promptly titled My Best Friend is an Alien (excuse the second grade misspelling, please). From then on, every time we went to a store I had to check to see if they carried those blank books so I could make more. 

This comment from my fourth grade teacher on a book that won a silly little prize hit home:

Then, of course was my library card (this is the second one), that I used all the time. I think kids today are really missing out on the whole "library experience." My parents, especially my dad, took us basically whenever we wanted. We could check out as many as we could physically carry on our own, and we were responsible for paying the fines if we forgot them at home the next library trip, or forgot to remind our parents of the due dates. It was educational and responsibility building. My kids will absolutely have their own little libraries at home, but we will for sure be rocking story hour and the check out system. 

And, last but not least, there were a few very random books tucked here and there in the boxes. A few Bibles, a book on Portland I think my dad "accidentally" took from a hotel room, a Shakespeare collection I requested in maybe sixth grade, remnants of my Chicken Soup for the Softy's Soul phase, and some other things that my siblings apparently didn't steal (where the fuck are my Little House on the Prairie books, dammit?). 

Now off to find a closet for the crap I did keep...


  1. I love libraries. I used to live in a tiny crackerjack box I called home. It had NO storage so I would go to the library every 2 weeks to get my supply. I still take my little thing 1 and thing 2.

  2. Oh man! The Stanislaus County Library card! I remember it well :). Mine fell to pieces several years back, SAD.

  3. When I moved into my new house, my mom dumped all my stuff on me, too. It's like she was counting down the days to get everything out of her attic. I found ALL my letters from junior high/high school. Wow. Talk about some immaturity. I also found some essays that we saved with grades and comments.

  4. Oh, I am such a sop for sentiment! I keep everything, and once or twice a year rummage through it all and throw away the worst crap. But I keep a lot of it.