THE ATTIC DISCOVERY:
Spring cleaning recently led me to the back corner of my attic. A place I haven’t visited in the four years since we moved into our house. Besides cobwebs, I discovered several boxes with my name written on them. Forgotten boxes.
I remembered them once I saw them. I have dragged these boxes from dorm to apartment to house. Each time I moved over the past 20-some odd years, the boxes have come along for the ride. They have been stored away, and never once opened. Traveling from Connecticut, to New York City, to New Jersey, and back to Connecticut again, I deemed them important enough to take, but not to open and unpack.
As you can imagine, I have forgotten what is inside these boxes.
Something about this particular day had me feeling nostalgic and curious. So I decided to take a walk down memory lane.
I guessed about the contents of some of them. The one labeled, High School, I imagine has old yearbooks, probably a dried up and moldy prom corsage, and a cheerleader pom-pom or two. I skipped opening that one for now.
Another box said Books. Okay, that’s easy. I will open that one soon, because it probably has some of my favorite childhood books that I can share with my daughter. Judy Blume, Nancy Drew, S.E. Hinton (remember those books?)
I pushed those boxes aside because another large box called to me. It was simply labeled “Important Things”. But I swear it yelled, “OPEN ME”.
This big box has been sealed since I packed it. Probably when I went to college. I found myself very curious what was “important” to me back then. I couldn’t remember what was in it. But I felt compelled to find out.
I’ll admit I was slightly hesitant to open it. I’m not sure why. Probably because I knew that its’ contents would make me feel pretty old. But my curiosity won.
It was both exciting and frightening to discover more than a few items so old, I could call them antiques. (Except that since they are items from MY childhood, to call them antiques would cause me to silently cry inside). So you can call them antiques, and I will call them old treasures.
Old treasures inside that box included my first Sony Walkman. It’s so big!
Also, an 8-track tape of the musical, Annie. I remember dressing up with a red wig and singing, “Tomorrow”.
I also saved a few of my favorite vinyl albums that I vaguely remember singing into a hairbrush along to… Andy Gibb, The Grease Soundtrack, Donna Summer. Oh, and Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne. As you can see, my musical tastes changed drastically around 9th grade.
A very old pair of roller skates was inside as well. Not roller blades, roller skates. The real ones with the big stopper on the front. I used to practice roller skating on my driveway daily. I wanted to look cool skating at the local roller rink. That was “THE” place to be when I was in 6th grade. I remember packing these skates away when rollerblading became all the rage. Poor skates, just tossed aside.
Inside the box I found some more expected things, like scrapbooks, photo albums, autograph books from Disney (side note: Mickey Mouse has very neat handwriting!), and a box of childhood photos. I haven’t yet looked through them all, but you can bet some will be featured for a Throw-Back-Thursday soon! And yes, some might be destroyed.
In addition to the truly priceless photos, I found something else. A very old shoebox.
Inside the shoebox, were notes I had saved. Hundreds. Most were folded up the way we did back then, to pass in the hallway, or in class, without the teacher seeing.
Some of the notes are so old that the ink is completely faded. Others I could read clearly. As I unfolded and read each one, I had tears running down my face. I was both laughing and crying.
The notes were from various friends of mine in junior high school, and also high school. Some people I don’t even know anymore, some from friends I am still lucky enough to have in my life.
And eerily, I found some from my very first boyfriend. I say “eerily” because he passed away a few years ago. We had remained friends after high school, but lost touch when I went off to college. I was very sad when I heard he passed away.
So there I sat. In the dusty attic, with tears streaming down my face. Finding the notes was a not-so-gentle reminder of how fast and fleeting life can be.
I was a carefree 16-year-old, then I blinked, and I suddenly became a 40-something year old mom. It seems incomprehensible that it flew by so fast. I’m afraid to blink now… next time I do, I may end up as a grandmother!
What it also reminded me is that someday in the pretty near future, my own children will be packing their “Important Things” boxes from their childhood. It’s the cycle of life. And it’s goes by quickly.
Life is like a giant ferris wheel. It stops to let people on and off, but it’s always moving. It’s so easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day ride, that you miss the special moments as they spin by.
Thanks to my opening my forgotten box, I got a reminder I will try not to forget. I will try to cherish more moments, while enjoying the ride.
P.S. Go look in your attic. Who knows what forgotten treasures you may find there!