I've spent this afternoon doing some cleaning and downsizing. Not a lot of downsizing, I'm afraid because of the content, but I'm trying.
I pulled three banker's boxes of paper odds and ends from a closet. They are taking up a considerable bit of room, so I decided it was time. I've been toting them around since I left KC in 2006. Yes, time to release.
First box was easy-peasy. It was full of old check registers, bank statements, defunct insurance, etc. I did have to be cautious that I didn't throw out something that was in the wrong place or something such as that, but it didn't take a lot of thought.
The second box was a bit slower. It was full of various kinds of records, many of which I probably don't need to keep, but wonder if I should. For instance, a smattering of my grade school report cards, most all of my college records, records of my social work continuing education records, etc. I was able to ferret out much to dispose of, such as the CEUs. I'm no longer licensed and there is no reason to keep those. But I had to really think about the school records. Silly to keep them, but if my kids are like me, they might want to see them one day. I have a few of such things from my parents, and they are precious to me, knowing my dad was noted for his beautiful handwriting and seeing the photo of my mom in her tom-boy clothes, plaid shirt and jeans in the 1920s. I managed to throw out probably half of that box, then I decided to put the rest aside till later.
Then I started on the third box. And I really hit a ditch. It is full of letters from my parents and friends through the decades. Many of these people are gone now, and reading their letters is so precious. It also has handmade Mother's Day cards and birthday cards from my children. It's filled with all kinds of mementos that I just can't stand to part with. I'll need to either find a way to part with part of it or put them into scrapbooks. And I finally decided I just can't do any more with this particular project today. Too much emotion, memory and thinking. Gah.
It is down to 1 heaping box now. But I'm going to have to put a lid on it, so ..... Sigh. I'll figure it out eventually.
I found one really fun thing in the process. It was an old newspaper, circa about 1990, from Estes Park Times, with a huge headline, "LYN & GLENN ACCEPT BRAD JONES AS SON-IN-LAW". There's a story behind it.
Brad is one of my favorite people. I hired him back in Kansas City when he was barely 21. He was a, well, uh, a character. He rarely got to work on time, but he was so good with the kids that I couldn't let him go. And he wasn't late for any bad reason like attitude or oversleeping. He just could never seem to make his world fit in the schema of the rest of us! He had more old funky cars that broke down. Several times he ran to work after a break down, a distant of 8-10 miles, as I recall. He was, still is, athletic, so it was possible for him, but he couldn't run as fast as he needed to to be on time.
Then one day my daughter came to see me at work. When they looked at each other, symphonies of glorious music burst out. Another observer stated, "I thought it was one of those commercials with two people running toward each other in slow motion through a field of daisies." Yeah, it was kind like that.
But it didn't work out. Again, Brad could never be on time. My daughter is an organized person, on time with very rare exceptions. One time he called and said he was on his way, but his car broke down. An hour or more later, he putt-putted to the front of our house, car coughing and spewing. We ordered a pizza and Terri drive him home, as I recall, and the car sat in the street for a day or two.
Another time they double dated with some friends and went by Brad's house for something. While they were there, Brad's ex showed up, raising all kinds of hell. Eventually Brad physically subdued her and got her out of the house. When he brought Terri home, he had to confess what had happened, because he knew I'd find out. After the "confession," he beamed at me and said, "But Lyn, you'd be proud of me! I used the proper restraint hold on her!" Yes, he'd been trained how to hold children to prevent them hurting themselves or others, and he had kept everyone safe with that!
Well, that about as far as the budding romance went. Terri just could not deal with Brad's loosy-goosy way of life. But through the years, Brad has remained one of my favorite people. He makes me laugh, always. And he did grow up. Well sorta. But that's another story.
It was a year or two later that Brad was on vacation and brought that newspaper headline back to me. Character! He also drew a cartoon about me having a car wreck as a get well card. He's a special person, and I suspect he will always be so for me.
Right now Brad is facing the imminent death of his twin brother, his best friend, the other half of himself. My heart breaks for him. At 44, this is too young for them both to be experiencing what they are. So finding the newspaper today was rather touching to me. It just reminded me of what a good friend Brad has been over the years, even though our contact has been intermittent. I'm glad he is back in my life via Facebook.
So I'm finished with trying to thin out the "stuff" for today. As I said, I'm down to the tough stuff. But I'll keep Brad's newspaper.