Thursday, May 22, 2014
It’s a small house in rural Marion County, Ala., but it’s a house packed with wonderful memories.
Friday and Saturday, my sisters and I (with help from others in our family) started going through my mother’s house – deciding who wanted what, the items we wanted to sell or give away, and others just to trash. It was a chore I had dreaded. But it is one that had to be done.
Here are just a few items that stirred some of the most memories in my mind.
My mom had cut out most of my newspaper columns over the years, even dating back to my days at The Itawamba County Times. I brought them home Saturday night and stayed up late reading them.
She’d kept my baby book from the Selma (Ala.) Baptist Hospital. I was born at 11:24 p.m. on August 25, 1961. A few weeks later we moved to Hamilton, Ala.
Out where the old shed once stood, Pam went searching in the dirt. She found one of my old marbles, plus a tiny GI Joe holster (with the gun missing). She also found a small player from one of my electric football games.
In the small building adjacent to the house were two of my lunch boxes from elementary school days – one sports related “Play Ball” and the other “Johnny Lightning.” One had a small piece of paper attached on the inside. In my writing, it said “Bus 12, Hamilton, Ala.”
Also in the small building was my favorite teddy bear – worn and dirty – but salvageable. Now it sits on a shelf at my house. Pam is going to clean it up as best as she can.
Mother had kept the “thank you” note I wrote her after my high school graduation. It said, “Thanks to the best mother any guy could have. I love you – Barry.”
There were lots of old family Bibles – all with special meanings.
In the back of a kitchen cabinet, we found a couple of old mugs. I could remember drinking lots of orange juice as a child from those.
She’d kept my favorite children’s book of all-time. It was the paperback version of “He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown,” written by Charles Schulz.” It had been taped up several times, but today it’s on the shelf at my house with the lunch boxes.
Erin, my youngest daughter who helped Friday and Saturday, really enjoyed her dad’s Class of 1979 senior portrait. I think she’s still laughing.
I brought home a small box – filled with a few possessions of my Pawpaw Frederick (my mother’s dad). It contains his black-rimmed eyeglasses, a favorite pipe and some badges when he helped as a volunteer policeman in Hackleburg, Ala. Also inside was a watch, which I’m sure belong to my Mawmaw Frederick.
I used one of my Mawmaw’s quilts, from Mother’s old chifforobes, to cover up with on what turned into a cold Friday night. Then I decided to bring it home with me.
Pam and I spent a lot of time late Friday night looking through several boxes of old photos from atop one of my mother’s closets, plus some photo albums, too.
We hauled home a few pieces of furniture, some boxes, plus smaller things we just stuck here and there in the van.
It was a difficult two days, but at the same time, I’m blessed with precious memories.
We’re going back in a few weeks to possibly finish.
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