Close to Nowhere
I shouldn't be allowed to look through old boxes and such.
I was looking for some papers that I'd seen on top of the hutch on my computer desk probably 15-20 years ago. Oddly enough, they were where I remembered them in a wooden George Burns cigar box. (If you don't know who George Burns is, Google him. I loved him.)
I've been a puddle most of the afternoon. I found letters from Aunt Joyce, who died long ago. I found stuff cousin Al sent me after Carolyn died. Probably the most heartwrenching bits of memory were from my late father-in-law, Clifford Jones. He'd lost a brother in the Korean War, long before I was even born. John Paul Jones was in the Army and was MIA, then KIA. He'd apparently told someone, who passed it along to his family, that he'd been planning to write and tell them he was fine. They included that note when they sent his belongings home. I found the newspaper article that was in the Memphis, Tenn., paper. I found the pictures of John Paul in his uniform. The resemblance to his oldest nephew (Doyle, aka Pop) is uncanny.
Clifford grieved for his brother his entire life. As I've gotten older and lost my sisters, I understand.
I found a lot of happy memories as well. Pictures of Merideth and my friend Jane's grandson Brandon driving around the front yard in her "Jeep." They were probably four or so. I have a lot of memories of Mere, Bran Muffin and Gremlin (Remy) from those days. I'm going to have to embarrass them and post the pictures on Facebook.
I found a picture of one of Dana's best friends in high school, with her son and daughter. She lost her son when he was 17 in a car accident.
I found a couple of packages of jacks. Remember jacks? I was a world champion jack player! I played for hours. If you've ever stepped barefoot on a Lego, you have some idea of how horrible it is to step on a jack barefooted.
For some unknown reason, I collect pencils as souvenirs. I have pencils from Dallas, Texas -- one of Jane and my adventures. I found a small pasteboard box from Neiman Marcus when we went through Dallas. I found ink pens from my Aunt Hope's funeral home in Hobbs, New Mexico. Jane and I spent nearly two weeks driving across county to visit her. We ended up lost in Mexico, but that's another story (and wonderful memory).
I have some pencils that are filled with rocks from the Missouri Museum of Natural History. Daughter Dana and I took Mere and Remy to my sister Jackie's house in Missouri, and we met up with her sister Rahe and went to St. Louis for the weekend.
I also have pencils from the Field Museum in Chicago, Ill., and for some reason, napkins from a trip to see the Breeder's Cup horse race in Ft. Worth, Texas.
My favorite thing I found is a sewing pattern. It was the diaper shirt and little gowns that my mother made mine and my brothers' baby things with. I made many a diaper shirt for Dana and Kris with that pattern. I thought I'd lost it. It's too frail to use or even really look at the pieces now, but what a treasure.
Now, I've got to put all this stuff back up. And the dust is choking me. But it's been a wonderful afternoon.