Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?

January 18, 2004 - 9:15 p.m.

Time stopped

I moved into this house in 1998. Packing and moving from the old house was a real chore, because my heart was not in it. I was not moving because I wanted to, I moved because I had to.

I had two boys ages 12 and 10 at the time. They weren't around when I painted their rooms, getting the house ready to sell. They weren't around when it was time to pack their rooms either. I made a lot of fatherly executive decisions regarding what would go in boxes and what would go out to the curb. They never missed what I tossed away and they never complained. A lot of their stuff went into boxes and went right into the storage room when I moved in here.

The storage room is a vault, of sorts. It's in the back of the basement with concrete block walls. The room above was an open back porch when the house was built. The porch has a concrete floor, so block walls and concrete above make this storage closet a pretty nice place to weather a tornado or nuclear holocaust. Two of the walls are lined with makeshift shelving, so there's lots of places to put stuff. It got so full of stuff I couldn't find anything.

I spent this weekend cleaning it out. Time stopped in that place. As I hauled boxes, half collapsed from being tossed around in an effort to find things, I uncovered a world I hadn't visited since 1998. There were books and toys that hadn't seen daylight in six years. There was a highchair, a sturdy wooden thing made of maple. We bought it at a garage sale for $50 before Son1 was born. I'm keeping it, whoever has kids first gets it (after I refinish it, of course.) There was the remnants of my camping gear. So much stuff, so many decisions to make.

I went to a truck rental place and paid an inflated price from the surly clerk for some new boxes. I've never paid for boxes in my life. I needed something though. I brought the boxes back and began sorting.

Someday I hope my kids will appreciate the sentimental mood I was in on Saturday. There's a box for stuffed animals, a box full of their old school papers and artwork, a box full of kids books and old video tapes. There are two boxes full of toys, one I just dumped in wholesale... they can sort it out later. There's a box full of Waffle Blocks and Duplo blocks and a bag of wooden blocks inside it too. I made those blocks myself; they started as leftover oak from my ex-brother in law's staircase. I cut and hand sanded each one while my infant Son1 slumbered in his crib.

There was a box of my stuff too, stuff I've carried with me since high school. I found all my yearbooks dating back to junior high school, and all my grade school pictures. My contributions to the high school newspaper are in there too, as well as some other papers I'd written back then. I sat on the basement stairs and read one I'd written for Speech class. I hardly recognized it as my writing; I was riffing on Mark Twain. I've also saved a Seven Up bottle from the bicentennial. It predates their switch to metric bottles. Remember the switch to the metric system we were going to make, back in the seventies? Looking for a "J.R. Ewing For President" badge? I have one of those too.

Everything's all boxed up now and everything has a place. I had a good time in History class this weekend. Despite my charitable acts of saving history, a lot more stuff is out sitting behind the garage waiting for Trash Day on Tuesday.

the last one -*- the next one

Current Terr Alert Level
Terror Alert Level
OMG, She's agonna blow!

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