Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Memory Keeper...

I have a problem with "Organizers"...
There are the kind you see trying to help people who are messy and they need help organizing it,
then there are the people they call hoarders.
Peter Walsh
I love
and sometimes hate...
Maybe I'm one of those crazy people...
I'll be honest....
I live in a maybe 1,000 sq. foot home
 built during WWI  and I love to collect things.
I have really had to work at learning to live in a small space .
When you don't have closets in some rooms
 or your largest one is the size of some peoples broom closet.
You have to work at what  you really need to keep.
I struggle to this day.
Mr.Keeper is a pack rat,
but I'm not going to go there.
Organizers like Peter always try to get people to understand
that an object is not a person.
Your memories of them are what you hold on to.
I agree that items like this have to be kept within reason.
But here is my argument...

I've had this box since I was a teenager.
Have not really looked in it since then...
Recently I opened it up...

Girl Scout badges, pins, and my sash.
Sure I remember I was in Girl Scouts
but I didn't remember I had achieved so much,
and as I looked at each badge or pin
memories that had been stored away on a shelf in the card catalog of my brain
(no one uses those anymore right?)
came to me in an instant..
I remembered flashes of the swimming classes I took at the YMCA for one.
I remembered having a pen-pal.
I remembered having the International food and fun festival where
I got Mexico and taught the Mexican Hat dance and we had chips and tacos.
I remembered struggling to earn the math badge because I LOATHE math,
but I did it.
I remembered the Cookie sales ,
that we loaded the cookies up in my Radio Flyer and wheeled them door to door.
While I have "memories",
 I recalled memories I truly would have never remembered...
had I not had these tangible items to hold in my fingertips,
 feel the silk threads on the badges ,
or touch the ones  my mother stapled on for some reason.
Peter ,
people do forget.
This was a wonderful way to remind me of the things a little girl
could accomplish,
and even though she may not have been as confident as she is now
 she still achieved her goals.
To remind me that even if I may feel that
I just can't do certain things because of my circumstances or life choices...
that maybe yes I can!

I also see people throwing their personal history on the curb constantly.
Sometimes to know where you are going,
 it's good to know where you came from.
I have plenty of friends who know nothing about their families beyond their grandparents
and they may not truly know who they REALLY were.
  I just think sometimes there are things we should hold on to.
If my grandfather hadn't held on to his Army cap from WWII
I would have never thought to ask him about what happened "when he was in The War"
Members of our family have let a home that my Great Great Grandparents built themselves
turn back into wilderness,
because "No one would want that old house".
It was too old fashioned.
Not thinking to preserve it for future generations who might care,
or offer it to someone who would care that a family built this home by hand
 and persevered in farming, lived through the Civil War, lived through the Great Depression and
ended up with streets in their town named after their family.
My dad held on to his favorite childhood train set
probably never thinking he would have a grandson to pass it on to.
When my father is no longer around
my son will have the memory of running things down with
that "old" locomotive in the garage with his grandfather.
This Peter is why I have issue with you sometimes...
some items can bring back memories.
Call me a hoarder then and I'll wear that badge.
If all of my vintage collecting friends are crazy too for wanting to protect the past
then lets all start a hoarding history club!
What do you guys think?

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