Hubs and I have been on a Spring Cleaning tangent pretty much since my first day of summer break! I'll admit I don't do a lot during the year when I'm working. Oh, the basics get done, dust, sweep, wipe the slider door down now and then, but the REAL cleaning doesn't get done until after the school year has ended. The good thing about this year is we've had rain...nothing BUT rain it seems like and since I can't get outside to do much we've put our energy in to the insides!
Our house is...well...LIVED IN! While I love beautiful homes and all things in their place, color coordinated pieces and well organized it just don't happen in my house. At any point and time there are grandkids running through the door wanting this or that (mainly food!) and grandkids just aren't always the cleanest of the human race...at least mine aren't! ;) And husbands aren't always the cleanest of beings either. Ohhhh, they like a clean house, but they have a tendency to lay things down in places where they shouldn't be, or stack stuff up that they'll "get to later" and later never comes...yep, that would be my husband! But the hubs and I are a lot alike..we can only go so long and then it's time for a renovation, or in our case these days, a clean up, so that's what we've been doing.
Today the maker room made it on the list of clean up/clean out and at the end of the day I have to say it's quite an improvement. It's the only room in the house we never got finished (and probably never will!) so it leaves much to be desired in "looks" and after a winter times worth of my "making" it was a complete mess. The hubs griped and complained, but I told him to go look at his shop and then come back and talk to me about mine!! ;) Anyway, in the process of the reorganizing I went through another tote of Mom's things I'd set aside after she passed. I've put off going through most of it...while it's been three years, I'd still just rather not walk down that road yet, but today I did with some of it. Mom was a cook...a GOOD one and she clipped and saved a lot of recipes, some I remembered her making and some I don't. In there was the original Buckeroon cookie recipe I had gotten from my 4th grade teacher in my childish handwriting...I still make these cookies to this day and love them! A recipe for liniment she had labeled from my Aunt Opal that was my Grandma Fanny's, my Aunt Flossie's noodles and her German Chocolate Cake, along with many others she'd gotten from her church friends of things they'd brought for dinners. Many of the clipped recipes she considered good she had also hand written in order to keep them in her kitchen. It was a sad and strange sensation to see my mother's hand writing once again. Not many people realize that Mom was a writer and loved to do so. She wrote poetry in her younger years and had some published in the Capper's Weekly. Later in life she kept journals...daily writings of her life that consisted not only of her own trials and tribulations, but her worries over her children, grandchildren, and even her great grandchildren. Many of those pages were written prayers, not only for her own family, but her church friends and their families as well. I've yet to go through those because I have a pretty good idea of the sorrow and broken heartedness I'm going to find in those pages and I'm not ready to face those either.
But within this tote today I also ran across two Valentine poems my brother Steve and I had written for her while in school. I ran across a thank you letter from one of her granddaughter's and one from her grandson. Newspaper clippings of my brother Dale being shipped to California on his way to Vietnam, my brother Don's log home when it burned, and various items my own kids had drawn or written to her. There was a Thanksgiving "letter" I had written to her in grade school complete with a drawn and colored turkey, a post card from my sister when she went on a cruise, one from my s-n-l when they'd taken my brother Steve and drove out through Oklahoma and the west. I found a letter my grandmother had written to her dated 1969, filled with news from her week and asking about ours. I also found a letter from my brother Steve while he was in the Army, probably stationed in Greece at that time...it was a rambling, jumbled mess because he was in the middle of a discharge and wanted to be home.
I don't think it was the hubs intention, but as I was pulling things out of this tote and going through them he slipped in one of my CD's I had upstairs. It was bluegrass gospel, mostly instrumentals, but what should the second song happen to be? Precious Memories...of all things!!! I pulled out a sheet she had written on, not really sure what it's purpose had been, but it was started in 1956 and ran through 1958. It was a list, I'm assuming, of items her and my dad had purchased. She had written down things like "a new steam iron", "General Electric Washing Machine", "waffle iron" and a "49 Studebacker Truck"! There were also two packages of old negatives from photos she'd taken in the early years. Mom was quite a shutterbug too, when she could afford the film, and I guess that's where my daughter and I get our love of picture taking from. There were index cards of all us kids, when and where we were born, our weight, date, and doctor that delivered us.
All of this pieces and parts of a life lived, loved, and sorrowed through. Most of it just bits of paper, worth absolutely nothing to anyone anymore and yet I can't throw it away! My mother never had an easy life...she didn't have a fine home or fancy car...she didn't have a lot of money to fall back on in her golden years, but it never bothered her, or if it did we never knew it. These few bits and pieces of papers and notes were important to her, important enough to keep all these years tucked away in her bible and boxes...as foolish as it may sound, tossing it out almost seems as if I'm tossing her out as well.
I did throw away some of the recipe clippings, but the post cards, letters, and drawings went right back in that tote. Maybe one of these days I'll go back through it all and decide that it's really not worth hanging on to after all, or then again...it might still be here when I'm gone and then it will be up to my children to decide what to toss and what to keep! Either way, they're here for now and that is where they'll stay...memories, precious not only to my mother, but to me as well.