Sunday, July 15, 2012

Filling a Memory Box


When I die, I'm going to come back as a squirrel.

That's right.

See, I have a habit of storing things away, tucking them into unexpected places, especially if those things bring back happy memories.

Yesterday, I was sorting through boxes of stuff, choosing items to give away, others to toss, and some to savor. These things (above) are definitely in my "To Keep" file. In fact, I think I'll give them a special box, a "Memory Box."

1. Upper left (clockwise) is a cute plastic hold-all pouch that my sister, Jane, gave me to remind me of my home on the beach.

2. Upper right (1 o'clock position) is a clothing brush that belonged to Grandma Marge. I don't recall her ever using it, but it reminds me of her anyway because of the whimsical face painted on the handle. By the way, this brush does come in handy for dusting off the shoulders of jackets that have been sitting too long in your closet.

3. Lower right (4 o'clock position) is a necklace given to me by Aunt Phyllis, a lovely and fashionable woman who lives on the Miracle Mile in Chicago. She and Uncle Manny always attended swanky events, so she thought a pretty bauble like this would be a good addition to my dressy wardrobe. And she was right!

4. Lower left (7 o'clock position) is a Chairman Mao watch that I bought in China. It tickles me that he was so very much against capitalism, and yet his image appears on this touristy trinket. When it works (which isn't often), Mao waves at you. This timepiece (ha!) both reminds me of a great trip and a piece of wisdom: Everything changes.

5. Right (9 o'clock position) is a pin, a magnolia painted on wood. I bought it in Charleston, SC. With it comes happy memories (and one sad one) of our times in that lovely city.

6. Middle of the grouping. Of all these possessions, this one means the most to me. My maternal grandmother, Constantia Funk, always carried her money in this plastic coin purse. When I look at this, I still see her bandaged fingers fumbling for change. As she aged, calcium deposits caused lumps on her fingertips. Bit by bit, as I stare at this purse, she comes back to life for me, almost the way a ghost materializes in a movie.

I challenge each of you to find a selection of tokens that revive happy memories--and put tuck them away in a Memory Box.

8 comments:

Victoria's Place said...

Love your items and it is a great idea! I do have several printers drawers I use to stow little mementos in. Its always hard for me to get rid of things like this.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Victoria, I have something similar for "natural" stuff I find, like seashells and such, but I think this deserves a home where I can tuck all this away. Taken as individual pieces, they aren't much to look it. It's the love behind them.

Kirsty.a said...

Love your memory items. And what a great name - Constantia Funk!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Isn't it?

Linda O. Johnston said...

Great idea, Joanna. I have a lot of stuff from family that I want to save and know I need to organize it--so why not a Memory Box. Or two? Or a dozen???

Betty Hechtman said...

I love the idea of a memory box, but I think I'd need a memory room.

Monica Ferris said...

Joanna, I think maybe you were a squirrel in a *previous* life, and are just retaining that trait!

I have a lighted cabinet that holds many of my most precious memorials or reminders, from the knife used to cut our wedding cake to the nineteenth century doll found in the attic of a neighbor's house about to be torn down. Every time I pause to look at the items in there, I smile.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Well, Betty, I'm downsizing! And Monica, a lot of people have suggested that I'm nuts, so...
Linda, I think a dozen is a nice round number!