I used to be quite silly about saving things. In my teens and early adult years, I kept every little memento that I had. I used to have every ticket stub from the Billy Joel concerts I had attended. Man, what I wouldn't give to have those now. I'd love to frame them.
I saved ridiculous stuff. The strangest things I can remember trying to save were the stitches from my forehead. I had gashed my head open on a church mission trip to West Virginia, and Nurse Jane (see I TOLD you she was a nurse long before she was an RN) took the stitches out for me after I returned home. I was going to save the stitches and put them in my scrapbook. But I proudly held them in the palm of my hand and showed them to Jack, who took one look and said, "Yeah. Nice." And then blew them out of my hand. Into the carpet. Which was salt-and-pepper shag. If you don't remember shag carpeting, please shut up.
I always said I was saving stuff for my scrapbook........only I never really did have a scrapbook. When scrapbooking became popular a few years ago, I dabbled in it long enough to become a Creative Memories consultant and buy about $1500 worth of supplies, including a scrapbooking table and a rolling cart to hold all the embellishments, until I figured out that my step-daughter and I were my only customers and we couldn't keep my "business" afloat. Hey, at least I lasted longer at that than I did my Mary Kay career. Or being an assistant softball coach, which lasted all of one afternoon practice. Or being a volleyball coach, which lasted almost all the way through a conversation with the outgoing coach, during which I learned that I didn't even know all the terminology, much less how to coach.
None of this has anything to do with Fluffy and Sunshine, and I don't care. At least I'm less foggy than this time last night.
By the time I had moved two or three or ten or twelve times between college and my marriage(s), I was pretty much over the keeping of everything stage. Besides, one of my (much) older and (much) wiser sisters pointed out to me once that getting rid of the junk didn't mean the memories never happened. Perhaps she had helped me pack and move one too many times.
So now I hold on to the memories and throw all the crap out. When Hubby isn't looking, I throw his crap out too. He's not sentimental; he's cheap. We replaced our kitchen faucets a few years ago, and I swear to you, I'm not making this up, the old one is hanging on the wall in our basement. Just in case we ever need it. Let me see......why did we get rid of it? Oh yeah.....we didn't like it. But one day we may succumb to malaria and wake up in a fever to go back to the old kitchen faucet, and look at the money we will have saved by hanging on to it.
One of these days I'm going to do a blog post about what is in our basement. But you see, there's a TRUCK in there, and it's kind of hard to get around to take the necessary pictures.
Sweet Girl somehow inherited this pack-rat gene, but I think she honestly got it from her father's side. They keep everything. EVERYTHING. And they take it all out and cry over it at regular intervals.
When Sweet Girl first left home, I didn't mind her leaving her junk behind. She was off to the Navy, after all, and living in the barracks, she didn't have any storage space. None. Zilch. So I didn't mind the old answering machine that no one uses anymore (it still uses TAPES to record, for God's sake), the old telephone that no one uses anymore, the bazillion collectible Barbie dolls, her college French books, assorted dance costumes, two prom dresses, roller skates, a Super Nintendo which apparently isn't super anymore, or the forty-two thousand Disney movies. In VHS format.
But now she has a place of her own, and I'd like for her to A) throw out what she really doesn't need, which is most of it; and/or B) take the junk to HER place in Florida. I don't have the heart to throw it out myself. Not yet. But it may come to that.
That being said, I did decide a few days ago to clean out an old armoire that she has had for so long that it's covered with stickers dating back to second grade. And those suckers won't come off. The armoire itself is a rather cheap piece of furniture and not worth a whole lot, but it will serve as storage for some off-season clothes. Or scrapbooking supplies. So I started going through it, and honestly most of it went straight into the trash. Toy megaphones from high school football games. About a million Pepsi Star Wars stickers. Toy footballs from high school football games.
I boxed up her Magic Attic Club dolls and accessories, but I honestly don't know what she would do with them either. If she ever has a daughter, God willing said daughter will turn HER nose up at anything that once belonged to her mother. Karma.
Jumping Jacky was one of her favorite books.
But then I came across Fluffy and Sunshine, and I had to stop and sit down. And smell them. I think Katydid gave her one or the other (probably Fluffy) for her first Easter in 1985, before she turned a year old. Sunshine was from the same time period, but she may have been a birthday present. I'm not sure.
Out of the bazillion stuffed animals and dolls she had over the years, Fluffy and Sunshine have prevailed. They have both been washed numerous times, and Sweet Girl at some point drew a new smile on Sunshine's face when the original one faded off.
I smiled when I found them, but I clutched them to my face and tried not to cry. The smile was bittersweet. These two little toys are tangible reminders that I don't have a little girl anymore.