What do you save? What notes or cards or little keepsakes do you keep hidden away? Where do you keep them? And why?
I'm a sentimental person. What about you? Not all of us are. Anyway, I keep objects that have touched me in some manner. But I also despise clutter. The other day I was cleaning out closets and drawers, general spring straightening I guess, and I came across a cedar box given to me upon high school graduation. It was locked but I knew where to find the key. And I looked inside.
There in this box were my early school day treasures. I found my KAO pledge ribbons and a puzzle piece given to me by my director from the 1982 production of Godspell, when I played the Day by Day girl. There's a polaroid photo taken at my best friend Tiffany's graduation party and a notecard from my friend who now lives in LA but once directed me in a play he wrote. There are medals from music and piano contests. I found letters from my cousin Mike, Aunt PJ and grandparents. I perused poems and stories I wrote and a star chart drafted at Post Prom. And I found a valentine. I think it will always be one of my dearest, fondest keepsakes. It's a ballerina and it was given to me by Danny Williams in 2nd Grade.
I have other boxes like that ... tucked away places. I don't open them a lot. But I save items in them. They are full of items that bring a smile to my face. These can be notes from cast members, envelopes with a character name that was especially dear to me, and little mementos from people important and special at a particular time. Even ribbons from gift boxes find their way into these Rainy Day boxes. I have pressed flowers, dried roses, scraps of paper with little messages and photos hidden away. I even have a couple of ketchup packets, a little joke between a friend and me.
There's a place that holds drawings made by my kids. I have My son's hand-print copied on a xerox and the sheet of paper that my daughter first wrote her name. There are also some photos of special moments, including my curl bouncing Music Man Gracie Shinn. I have cards from my husband as well as messages from my parents and brother and sister.
I scrapbook so many memorable items are preserved in one of the 70 albums I've created. But there are some kept safe in special boxes. Hidden. For my eyes only.
Oh, I also have a few items on display in my closet ... flowers dried and preserved, including a dainty rose from a tea rose plant I once had, a rose my son gave me when he came to the hospital to meet his sister for the first time and a carnation he gave me at this year's Swim Parent Night. There's a white rose from a theatre banquet and a red rose my husband gave me when I did Rabbit Hole. They are in a vase given to me by my Marta/Brigitta in Sound of Music ... and sit next to a photo of my "Annie" when she played Marian in Music Man.
There's a note from my mom ... and one from my dad -- pinned to the wall. As well as buttons my friend made for some of my plays. There's a cheery note from my friend In Chicago and a crown presented to me on my last birthday. There are other special things on that shelf too ...
I take these things out occasionally. Guess that's why I save them ... these tokens of kindnesses or friendship. They are reminders of special moments and times. And though I may not recall what I ate for breakfast, I receive a sensory image ... a movie in my mind ... when I peruse or glance through these boxes. Rainy day boxes I call them. A ticket thru time.
I dislike clutter. So I'm selective in what I save. Perhaps there isn't a rhyme or reason that I've chosen what I have. But these items remind me of words spoken, days past and people who've been important and special to me -- whether I still see them or distance or time or life separated us. I like to recall ... to remember. They still seem close that way, I suppose. Like shadows that caress my mind.
What about you? What do you save? Do you have special things hidden away? Do you pull out a card from a friend on a rainy day and smile? Do you grin as you reflect on the boy of four that drew you a picture book called The Adventures of Jack The Caveman as you gaze upon the nearly 16 year old young man sitting beside you?
What do you save? I hope you have at least one Memory Box. When you peruse these boxes, alone one quiet night, what do you remember? I'm sentimental, I guess. And as I sort through these hidden treasures, I recall fondly the special moments and people in my life so far. And I'm grateful for they way they continue to touch my life ... from a distance, from the sidelines, from a memory or from the other room.
Even if their touch comes to me only through a dried flower, a note or a ballerina valentine ...