Reviewing my life.

1 01 2012

I’m incredibly blessed to have parents who allow me to be a kind of hoarder. A girl who throws things away, but can’t give it all away.

My parents moved to Florida with not one, but three or four containers which housed things from grade K – college.

But I had to clear that crap out this past visit. And clear it out, I did. (I threw away, donated approximately 90% of what I saved.)

Anyway, why I’m talking about this is because some things hit me, and my parents with a big old *smack.* Sometimes funny. Sometimes (me) tears.

The sad stuff, first.

I was given three stuffed animals/dolls etc, before age 4. I love all three. They mean a lot to me.

1) My doll, Julie. A Madame Alexander doll. My parents gave this to me when I was two years old. Still have her. (she is totally falling apart. And lives with my parents now, not in a storage box, until we can figure out how to fix her.)

2) A teddy bear my not-to-be-talked-about brother gave me. My bear is in my apartment and I love it.

3) Dexter. The railroad dog. I honestly thought this stuffed animal was somewhere in my apartment. For years! But he wasn’t. I pulled him from the ugly plastic thing I have had since the day I went into college… The container was kind of moldy. I considered throwing Dexter away. Then my dad walked out. And I looked at my mom. And then my dad.

You see, Dexter has an extra story.

My father worked with this man, Bob. Apparently, this man, Bob, thought I was pretty cool. And every time my mom took me to see my dad in downtown Pittsburgh at work, Bob would make tease me. I’d get new shoes, and show up in the office with my mom, to show my dad my fancy new shoes… And Bob, he’d say, “Oh, Claire, your new boats are so beautiful!” or “Your new suitcases are great!” (I had big feet for my age as a kid… Whatever.)

My mom and dad and I aren’t sure where Dexter came to be. We’re sure it was a birthday.

The reason that he means so much to me is just after I was given Dexter, Bob passed away. In a very bad car accident.

So when I saw Dexter, and realized he was not, in fact, in my apartment, and was a part of my life I was trying to toss out, I cried. (no big surprise, I’m the world’s biggest strongest softy. True story. I admit it.)

The funny thing is, I still remember visiting my dad’s office then. Bob and Myrle and my daddy. Opening Myrle’s bottom file to find the toys she kept there for me. And hearing Bob comment on my shoes. Even now, I remember.

So I saved Dexter. I had to.  Out of all the elementary, middle and high school memories I found in those containers, all the papers, the written word, the art, the paper music, the wooden clarinet, the tchotchkes… All the crap I saved.

I had to save Dexter. The Nana put him in the dry cleaning bag, and he looks a bit better. She is going to save him for me, along with Julie.

All in all, I tossed a bunch of stuff I will never miss. I saved some stuff that made me or The Nana laugh our bums off. And all of my sheet music and my clarinet. And some little things I may want to give Little C when she reaches certain ages… Just one or two.

The funny… There is ONE thing, that I wrote, after looking at a zillion pages of crap, that I swear on my life, left The Nana nearly in tears. And The Papa nearly as well…

The photo:

The story:

“Once upon a time there was a spider. He was lonely. He had no friends. Then, one day I went out to my dad’s garden. I found him. I said ” AAAA!!” My dad came out. He said “What’s the matter?” There’s a spider in the garden.” I said.” “A what?” My dad said. “A spider.” I said. Finally, my dad killed it.”

I read that story to my co-worker at My Living Room the other day. He said I built it up to something it totally wasn’t. True story.

I hope I tell better stories now. Who knows. I’m just super happy The Papa killed that spider. Whether it was real or not. Thanks, Papa.

P.S. I got a STAR on that essay/writing thing. I must have thought I won the world at grade 1 or 2… Who knows. No date on the paper. Sad. 😦

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