Memories are strange things. it is a rare moment when I allow myself the luxury to simply remember. I love to remember. I think that's why I'm such a packrat. if something brings back a memory--happy or sad--I'll keep whatever it is, no matter if it's a broken balloon, a shredded ribbon or a bottle of sand. those are just three of the many things that I actually keep to this day tucked away somewhere (for a reason!!). the memories are precious, and the memories are mine, and if I have to keep the piece of wadded up tinfoil to make me remember, so be it. that's a real example, too. my dad came into my room one day and randomly molded a piece of tinfoil into a DNA sculpture (Yeah, I know, I was confused, too) and I laughed really hard, so I kept the piece of tinfoil. I got so horribly teased for keeping it, but I don't regret it at all. so there.
So just the other day, I was sitting here thinking about this old book my parents used to read to me called "The Sailor Dog". I remembered that I had the book in my hope chest, so I went to get it so I could read the book. random, I know. so I sit down on the floor and open the chest. it had been a long, long time since I had opened it and I had quite forgotten what was in there. and so began my journey down Memory Lane.
The first thing that I saw was my Red Blankie. Ah, Red. he and I were good friends back in the day. he's--you guessed it--red, with patches with kittens on them. just the right size for anything. anything at all. a cape, a raft, a table, Red was any and everything I wanted him to be.
Next, I saw the Scottish flag. I brought it back from Scotland for one of my little sisters, but once when I found it laying around I snatched it up and kept it, for memory's sake. ah, Scotland. I remember it well. the children, the green hills dotted with sheep, the accents, the haggis, the work, the fun. I remember it all.
The small yellow pillow comes next. hand-stitched by my great-grandmother, it's a soft yellow with a Precious Moments girl on it, and it has my name "Johanna Christine" neatly stitched on the front. for as long as I can remember, this pillow has adorned my bed.
Next, I came to the toy that probably holds the most memories of anything I own: my stuffed teddy bear, Mup. his name is a really long, boring story, so I won't tell it. I'll just say that Mup is in, like, every childhood memory I have until about my tenth birthday. from tea parties to sleepless nights to doctor visits, Mup remains Johanna's most faithful childhood companion.
I smile when I see the small water bottle shaped like Paul Bunyan laying in the bottom of the chest. I remember that fateful day. not well, mind you, but I remember it nevertheless. the day we went to the zoo. I was probably about three years old. Nikki, Jim and I had been given water bottles. Nikki's and mine were shaped like Paul Bunyan, and Jim's was shaped like a train. we were looking down into the seal pool, and Jim drops his train--plop!--into the water. I remember standing on my tiptoes looking with fascination as Jim's train bobs up and down on the water. I remember it caused quite a stir, both with the people on land and with the seals. and if you're wondering, in the end Jim did get his train back.
Books. books I'd forgotten I'd kept. mostly old books from when I was a kid. books that I want to read to my own kids. "Fritz and the beautiful horses", "Mister Dog", "My Christmas wish" (starring Johanna Trexel, yes, it's true), "When bunny grows up" and "Chester". (and Sailor Dog, of course. that's the reason I'm in the chest, remember?). Ah, the memories of being cuddled up to Dad in his large rocking chair, listening to him read about the dog "who belonged to himself" or the "very dependable pony". Dad would always read to us to get us to take our nap, but inevitably it would be Dad who fell asleep, and we would spend the rest of the afternoon trying to sneak out of his lap without waking him up. kinda like that "Don't Wake Daddy" game only...with very real consequences. :)
Next I come to a small white bunny puppet dressed like a pilot. it's old, yet still extremely soft, despite the years of play. I don't really remember how I came to own this one. all I really know about him is that he, like Red, was a part of my childhood from the moment I was old enough to have memories.
Heidi, my stuffed horse falls next in line. Heidi takes my memories south to San Angelo, Texas, where I spent a few golden years of childhood. Heidi was given to me as a birthday present, handmade by one of my friend's parents. I was never allowed to play with her too much, because my parents were afraid I'd wear her down to tatters. so while Heidi herself doesn't appear in too many memories, she reminds me much of Texas, were I think I spent the best years of my life, so I will treasure her always.
There were so many more things in there that I could go on about: the T-shirt that I got at summer camp that I couldn't bear to throw away, the china plate given to me by one of my friends from Scotland, a few newspapers with famous stories on the front page, a pink flyswatter (with some very interesting memories attached) and so much more.
Oh, and if you were wondering, the broken balloon was salvaged from my father's 40th birthday party. it was black and Nikki had drawn funny pictures on it. the shredded ribbon was kept as a remembrance to pray for one of my friends who was sick. the bottle of sand is sand Nikki and I collected from the Great Sand Dunes.
Yay for memories!! :D
"Come Sail Away" --Styx. this song is so pretty. I love it! and it's, I dare say, relevant to this blog (but then, we all know I did that on purpose). and I TOTALLY saw them sing this in concert, yes I did.