Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Adventures in Unpacking

I started to put a dent in the number of boxes that are still sitting in our sunroom during Max's morning nap today.  I was making really great progress until I came upon a box with old photos, greeting cards, travel pamphlets/ticket stubs, etc.  I had to look through it all.

I went against my pack-rat nature and tossed most of the travel stuff.  I kept it all for sentimental value over the years, but I never look at it.  I'm not going to do anything with it, so it's time to let it go.  I kept a few postcards and such, but the majority of it went to the big black trash bag.

I found cards that we received when we found out we were expecting Max, so I kept those to put in his baby book.  There were old Christmas cards, thank you notes, birthday cards, etc., most of which I tossed, as well.  There were a few key pieces, though, that I'm going to keep.

Such as this birthday card from my sister.

The inside said "with scissors."  I don't ever recall cutting her bangs against her will...

This note on the inside cracked me up.  My mom is known for not being the most timely with mailing packages.  But we love her for it!

 I got a good chuckle out of this one, from my mom.

My mom, sister, and I love sending cards, for any occasion.  We always search to find the perfect one, so these cards from them always mean a lot to me because I know they went to great lengths to choose the right one.

This still makes me laugh.


It wasn't my birthday when my sister sent this to me.  She sent it because the dog on the front looks just like my Kenny.  A perfect likeness.

Much like this photo, which I found in a tabloid magazine several years ago and fooled many of my loved ones into believing that Kenny was in a hurdle race with a pig.

Secret's out now!

My physics teacher in high school, Mr. G, wrote every single one of his students a personal letter at the end of the school year and mailed it to us over the summer.  It was his first year teaching, fresh out of grad school, and I'm willing to bet he was regretting his decision in the middle of penning all those notes (he told us during the school year that he was going to do it, so we were expecting it).  It's hard work writing personal notes to all of your students!  I remember writing report card comments at the end of the year when I was teaching.  I never wanted to use the "stock comments" of "Bobby is a pleasure to have in class," etc.; I wanted them to be personal and individual to each child.  But man, was it tough!  

Mr. G was one of my very favorite teachers in high school.  Math and science classes were never my automatic favorites.  I always preferred English classes (reading and writing are my jams!).  It took a very special teacher to make me look forward to coming to math or science classes, and Mr. G was one of the best.  We had fun, but we also did lots of learning in his class, and he was always willing to work extra to make sure we felt confident in what we were learning.  Also, I was sitting in his class on 9/11/01 and watched the planes hit the World Trade Center on the TV in his room.  I'll never forget that day.

That first line there speaks volumes of the kind of student I was in high school.  Quiet, shy, a bit of a nerd--that was me!  In fact, just last weekend my mom asked me if I remembered a certain person from high school--she is in the same church group as his mom and they were swapping stories about their kids.  I told her that yes, I did remember him, but he probably wouldn't remember me since I "kept a low profile in high school."  I had my friends, but I'll be honest, they were also a bit nerdy, too.  We had a lot of good, nerdy fun in high school, which means we stayed out of trouble!

In the second paragraph of the letter, Mr. G refers to our homemade instrument project.  My group, the Physicshun Musicians, created an enormous homemade xylophone-type instrument, made homemade "lab coats" out of over-sized t-shirts, and played "Heart and Soul" on our instrument with spoons.  It. Was. Awesome!  I don't know what happened to that xylophone, though.

The tallest side was over 8 feet long.  This was taken the night we finished building it.

While there was lots of time spent laughing and smiling as I sifted through these memories today, there were also some tears.  I found a handful of cards that were sent to me by friends and family after my dad passed away.  And even though they make me cry every time I read them, I still cherish them and will likely never get rid of them.

My friend and bridesmaid, Laura, wrote the most beautiful prayer in her card to me.  I actually enjoy the flood of emotion it causes every time I read it.
My step-mom sent this poem to me years after my dad passed away, and I absolutely love it.

Sometimes I feel like I don't think about my dad often enough.  And then there are other times when he appears in my dreams and I feel empty and incomplete when I wake up because I know he's not here anymore.  Even though Max has an amazing grandfather on Victor's side, it breaks my heart that Max will never know his Papa Ken.  I still have some of my dad's old golf shirts, but they have been sitting in a box for years (I used to sleep in them).  I was considering donating them since they're not doing anyone any good just sitting in a box, but instead, I plan to make Max a teddy bear or two out of the shirt fabric.  He won't understand the significance, but I know that it will warm my heart to see him play and cuddle with something my dad wore frequently.

Needless to say, I didn't get much further in my unpacking efforts after finding those keepsakes.  Better luck next time!

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