Blast from the Past: Time in a Tote

This might say something about my general housekeeping, but in cleaning today I was vacumning around the two totes sitting at the end of a shelf in our office/playroom/schoolroom.  “What’s in this top tote?” I asked Abby, and she told me her toys were in it.

“What about the bottom tote? Is that toys too?”

“No, there’s just pictures and stuff in that one.”

Pictures and stuff? What kind of stuff? I was intrigued. When we moved here four years ago I had purchased these nice colorful totes for the purpose of organization. I am sure I must have touched them since then, but I truly can’t remember when.

Since David’s death, I have frantically searched for any greeting cards to include in a scrapbook I am planning on making, to no avail.  Yes, I’d found a couple recent ones, but while we were dating and in early marriage, we’d given each other greeting cards nearly every week. I distinctly remember getting rid of a lot of our “love notes” years ago (of course now I wish I hadn’t) but not the cards.  Well, I hit paydirt in this forgotten tote. Not only had I forgotten about an entire scrapbook full of cards David had given me, but I spent the better part of the afternoon traveling down memory lane. I cried, I laughed, and the children got a peek into my checkered past.

Along with a love note and the many cards, there were tickets and a program from a show David and I had seen at Strayer Wood Theatre.

Family photos:

Going back farther in time, I discovered some of my report cards from grade school:

Of course, my children had to point out that I was NOT the straight-A student I had always claimed to be in grade school:

Funny how our memory changes things.  Then, in sixth grade, some genius decided grades made young people feel badly about themselves, so we no longer got letter grades.

It amazes me that I have known what I wanted to be ever since I was a young girl making books for my mother.

Not very good books, I admit, but books nonetheless. I laughed out loud at the poetry in this one;

Children gaily dancing, teenagers fastly dancing…”

Gaily? Fastly?    Really, Mary? I wonder if my mother thought she had a budding writer on her hands, or a delusional one?

My poetry was slightly better in high school:

That angst-ridden teen poet also kept some of her hair.  Evidently, I wasn’t the blonde I liked to think I was.

A precious find; a note from my Dad;

Also, from high school, I couldn’t just wear my white lab coat for Advanced Science class when we dissected cats. I had to “decorate” mine.  This was on the back of the white lab coat. My children were surprised at their mother’s twisted mind.

Speaking of twisted minds, my brother Bill sent me a bill for my stay at his apartment in 1978.

I don’t think my children realized I had some awards hidden away; blue ribbons and medals from speech contests, Thespian Awards for drama, and even an award for being feature editor of the high school newspaper! Coming full circle, 35 years later I am writing for a newspaper and “acting” in front of people when I do my workshops, playing a crazy coupon lady!

I never did get back to my cleaning but memories come before messes, and despite the tears I shed, I enjoyed this afternoon’s trip down memory lane…

3 thoughts on “Blast from the Past: Time in a Tote

  1. becky says:

    Was your high school poem graded by Mr. Klongerbo? I think I remember that handwriting. I can remember that from 30+ years ago, but have a hard time remembering what happened yesterday!

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