Sunday, February 6, 2011

Basement Excavations Part III

The wash and purge of our basement is a familiar subject to the loyal following of Naperville Now. It started hererevved up here and really got going here.

I am astounded by what we keep. Okay, what I've kept. For instance,14 pounds of thank yous for newspaper stories that I wrote in the 1970s. The stories and notes look like the Dead Sea Scrolls. (And, I daresay, smell a bit like them, too.) In any event, they're off to be recycled into whatever recycled paper becomes. Farewell to my (very old) writing life and hello to the latest, ink-free version.

Then there are the mountains upon mountains upon mountains of toys, all of which had to be washed, sanitized, and then washed and sanitized again, because I'm just that way.

What were we thinking, circa 1982-2000? That the factories in China might one day strike, thus forever depriving our restless children their due rainbow of plastics?

(You'll have to admit, however, that My Little Pony With A Horn On My Forehead, while not particularly cuddly, made a great bathtub toy. Also, I think this is how our girls learned to braid hair, an invaluable girl skill.)

Then there are the matchbox cars, a gift to our daughter from my husband's old boss. While they, like the ponies, are completely germ- and grime-free due to my great faith in the power of hydrogen peroxide to destroy all living organisms, I suspect these little darlings may have been painted with lead paint. Probably not the best toy to share with our grandson, unless he's willing to wear rubber gloves and a hazmat suit.

We glommed Great-Grandma's beads for dress-up many years ago. Many strands have been lost in the staging of basement theatricals, so believe it or not, this is all that remains from the original treasure trove. (And I would like to point out that they are quite clean and drying on a yardstick, the perfect winter clothesline for your jewelry.)

Now that's just wrong. (Girls -- who is responsible for Barbie's maiming?)

So, what do you keep? Sightless Barbies? News clips? Letters? And when you are culling the archives, do you think about what your best friend would do/think/say if she had to come in with a backhoe and do it for you? Leave me a comment. I am fascinated by what we keep, particularly if I don't have to wash it.


Lynn said...

Everything! Every poem, mother's day card, report card, test, paper or craft ever made by my kids. Every trophy or ribbon ever won, every magazine they ever subscribed to, every baseball card or doll they collected, hockey uniforms, soccer shin guards and shoes, ice skates, stuffed animals, hand-made Christmas ornaments, school pictures, thank yous from a student, old letters, you name it, I've got it in a box in my basement. Could I find something if I need to? Probably not. I'm not sure why I simply was never able to part with this stuff, but we've moved it with us more than once.

Anonymous said...

Heading for a well-stocked ATM as we speak! When is the garage sale?

Mr B

Kathy and Freddy said...

I absolutely cannot believe and totally admire your persistence, are you doing it? This is a job that everyone begins, but nobody finishes, especially through, floods, tornados, snowstorms of the century, frogs from the sky maybe?
Maybe your calling is journalist/basement organizer extraordinaire.

Johanna said...

We don't have basements here at 18 inches above sea level. I did have to go up in my attic this morning. I was amazed to discover that I own 147 suitcases. Anybody want to travel?