Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Analysis of Stuff (Part 3 of 3)

As I finish my journey through my mother's treasures, I am planning my next mission.  I plan to very strategically go through all of my saved items and cull out all but the items which communicate who, exactly, I am.  Like an archaeological dig, my attic will be laid out in organized plats which, when woven together, will tell the story of my life.  I have come to believe that the Egyptians were simply hoarders.  Their pyramids were, plainly speaking, gargantuan storage units filled with the things with which the deceased could not bear to part and for which the descendants had absolutely no use.  The same theory will most likely apply to the meticulously marked Rubbermaid bins lined up like columns and rows of  protective soldiers which, as I think about it, are sitting in attic silence about 14 feet over my head this very minute.  I must be very thoughtful about the things I choose to explain the meaning of my existence on the planet.  Because I have chosen to be cremated after I breathe my last breath, it would only be appropriate that my sons would burn the leftovers from the sale of my estate.

So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen step right this way!  
Roll out for the Magical Mystery Tour of my humble attic.
[Cue music]
(Yes, I still have the album.)

The east half of said attic is dedicated to holiday decor.  Inasmuch as it occupies 50% of the available storage space, my love of all holidays will be plain as the nose on an archeologist's face.  He may thrill at the discovery of decorations for as many as five themed Christmas trees.  If three of the five themed sets of ornaments are still in my attic and my boys are happily married, the significance of their eternal presence will be that my daughter-in-laws have either no taste  whatsoever or absolutely no sentimental bones in their skinny bodies.  According to my plan, Jonathan's wife will cherish and continue to add Coca Cola ornaments to his tree.  Bryce's wife will dutifully oooh and aaah as she carefully unwraps each of his Old World glass ornaments:  the peacock, the White House, the Dobermann Pinscher.  Reed's better half will be humming "Let it Snow" as she strategically places each snow man on their family tree.  What lucky girls!

Thanks, Aunt Mamie!
A portion of the attic is filled with inherited sets of china, a big old hot mess of milk glass (I'm guessing about 2 tons) thanks to my Aunt Mamie, and sundry mementos from the 70's and 80's.  (BTW:  If you ever need to borrow a beach ball sized milk glass punch bowl on a pedestal and 20 matching punch cups, I'm your girl.)

"I know you are, but what am I?!"
Then, there's the plethora of boxes of toys that my boys fought over during their precious formative years:  Power Rangers, legos, K'Nex, Playmobil...  In one medium-sized box, a very special set of figures slumbers in their very special playhouse for the day when their ebay numbers are up.  OK, boys and girls!  Today's Secret Word is "ka-ching!"  Yep.  Chairry, Globey, and Pterri are all mummified in tissue paper waiting for the day when someone unwraps them and gasps, "Ooooooooo!  Isn't Pee Wee the guy who...?"  Just wait until they come across Plush Chairry and Plush Talking Pee Wee!  What a glorious day it will be!

There are a few individual items that I have held close to my heart for years.  They are some of my most prized possessions.  You can have all of my best dish towels, my Grandmother's Friendly Village pottery, and my old drill team boots.  My cold dead fingers will be wrapped tightly around a few little things with which I can never part.  And, I present to you (in no particular order)....a few treasures of my motherheart.

Bryce's Whittle Sticks 
(carved in Estes Park, Colorado at Castle Mountain Lodge)
We first introduced Bryce to Estes Park when he was a toddler bouncing up and down in our kid-carrier backpack.  By the age of 4, he was hiking up to four miles without a single whine or complaint.  In fact, our four miles equaled his seven miles given the many detours up and around boulders and side trails leading to nowhere.  Back at the cabin, he would busy himself searching for "good" whittle sticks.  Then, he meticulously carved them with his mouth pursed in intense concentration.  He gave some of the sticks sharpish points that could "kiw da bad guys."  Some he just whittled smooth for the sake of the whittle.  The prize of the collection was the "Tommy Hawk" that he made just for me.  "Hew, Mom.  Dis might come in weal handy someday!  And, guess what?!  When we get home, I'm gonna paint it up real special for you."  That was the same trip that ended with his famous family quote.  We had finished loading up the minivan and strolled down to the river to throw one more rock into the dancing waters.  Bryce stood there on a boulder staring at his beloved play place then looked up at Alan and said, "Dad, I shu wish we could staya liddle longa."  Alan and I have vowed that if we ever own a cabin in Estes Park it will be adorned with a special little whittled sign dubbing our hideaway the "Staya Liddle Longa."

Reed's Dinothore
Reed came home from First Grade one day and dropped his schoolwork on the kitchen table.  Off he trotted in search of his brothers.  Later, he peered at me from the other side of the island by the sink where I was washing dishes.  
"So, Mom, how did you like Gary?!"  
Absently, I replied, "Who, baby?"  
"Gary!  He's my dinothore!"  
"Oh, I see!  Gary is a great dinosaur!  The very best dinosaur!  You are lucky to have Gary!"  
Off Reed trotted smiling his trademark happy smile.  As I began to clear the table for dinner, I picked up Reed's schoolwork.  Amongst his spelling and math papers was a crinkly crayloa resist picture of a flamboyant, frisky looking dinosaur.  There at the top of the paper in the field of blue that surrounded the creature just above it's back haunch written faintly in pencil - Gary.  Hmm.  Gary.  To this day, the joyful colors of Gary remind me of my carefree, grinning Reed.

Jonathan's "E-Boo" Cup
To celebrate Jonathan's 2nd Birthday, we ventured out to the Greatest Show on Earth.  We bought "center ring" seats about 5 rows up from the lions, tigers and bears, dressed Jonathan up in his Mimi-made "cwown" costume, and off we went.  Two hours later after death defying feats, clown antics, and brilliant costumes, we headed back to our little house in Mesquite with Jonathan fast asleep in his car seat still clutching a light-up Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey sword and a tiger cup.  The next day at breakfast, Jonathan shook his head "NO!" to his run-of-the-mill sippy cup.  "I WANT MY E-BOO CUP!!!  GIVE ME MY E-BOO CUP!!!"  Unnerved, I began to hold up sippy cups in all colors trying to figure out which color word sounded most like "E-Boo." Purple?  Green?  At last I looked in the direction of his resolutely pointing finger.  There on the drainboard next to the sink it sat.  I picked the cup up by its tiger tail, turned to him, and asked, "E-Boo?"  "E-BOOOOO!!!"  Oh, now I see.  The "E-Boo" cup.

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