Where, I ask you, do you put the tiny little cast that cradled Aisling's fractured arm the summer she was ten years old?
The answer is not "in the trash," just in case you wondered. I don't know why I can't throw it away. I only know that I still have the nickel Meelyn swallowed when she was three, stored in a specimen cup in the treasure box that dwells beneath my bed. And don't worry, you big sillies. That nickel didn't come out nature's way; it was removed from its precarious lodging place in her throat between her esophagus and her trachea by a crack team of ER doctors at Riley Hospital. Like I'd keep a poop-encrusted nickel...I ask you. Really.
I think I just need to squeeze that little cast in there too. Right now, it is sitting on my dresser, just where it has been sitting (hidden by a basket full of silk flowers) for about three years now.
Oh, my room is always so much fun to deal with! For some reason, instead of being the quiet, romantic retreat I always want it to be, it seems to be the depot for all the things people want to keep but have no place else to put, like a storm window with cracked glass; the impedimenta from three different 500 Festival Mini Marathons, all still stored in their plastic bags; scrapbooking stuff. A pile of clothing to donate to Goodwill. My grandmother's high school graduation photograph from 1937, which is still waiting to be hung on a wall even though we've lived here for four years. A baby blanket; a box of stuffed animals; some soccer cleats; a telephone book from 2004.
I fully expect a moving van to back up to our front door someday and for a man with a clipboard, chewing the end of a damp cigar, to say to me, "I've got some goods to unload here, a push mower and three kids' bicycles, a sitz bath and a butter cookie tin full of buttons. You want the guys to carry it on upstairs?"
"Wait just a moment!" I'll splutter. "That's not our push mower! Ours is orange and I'd know it anywhere because it has a Build-a-Bear Workshop sticker on it that Aisling was putting on all our outdoor furniture and stuff to identify it when we first moved here and she couldn't understand why people wouldn't just come up onto the front porch and steal the chairs. And I sold the girls' little pink bikes in a rummage sale years ago! And I don't want someone's old sitz bath -- eeeewwwww!!!! And I have no reason at all to clutter up my house with yet another butter cookie tin full of buttons! Take all that stuff away!" And then I'd make shooing motions at the men who were moving someone else's junk into my house as inexorably as the tide moves in.
"Look, lady," the cigar man would say with a note of impatience in his voice. "This here is McKinney Self-Storage, right? And there's a room upstairs where said items can be stored, right?"
At that point, I'll probably just give in, although I'll probably be called away to spend some time in a special place where I can while away the day's hazy hours by counting all my buttons from my cookie tins over and over and over and over again.
The good news is that I made great headway yesterday, actually unearthing the seat of Ma's beautiful Stickley style rocking chair. Now the only two things on the seat are a crucifix whose nail got knocked off the wall when I was vaccuuming and one lonely Child Craft book: we donated the rest of the set to Goodwill about a month ago and somehow missed that one volume.
Today, we move on to the next quadrant of the room. We may find the entrance to a new world, Jimmy Hoffa, or the holy grail. You never can tell.
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