(You better believe this guy is making the pilgrimage back to California with us. Don't mess with the warty hand, yo.)
In addition to eating ice cream (Stow is now dense with various ice cream and custard stands) and getting ejected from a raft into river rapids, I've also been spending considerable time in my parents' basement. Through no fault of their own, it is packed with the paraphernalia of three girls- our stuffed animals, halloween costumes, Latin notebooks (why did I even bother making one- all I had to do was change the dates on Marie's or Elizabeth's!), etc. I've unearthed the newspaper article from when I was crowned Princess of the Marti Gras, a handful of buttons bearing my sweaty, soccer-ball-wielding visage, my Brownie beanie and sash, and my life-sized Barbie head (which is supposed to be a palette for learning the art of makeup application, but now with my cynical seminarian's sense of humor, it strikes me as a great prop for a dramatic interpretation of John the Baptist's demise). I've gone through countless boxes with the romantic notion that I could conceivably whittle my memorabilia into one or two neat boxes. It isn't going so well. Mama has coached me that if something has my name on it, it's worth keeping. That works relatively well for the various awards- no to the spelling bee trophies that don't say my name, yes to the Lenox Homecoming placard that proudly commemorates that as a twelve year old, I had attended thirteen of the town reunions. But I can't save all those Latin notebooks (I wonder how they'd fare on ebay...) and sheaves of pencil-drawn faces. And as much as my Pa and Ma would love to play host to my aging childhood stuff, the delight of rediscovering my M.U.S.C.L.E. Men and Berenstain Bears Goin' Fishin' puzzle doesn't negate the fact that said stuff is currently an inviting playground for mice. So the trash bags and garage sale piles continue to mutliply, but so do the memories.
Posted by Katherine Willis Pershey