Cleaning out the house my parents called home for almost four decades feels a bit like a long road trip to visit all of my relatives, my own personal history and the inner recesses of the mind and heart of the two people who gave me life.
There have been more than a few tears along the way.
Also, a few surprises!
Here's one that combines amusement and romance.
I've found hundreds of "love notes" scribbled on paper dinner napkins, mainly from my dad to my mom, stashed in drawers all over their house. Mom returned the favor a few times herself, leaving dad notes in his desk. The notes were written and left for the other, but few seem to have been discarded. Touching, sweet stuff. No surprise they were married over 68 years!
I've also found lots of stuff that relates to me, their only child. Some of it surprising.
I found these toy trucks hidden away in a large plastic container out in their garage. When I discovered them, I was instantly transported back to the magic period between age 6 and about age 10. There is no way to know the number of hours I spent playing with these trucks.
I remember loading them down with toy soldiers and reenacting the fiercest battles of World War II! The red truck had been converted to a Nazi troop transport. The U. S. Army green, of course, carried all American troops.
I remember my best buddy, Eddie Wilson, and I dug a "fox hole" in the vacant lot beside our house. There we fought so many battles, the trucks and our toy soliders always present. My dad, who was beyond meticulous about his yard, never objected to our exploits or to our digging projects.
Rain or shine, I played with these trucks.
Recently, I brought the trucks home to share with my grandchildren.
When Wyatt first saw them, he stopped everything to explore their possibilities. To my delight, he loves the trucks and during a recent visit, we played with them on the living room floor. I have a hunch that Owen will feel the same. Gracie found them curious. She laughed watching us play.
Taking care of my memories and, hopefully, creating more.
Life has a way of coming full circle.