The Things we’ve handed down or the crap other people have to deal with…
The days after my mother’s death are kind of hazy – even though we knew it was coming it didn’t make it any easier. Plus we are Irish and as my cousin Meg once said “My family is GREAT at funerals” It was a proper Irish wake for our sweet Mom. (I’m pretty sure it was required)
Anyway… during one of the days my siblings and I began the search for the “important paperwork”. We knew that she kept a fire safe box under the bed so we started there. What we didn’t expect was the second box we found. It was a battered locked metal box – we were hooked. My brother Mike made it his personal mission to get inside the box. The rest of us (clearly more mature) started on the box with “important papers”. Of course that was soon abandoned as we watched how hard Mike was working to get into the mystery box. We all offered helpful suggestions and looked around for ways to help. Someone found a bunch of old keys – she had a lot of them. None of the keys worked. Mike continued at it – it probably took the better part of an hour. Screwdrivers, hammers, my father’s long unused ancient tools you name it we tried it. We all ended up sitting on our mother’s bed like 8yr olds, caught up in the mystery. Important papers completely forgotten and tossed to the side. Mike kept at it – we were too far into this – failure was not an option. What could possibly be in the box… the good jewelry, the stock certificates, maybe the rare coins, the precious gemstones (we weren’t aware that any of these things actually existed, you understand). The moment finally came and Mike broke through and we could OPEN.THE.BOX!! Like any good treasure hunters we took a deep fortifying breath and slowly opened the lid. What we found inside was…. about a dozen golf pencils. Yep that’s right we spent an hour opening an old broken box only to find tiny pencils. We laughed until we cried. Over the next few days all any of us had to do was bring up golf pencils and it would set us off again.
My niece reminded me of the story a few nights ago and ever since then I have been thinking about all of weird crap that all of us keep around without even realizing it. My mom had probably long since forgotten about the box under her bed. Maybe she never even know what was in it. She was a bit of a collector of stuff though. She had a ton of cookbooks but hardly ever cooked! We found dozens of keys that went to nothing. I remember once that she sheepishly admitted to me that she kept several old t-shirts in case she ever needed to paint. To my knowledge my mother never painted a single thing, oddly she also had a lot of napkin rings. By far though what found over and over and over again in her house were scissors. In every drawer, box and shelf it seemed we found scissors. We just started putting them on the kitchen counter, dozens of them. Big, small, old, new you name it we found it. I can not possibly imagine what one person would need with so many scissors. I think in the end we found over 30 pairs. My cousin’s wife sometimes get messages from beyond and one night I asked her why there were so many scissors and she responded almost immediately that it was because they never stayed sharp enough – like it was so obvious.
My sister and I each took a couple of our favorite scissors home and I smile every time I see one. I can’t imagine what it will be that my kids find and hopefully crack up over someday. It just made me think – we can’t be the only ones.
What is the stuff that your relatives left for you to find??? I would love to hear the oddball things that everyone else has found…..