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» Saturday, August 06, 2005One If By Bag and Two If By Box
We should have taken the bed apart and put the mattress and spring on the floor a long time ago! Oh, the mattress is still too thin and soft, but now we have the floor as a backing and our "bed" no longer creaks and groans each time one of us moves.
Despite being more comfortable and blessedly cool, I couldn't sleep (Mr. Bladder is an overachiever these days) and by nine James and I were down in the basement. Since Big Sisters wants the clothing and other donations in waterproof bags (they pick them up from in front of your house in the early morning), I put James to work transferring Mom's clothes and the quantitites of blankets, spreads, and curtains into garbage bags. We bought labels and a Sharpie yesterday and labeled what was in the bags. Unlabeled bags are trash and I think we generated at least eight more today. (This joins the eleven on the porch. I wish they picked up the garbage more than once a week!)
While James was doing that, I went through my old notebooks with all my stories in them. The "magazines" I used to do monthly I just trashed (these were really short stories with things like TV previews and drawings between them). The alternative was sitting there ripping the good stories out and it wasn't worth my time. I did keep the longer stories in the composition books and mini notebooks.
Also packed up my diaries from 1968 to 1982 (1973 was missing, which I don't understand), my old TV Guidesto show you my mentality these days, I laid greedy eyes on the old Lassie covers and articles and a My World and Welcome to It cover and chortled "More stuff for my website!", the first sixty issues of Starlog (I have a genuine number one, not the reprint they did many years afterwards; I remember buying one for me and one for Sherrye), and all the gum cards: Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Star Trek: the Motion Picture and even some M*A*S*H ones.
I also put all the "textiles" back in the steamer trunk; what better place to store them? The trunk can just be moved with all the other stuff.
One of the things I found downstairs was something my mom saved: it was an Easter page from the Providence Journal from 1961. I turned it over and was regaled by a Grants ad of "Easter values for the family."
The Easter specials in 1961 included seamless (!!!) nylons for 69 cents a pair (heck, my first pair of nylons in 1968 had seams in them), boys' and girls' Easter shoes at $3.99/pair, schoolgirls' "spring toppers" (a light jacket) for $4.80, boys' felt hats (remember when boys dressed up for Easter in miniature hats like Dad's?) for $1.48, children's straw hats for $1.48, boys' sport coats for $5.80, women's Easter blouses for $2.99, women's Easter hats from $1 to $2.49, little boys' 2-piece sport suit for $3.90, Easter dresses for girls at $2.21. Next to the Grants ad was a smaller one for "The Falstaff, Restaurant -- Cocktail Lounge." Easter Family Dinners were from $2.50, with special prices for children.
The articles on that page included "High-Flying Pilot Tells of Mysterious Buffeting," and was about pilot Joe Walker taking the X-15 to a "new unofficial world altitude record" of 31.25 miles.
(Another thing we found downstairs was an old Table Talk pie plate: this was not only so old that the pie plate was a thick aluminum, but the price on it was 5 cents! It says "New England Table Talk, Flaky Crust Pie." In the magazines people are always mounting these on their walls "as is." I think we shall, too.)
I thought I would never see the day when the cellar was warmer than the attic, but eventually we had to decamp to the attic because downstairs was so stuffy. Upstairs we had the fan running and the windows open and for a while there was a breeze, so it wasn't too bad. James bagged up more clothes, housewares, and handbags for the Big Sisters and I sorted through more of my stuff. Tossed out a lot of stuffed animals and other geegaws that had once been on my bureaus; Mom had wrapped them, but they still had gotten dirty. i did keep my Breyer horses and all my collie statues, and my articulated Lassie action figure.
I don't consider tossing or donating most of this stuff as tossing memories. I've never been much attached to things like clothes or curtains. I did shrug when I put the chickadee spread and curtains into the donation bag, and sighed when I came upon the blue dress mom wore to our wedding. I have her wedding dress, but the veil was a dead loss, and the cake topper and corsage were too dirty to bother with. Most of my memories are hitched to those photos downstairs, the old black and white ones which I loved to pour over as a kid, and the box we found upstairs with all the souvenier pamphlets, postcards, and brochures from our vacations. Everything coming out of those bags was a memory: the paper placemat from some place in Nebraska, the folders for Bryce Canyon and San Simeon and Universal Studios, the Disneyland memory book, etc. I almost cried when I found the bag from the 1964 New York World's Fair: Dad wouldn't spend the money on the then fifty cent Fair guidebook (I bought one for $30 the year we went back to the fairgrounds with Dana and the rest of the Remember WENN gang), but gladly shelled out a dollar for the special book for his favorite ride at the Fair: It's a Small World.
We finally quit a little before two when it was getting stuffy up there despite fan and windows. We showered the grime off and are going to rest and eat and then head downcity for the Waterfire tonight. If nothing else, we can hang around at the Providence Place Mall in Borders...