Cleaning the Basement – Part II

February 2 – Two days later, I had finished sorting through that room, but I had taken some of the boxes out into the next room since I could hardly find my way through all of the tins and boxes without carting them out of the area. So now it was time to sort the boxes sitting near the freezer, some with aprons Mom had made for me before she died back in 1984. Others contained books and big photograph albums (fortunately they were still empty), shells of all kinds, and starfish.

170202_puzzle

[ Old puzzle ]

Also found a wonderful old jigsaw puzzle of people and places of years and years ago. I have tried and tried to fix up the puzzle, but too much of it had fallen off when the waters washed over it. Right now it’s lying down on the freezer where it has been for days. Now and again I have used some Elmer’s glue to fill in the open space, and then stick the missing piece in. Unfortunately, because of the water, the picture on the puzzle piece had washed off, leaving just the cardboard behind. Oh, well, I did get a lot of it back together.

On the third day, I decided to skip cleaning the freezer room and move on into the last, the one I had been saving till the last since I could hardly move around through the various boxes and bits of furniture in it. Ever since the Christmas season, nothing had been put back in place.

Scattered all over one area were a boxes full of Christmas gift bags, some huge, big enough to hold an entire family’s gifts! I wondered why I had anything like that when I happened to remember that several years ago just after Christmas, one of our local stores was getting rid of Christmas items so that they could stock up on the next holiday items for Valentine’s Day. I can’t remember that I bought anything for the first couple weeks of the sale, but towards the end, when all of the dollar items were marked down to a quarter and then a dime! Well, how could I resist that good deal?

170203_ornaments

[ 10 for a dollar! ]

I can still see the faces of the folks standing in line behind me waiting to be checked out! I had bought so much that they just knew they would be waiting in line for another hour. Several times I apologized, but I could hear little words of disgust, as those people showed just how they felt; some shook their heads in disbelief because I was buying “all that junk!” Others checked their watches about every minute. Finally, when I couldn’t take it any longer, I decided to look straight ahead and pretend those customers weren’t there behind me.

At last, another of the clerks moved behind a second counter, and that line disappeared faster than you could believe. By the time all of the other buyers had left the store, I was still standing in front of the first clerk, hoping her work would soon come to an end. I have always wondered why those folks couldn’t speed up the process, by counting in their head. If the item costs a dime, and there are 10 of them, why not ring up a dollar? Or 5 for 50 cents? I guess it has to do with proof of the buying on that long slip of paper! Maybe that’s why I would never make a good clerk. I couldn’t take that slow process.

Anyway, I finally had all of the purchases piled up in a shopping cart to take out to the car. And now, here, several years later, I was still sorting through some of the cheap stuff I bought that day. Guess I’ll have to give most of it to our granddaughters who trim up their trees and decorate all through their houses every year, just as we USED to do!

170202_puzzle-2Some of our decorations go all the way back to the days of our kids’ childhood, and a couple even back to some birds my mother had sewed up. I plan to keep those decorations here even though I seldom go through the boxes in which they sit. Mom’s creations were shaped just like birds we knew: robins, blue jays, parrots, and others. I can still see the wings on those birds. They weren’t made of cloth. For each bird, Mom folded some shiny paper into a fan shape, then pinned it to the birds that then had a wing on each side, just as real birds do!

Mom surely didn’t have time to work on such projects during the day time, so she did all of her planning and sewing after we had gone to bed for the night! We even have the same glittering aluminum tree we decorated so many years ago. A box of colorful porcelain dwarfs representing countries all around the world and another of the manger scene are interesting to check out now and again.

So here I am again, just letting my mind wander a bit on the joys of having family nearby and how good it was just to sit and remember. (more tomorrow…) – CHRIS

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