Man and I have spent the last week or so digging out. (See The Aftermath, a Dream, or Maybe a Nightmare). It is bitter sweet, bringing laughter, ahhhhhhhh moments and of course a few tears.
She sure saved everything, some of the discoveries have been amazing, like some 9 cent airmail stamps found tucked into a ribbon wrapped collection of cards and other trivia from her wedding. There were several groups of wedding memorabilia, shower gift cards, wedding gift cards, wedding congratulation cards and some surprises that I will share with you in future posts.
She had tax forms back to at least 1971. Most of these have now been shredded. Cancelled checks from 1979 have been found, again, most have been shredded. We found a check stub for every pension check she received between 1979 to well past 2000. It is heartbreaking to have to make these kinds of decisions, but, lets be honest here, Man and I cannot keep EVERYTHING.
As a side note, she and Man’s father smoked in that house for years, and most everything paper or fabric has a distinct smell of smoke and age, to us, this is not a pleasant smell. The smell is permeating our home now, so, lots of this must go via the shredding and trash cans. All those lovely afghans, most never used, are being washed to remove the odors.
I have set some parameters of toss vs save. Toss, old envelopes, even the ones the wedding cards were in, that eliminates a lot of mass and smell. I did save a few, perhaps one with some handwriting or that was different and unusual.
Save, photos of family members. Toss, photos of friends of Man’s parents, many of whom we cannot identify. Man did want to save the envelope containing photos of her old boyfriends. I may scan them at some point and put them on the blog, maybe some of their descendants will find them and claim them.
Cards and letters, Man and I review/read them, one by one. Basic save parameters, save the family ones, toss the others. Envelopes from cards, tossed. Envelopes from letters saved - - - so far - - - we will review and may consider trashing those at a later point, but with time and places indicated in the postmarks, we may save those. The letters have been a blast to review and read. Some of those may eventually find their way to this blog, or at least parts of some of them.
Our house looks like a tornado ripped through the parlor and tossed stuff in many other rooms, front room and the kitchen have mini piles everywhere. I have filled at least 6 large notebooks with the “saved” photos and documents, and there are uncounted boxes left in the parlor to deal with.
Man and I would like to thank you all again for your very kind messages and notes and support. We sent out thank you cards, but, many messages came via email, this blog, Facebook and the Montana Owners Club online forum. Many of our MOC friends are fulltimers and to send you thank you cards, would be difficult. So, I came up with an “out-of-the-box” solution which I hope you will feel is creative and NOT lazy or bad manners. So, to all of you who did not receive a thank you card, please accept this in the manner in which it is offered, humbly, and thankfully.
*And, now, I return to cleaning of the aftermath. I am starting to ask, does it ever end?? Will I ever finish digging out??
Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence