**** NOTICE: This blog post contains pictures of my garage. We had to move quicker than we wanted when we came to this house. And I refuse to allow this junk in my house before it has been gone through and sorted. Therefor, said garage looks somewhat like the images on the opening credits of Sanford & Son (what? Don't know it? Go google it now ... go on, I'll wait ... OK, we good now? M'kay...). Thusly, I BEG of you not to judge. Also note that I am the world's MOST unorganized person, so said garage is highly likely to remain in similar disarray for some time to come. Thank you and good night!****
It's raining here today.
So, when we opened up the front door to head to the bus stop this morning and found this...
... I knew it was time to take drastic measures.
See, the bus stop is on the side of the house of which the only windows looking out are on the second floor. The garage, which sticks out further than the front windows, blocks the view of the bus stop as well. You can kinda see it, but only enough to know when the bus is actually there. And, since there are only 4 kids - including mine - that get on the bus at this stop, there really is not a lot of time to play around.
So, we did the unthinkable.
We opened the garage for public viewing.
We went into the
Here is what we found...
The tricycle - Sophie was THRILLED and spent the time riding it back and forth in the 3.7ft of room allotted for her enjoyment!! (yeah ... easy to please that one...)
A path way to the outside world created by two ladders strategically placed to hold back the
Boxes of tax returns and other important documents that my husband refuses to get rid of. (I will be thankful one day, I know I will, but right now? Dude. I just wanna get to the oxygen awaiting me on the other side!!)
Enough extension cord to trail through and power the entire neighborhood.
My man's power tools that have been buried in multiple garages, sitting unused, for 3.5 sad years. He cannot wait to get to them again!!! I can't wait either, but mostly because that will mean I can park a car in the garage...
The lawn mower - dirty and smelling of fresh cut grass ... I LOVE that smell!!!
The broken snow blower we inherited from the precious owners of the LAST house we bought.
**note to self - get him to fix this dern thing before the snow flies ... now that we have an actual driveway and sidewalk to clear
And that is when I saw it ...
The treasure box I didn't even know I was looking for.
There was no "X" to mark the spot. Just a wee bit of sunshine, bursting through the clouds, somehow finding it's way to and lighting up that corner of the
pit of despair garage.
A box marked "Sentimental".
I remember the day my mommy and I created the box. I placed a precious few items inside and, dismayed, looked at her and asked if such a box was really necessary for so few items. And I remember that she took my hand and promised "Honey, someday this box will not be nearly big enough".
Sweet mercy that woman is wise.
Once the bus had come and gone, I grabbed my treasure box and ran inside to see what it held for me. I placed it gingerly on the table and slowly opened the lid...
Inside I found a treasure indeed ... even if it IS only a treasure in my eyes....
I found the prayer journal I started when we were engaged. It was a gift given to me by the sweet girls that I led in Bible study from the youth group at church. They were SO excited that I had finally found my Prince Charming that, when I told them we were engaged, three of them jumped up, ran to a rack of journals in the corner of the coffee shop where we met, grabbed the book that they had already picked out and bought it for me on the spot.
One of those sweet girls, Angie, has since gone on to Heaven. I cannot explain the love that I have for that child. She was one of my life's greatest treasures. I sit here, even now, in tears for the pain of missing her the way I do. Oh, sweet Jesus, come quickly!
I started the journal on January 1, 2003, thanking Him for the life He was giving me with this amazing man He had brought my way.
The journal held all kinds of goodies collected while planning our wedding.
*The forms used to plan the ceremony and the covenant we made in our pre-marital counseling - which we also used for our wedding vows.
*A letter from our pastor signifying that we understood the sanctity of the vows that we were to take so that we could get a Covenant License rather than a simple marriage license, a letter from my mommy apologizing for taking so long in getting tuxedo measurements to me for my nephew Ty and, of course, his measurements.
*A photocopied picture of my dress, with the business card of the store where we found it attached, and the book in which Paula and I found the bridesmaid dresses that we liked.
Paula has also since gone on the Heaven ... oh the world lost a sweet, sweet soul that day ... and I lost a best friend.
Never been more Homesick than now ...
*A battered and torn kleenex box filled with my Grandma Lois's gloves. Gloves that still carry her sweet scent. Gloves that I wore on my wedding day.
*One of those box thingies, disguised as a book, that my Grandma held some of HER treasures in. Inside I found her 2ND place ribbon in Plane Geometry from the Iowa Academic Meet in 1929, a necklace, a book mark and a tiny book about grandmothers that I had given her many moons ago.
*Costume jewelry from both my Grandma Lois and my Grandma Myrtle.
(Yes, her name was Myrtle. And I ADORED her. I wanted to name a child after her in a big way. How lucky am I that her middle name was Grace? Whew ... not sure Hattie Myrtle would have had the same charm...)
(Also, how fun is it that Lois Straight had brooches in her initials ... brooches that I can someday pass down to my sweet Sophie Lee?)
*A toy tin bear ... I remember that he used to hold a book and my grandma used to wind him up and he did something, but I can't remember what. And now he does nothing but stand there, reminding me of my childhood vacations to Grandma's house. I can almost smell the peanut butter Rice Krispy treats now.
*A journal that my Grandpa Lee kept in 1964 of various work jobs that he did for Public Services in Denver.
And, perhaps, the greatest treasure of all: a letter that my Grandpa wrote to my Grandma - and mailed to her hospital room - the day after she had given birth to my mommy.
My Dear Lois and Daughter,
Well Lois how are you feeling this morning? I hope fine.
I found Marvin and Nellie O.K.
He slept just fine last night and would not sleep with me. He got up when I did and sure got Nellie up in a hurry.
Nellie said to tell you she was sure happy for you.
Lois you have no idea how happy and light hearted I feel now since it's over and we have a little girl. Just think she'll be just another little Lois.
Marvin gets to talking about Helen Jean and acts like Marvel.
Lots of love, Lee and Marvin
(on the back)
Marvin is sending a
letter Valentine to his little sister
*Marvin is my mommy's big brother
*Nellie was, I suppose, who ever was helping my Grandpa with my uncle while Grandma was away.
*Marvel was the daughter of some friends of my grandparents. Not quite sure what he meant when he said Uncle Marvin was acting like her ... hmmmm.
*My Grandma had lost a child between my Uncle Marvin and my Mommy, so she had gone to a hospital in a nearby town to ensure a safe delivery of this child. The envelope was addressed with her name, the hospital name and the town - no address. And the stamp cost 3 cents. Such a simple time.
And now, as I sit here looking at a VERY full box marked "Sentimental", and think of all the other boxes containing treasures scattered about this house, I realize that my Mommy was right.
This box was NOT nearly enough to hold it all.
But my heart IS enough.
And IT? Well, it is full.
Because, you see, treasures are not always buried on far away beaches.
Sometimes they are found buried in over stuffed, embarrassingly cluttered, dark & dirty garages, to be found on rainy days.
But, a treasure is a treasure, no matter where it's found.
And though I do cherish these items, it is in the sentiments and stories and memories behind each one that the TRUE treasures are found and kept.
And today my heart is full of these.