Sunday, April 22, 2007

when it rains...

you discover what matters most.

The recent Nor'easter caused a flood in our basement. Nine inches deep of water everywhere... We had never totally unpacked from moving here almost five years ago, so there were many too many boxes, and much too much in harm's way.

Lots of things are headed to the dump, but many are still ok. And it's been a nostalgic trip through our history - that Mark Knopfler song "This is Us" keeps running through my head.

The value of things lost is not at all measured in monetary terms. Some college books are ok, others are not. I found I felt little nostalgia over my graduate school texts, which are probably far more valuable than my undergraduate texts. But I didn't enjoy BU like I did Canisius, it simply reflects the value I place on the memories.

Ironically my graduate diploma is fine; my bachelor's is irreparably damaged. I would not have bothered replacing my graduate diploma; I will be contacting Canisius to find out if it's possible to get a replacement....

In a very wet volume of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Letters to His Daughter is a priceless letter my mother's college roommate on my 14th birthday, the first birthday I had after my dad died. The book may need to be replaced (the jury is still out), but the letter will be ok, and it will be carefully placed back in the book (or its replacement) when it can. The book *can* be replaced, the letter cannot.

Baby pictures, some picture albums, genealogical research, fortunately much of that is ok. Toys, some books, some older electronics, are destroyed, indeed some pictures, are destroyed, too.

It's also fun to tease my husband about his carefully attempting to rescue letters from some of my old friends, but not the ones from an old boyfriend :-)

It's a horrible amount of work to clean all this up. But revisiting our past has been a gift, too. It slows the task down to read the old letter, or to look carefully at the picture of my grandmother... But it offers spring cleaning of the soul in return.

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