Sunday, April 8, 2012

Unopened Boxes

Why, when we move from one house to another, do we find ourselves with those few unopened boxes of worthy belongings?  The items seemed so worthy that, instead of tossing them or donating them to Goodwill, we packed them up to be used or displayed in the new house.  Yet, there they sit, in the garage...unopened, or perhaps looked through once and decided, "oh, those can wait for another time."  And there they sit.   And, guess what, you find those same boxes when you move again! 

There are containers I call "legacy boxes"---boxes filled with family history or items you placed there for safe keeping for future generations.  Little time capsules representing your history as you progress through life showing your achievements, accolades and documentation.  Some may see these as unnecessary Narcissistic collections, but I firmly believe that if these boxes weren't kept, family histories would be lost.  In my study of generational history I found there was a time period of nearly 100 years of silence.  Very few documents were kept between 1730 and 1830.  Why did my family stay in Iowa for so long?  Not until there was westward family movement did history show itself again and the family documentation was reinstated.    Do you keep those items you believe are important family history? Is it necessary to document for future generations?   That's a personal issue.

I feel a need to keep the pottery vase from 1838 given to a great-great-great Aunt by a great-great-great uncle on the birth of their twins.  That historical piece has lasted 174 years in the family.  Am I the one to toss it as junk when I move to my next house?  Or, do I give it to my daughter or brothers to keep the legacy alive?   I ask the same of those close to me to consider their own legacy and keep those items of personal history for future generations to cherish and further the documentation of the family.  What's a few cardboard boxes?


Oh please, it's not family heirlooms that are tucked away in the final remaining boxes that need to be put away--it's old cards, CDs with half a cover, address books with old phone numbers, and empty photo frames.  Things I MEANT to do, and things I THINK I will do in the near future. 

Come on, of COURSE you keep family pieces.  It's the personal, somewhat new junk that is hard to figure out what to do with that still need to be unpacked.




Eel River Ernie said...

A good friend of mine is taking the time to attach small cardboard tags with a brief history and significance of certain items of family historical value that he has in his possesion. I have many such items such as the 1850 era almalgamating spoon and a Chinese Tong sword that we found at our ranch in Weaverville and I intend to get a "round tooit" one of these days. But, having said that I also have the ticket stubs from Spring baseball my son and I attended together 6 years ago, a couple of beat up fishing lures that have teeth marks, over 100 baseball style hats that advertise or proclaim everything from the "Worlds Greatest Grandad" to "Leonardo's Shavings." Once I sell my drift boat I will have room in my garage for more in case you're interested Spence.

Kate said...

I emptied four boxes tonight...3/4 of the content went on several table tops...does that count?

Fred Mangels said...

I can't help but wonder if much of that stuff should be either thrown, or given, away?

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