On a weekend road trip, far away from home, you stumble upon a garage sale in a neighborhood you’re passing through. Astonished, you find an object among the belongings for sale that you recognize. Tell us about it.
Photographers, share an image that says MEMORY.
I should not have gone off the meds. I don’t know what set me off, why, all of a sudden it’s happening again. I hadn’t stopped at a yard sale in months.
Where am I going to put all this stuff? I could rent a small storage unit on my way home. But how to explain the money I took out of savings to buy it all? He’s going to find out eventually. I might as well fess up right away.
I can imagine his reaction. We’re retired you know, we can’t afford to be spending money on this crap! Can’t you see you’ve got a problem? You’re a hoarder!
But really, six-hundred was a good deal, for everything at the sale. The seller was kind enough to help me load it all in the mini-van. What didn’t fit inside, we tied to the top.
He won’t believe me when I tell him I recognized everything at that yard sale! Everything! It was weird. Not only did I find Mother’s entire collection of ceramic cats but the very shelf they sat on! I know they’re Mother’s cats by the chip on the tabby’s paw. I found her state plates too, all fifty of them, the date penned on the back in Mother’s hand. I got the carved ivory Chinese woman, with one hand missing, just as I remembered her, and the little round music box that plays Stardust, that used to sit on Grandma’s dresser.
There’s stuff for him too; Dad’s tackle box and the in-laid wood chessboard he made. The green naughahyde swivel-rocker is in bad shape, but we could put it on the porch, until I get around to re-upholstering it.
I found my baby shoes and my sister’s baby shoes, and Nancy, my old dolly. My little blue stroller was there, my rusted, red trike, even the old playpen with my toothmarks on the top rail. I remember pinching my hand in it’s wooden floorboards. I wouldn’t dream of putting a kid in there, but it would be perfect for a puppy, if we ever get a puppy.
He won’t understand. He’s not a bit sentimental. He’ll tell me I’m frikken nuts. He thinks I just imagine these things came from my childhood, that I make stories up in order to justify the purchase.
But I’m telling you, I know these things. They speak to me. I remember them like old friends. I know their history. If I leave them behind, they lose provenance. If I leave them behind, I lose part of my childhood.