Mud Balls in the Basement

Bryan shared this with me this morning. I have a tendency to collect in a similar way – scraps of paper, ticket stubs, random colored wrist bands, etc. Since the fire I think it’s gotten worse. We lost a lot of family photos and memories. Many of the losses I don’t think have even been accounted for yet (they may never be). Reading this makes me want to start scrapbooking or art journaling again right now. It’s hard to realize that it’s the essence of a family or a person or a relationship, even just a moment in time, that you’re really trying to hold on to when you save that scrap of paper. The longer they sit – the further away that essence and story becomes if it can’t be captured in some manner. - catherine whittier


I can’t seem to let go. It’s not so much the practical things. It’s the words scrawled on little slips of paper. It’s the cement-hard mud balls that were rolled up by tiny hands. It’s the heartfelt message on a Christmas tag. It’s the smooth rock from a happy shore.

Bereft of so many of my own childhood memories, I have always clung to little things. I’m so obsessed with not losing something meaningful that I have been known to dig through my children’s trash as they purge their bedrooms. “WHAT!! You can’t throw that away,” I gasp, as I snatch it and add it to my pile.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not real big on ticket stubs or figurines.
It’s the more important things — like the little construction paper leaves we cut out at Thanksgiving time. Each of us would take one out of the basket, which sat in the center of the table, and write on it what we…

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