As full-timers we often get the questions: “Do you have a home base.” and “Do you have stuff in a storage unit somewhere?” Our answer to both is ‘No’. However, I guess that isn’t technically true. We do have some things stored at both of our son’s homes.
At Zack’s we have a box or two of Mike’s Army stuff that he wasn’t ready to part with and thought that Zack might be able use it or want it some day.
At Dan’s we have 6 footlockers and a few boxes containing miscellaneous stuff neither of us were ready to part with.
Things like high school year books, old photo albums, ceramic dishes that I made, glassware that belonged to our grandparents, old family bibles, an afghan my grandma made, a candy, a painting Mike’s mom painted, a picture my mom embroidered for me, Brewers shirts that our favorite players autographed for us the year that Zack worked for the Brewers….that kind of stuff.
I’d forgotten all that was in those footlockers. Today I got a reminder of what all is in there as Michael wanted to go through the footlockers and condense as much as he was able and get rid of anything that we decided was ‘get ridable’.
I came across my childhood teddy bear, who has seen much better days but you can just look at him and see the love that was bestowed upon him.
The two old family bibles have been with me since before Michael and I married. One belonged to my mom’s mom, who we all called Gram. It was given to her by her mother and oldest sister, Stevie, on her 37th birthday in 1939 making it 75 years old.
The second bible was given to my Pappy when he was 17 years old in 1916, making it 98 years old! Pappy was my dad’s stepfather and the
only grandfather I really ever knew. He was always so sweet. He lived in a nursing home in Milwaukee for several years before passing away in 1980. My dad and I made weekly visits for a long time.
Thankfully, both bibles have inscriptions in them which provides the information about who gifted them to who and when.
Included in those footlockers is a couple of small books that contain poems written by my mom back in the late 70s, early 80s. One of my mom’s passions was writing. She joined a literary group when she and my stepdad moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas and they published a couple of books…I have 2 copies of each book that I will eventually pass on to my boys. She has 8 poems in the two books and today I decided to type up each poem on a Word document so that I would always have her words with me. One of my favorite poems that she wrote is below:
Death of a King
He stood on the ridge with his head held high
He scanned every bush, then the darkening sky.
His muscles aquiver, he paused, ready to flee;
Most important to him was just staying free.
The bullet was straight, wound filled with gore;
Bright crimson spread over the coat that he wore.
He staggered, and then in a last ditch command
Made his legs move to his instinctive demand.
Twenty feet did he run, until under the pine,
He knew this was the place. This was the time.
He sank to his knees, his antlers bent low
And slowly his body sank into the snow.
Then on the scene, came the man dress in red.
‘I got him! I got him!’ was all that he said.
No compassion expressed, no sorrow was felt
Just the thrill of the hunt, the worth of the pelt.
Within those books I found 2 letters that my mom had written back in January 1990. One was written to me…the other to Michael. He was in Germany for a month on a special mission. She wasn’t quite sure what to write so most of the letter is nonsense (her words, not mine). Her creative mind made for a very interesting letter. A few excerpts:
“Not real sure we are sane as of today, but trying hard to be so. My head is face the wall behind me, Al’s eyes are crossed, his teeth keep falling out. Oh oh, those men in white are at the door.”
“Now that I am back to normal I want to tell you, as I feel that you will understand this. My two daughters and my husband are trying to poison me!! They want all of my money. Which you know is a considerable amount!”
My mom passed away in April 1993. I was just 27 years old. My sons just 4 and 6. I often think of how much she has missed. She would be so proud of my boys and the men that they have become. I don’t have much to remember her by anymore…but I do have her writings for which I will be forever grateful.