Friday, January 22, 2010
It Pays To Clean House!
How many are like me and would rather be doing genealogy than cleaning house? Who cares if the wash gets done, the dishes get done or the toilet gets cleaned? My ancestors are waiting. The older I get, my priorities have changed in that I try to spend more time doing what I want to do. Occasionally though I have to bite the bullet and go after the "dust bunnies" when they get so deep that I have to walk around them or company is coming. Such was the case in December past. While YGGG#1 was off in Virginia visiting her son and having fun, I was slaving away in my basement and cleaning out one of our spare bedrooms for company which was coming for the holidays.
That cleaning job was one that had needed to be done for nearly 10 years (can you imagine that--10 years of junk and "bunnies" taking up residence?) Since the passing of my parents and the subsequent sale of their home and property, I have had nearly 30 boxes of stuff stored in that bedroom along with assorted junk and left overs from when my boys still lived at home. When Mom and Dad passed away there were just things I could not go through due to time and some I just didn't want to go through and make decisions on at that time. My brothers helped, took what they wanted and the rest was left to me to deal with. I dealt with it by stuffing it all in my spare room! Believe it or not, the room was piled to the ceiling. YGGG#1 will attest, she couldn't even stay in that room when she came to visit and was relegated to the upstairs family room.
For that nearly 10 years, I had lived under the misconception that all the important , relevant, keepsakes and momentos had already been found, sorted and distributed within the family. BOY, was I wrong!!!!! What treasures I found living with all those huge "dust bunnies". I found enough old photos, cabinet cards and documents to fill two boxes the size of orange shipping boxes and that isn't all. Many pictures from my Coleman family were in boxes that Dad had stored and I had never seen those pictures before. My grandparents large, nicely framed 1905 wedding parchment and a large framed 16 x 20 photo of Grandma Moore when she was only about 15 years old. How does one miss things so large? Surely those "bunnies" are to blame.
Mom had kept greeting cards from the early years of her marriage. Beautiful little cards with notes, many are nearly 75 years old and best of all--the original handwriting and name signatures on them from so many of my early ancestors. Dad had also stored a large box of my mother's grade school papers and art work. These will supply a treasure trove of wonderful scrap booking momentos for my children and grandchildren. Mom's 1934 high school graduation dress and her baby bonnet were two more treasures and my Dad was a volunteer fireman for years and I unearthed his fireman's belt buckle and convention badges. Flower show ribbons and cards from all the years that Mom entered and judged shows. Of course the pictures that rounded out this great spare bedroom discovery were an awesome discovery.
You will surely understand why the moral of this story is the old cliche: Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today! Just imagine what you might find in that old room or even in just that one box that may be lurking in a corner and slyly being hidden by your resident "dust bunnies".
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