Old trophies, stuffed animals share memories

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, January 29, 2012

I’ve started doing a little spring cleaninga few months early.

    The weather has been more spring-like than winter, so why not?

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    I have subscribed to the “less is more” theory and I’m putting itto task. Out with the really old stuff, unusable stuff and stuff Iam really not going to use anymore.

    So far, I have only run across one obstacle while putting my newtheory to work – my daughter.

    Even though she’s married and now has her own apartment, sheinsists on hanging on to a lot of her childhood things at my house.And when I say things … I mean literally totes and totes ofstuffed animals. I bet we have at least 10 totes full of furrythings stored in our shed – all in pristine condition.

    She doesn’t want to let them go. I asked if I could throw them outor donate them to charity or Goodwill? She said no. I asked, “Whatare you going to do with them.” Her answer consisted of shruggedshoulders and a questionable look on her face. She didn’t know.

    I haven’t pushed the issue too much. I have a little room in thestorage building for her childhood things. I understand, it’s hardto give up some things.

    Why is it so hard to let go of the belongings of our youth? Is itthe memories attached to those items or is it the fact that if wethrow something away, the memory may go, too?

    I still have a few items that I’ve kept from my youth. There aremany more items I wished I’d kept and many items that were left atmy mom’s that somehow went missing years ago. That happens when youhave a younger sister and brother.

    Probably the things that I miss the most are a few token trophiesthat I received for softball, gymnastics, volleyball and skatingwhen I was a youngster. I still have a few ribbons from gymnasticsand a plaque from volleyball. Why I still have those things and notthe others, I don’t know.

    All of those items represented accomplishments that I was veryproud of as a youngster, and they all had wonderful memoriesattached.

    The skating trophy was won at the old roller-skating rink here inBrookhaven when I was 11 or 12.

    Parts of that night’s memory are still somewhat vivid while partsof it are a bit murky.

    What I do remember is that the rink was having an all-night skatingmarathon, and the person who skated the longest without stopping orfalling down received a trophy.

    I won first place. My friend Mary Jo Reynolds (Latham) won second,I think. I can’t recall who won third.

    If I remember correctly, I skated 13 or 14 hours with onlyoccasional stops for bathroom breaks and nourishment. I worked hardfor that trophy, not to mention all of the blisters on my feetafter that marathon of skating.

    Remembering all my friends and the fun we had skating still bringsa smile to my face.

    I’m sure each of my daughter’s stuffed animals holds a specialmemory for her, too – like who gave it to her or the occasion. Justlike my missing trophies – they all have memories attached.

    I’ve kept her room pretty much the way she left it with theexception of a few items that she took to her new home. There arestill plenty of stuffed penguins in her old room, which she stillclaims as her own.

    Which leads me to a new question. How long do you keep your child’sroom in your home the same after they’ve grown up and left thenest?

    Liana seems to think I should keep her room the same forever. WhenI left home, almost an adult, I had a younger brother and sisterwho couldn’t wait to take up residence in my old room. That’s notthe case here. She was the last to leave the nest.

    As for the stuffed animals, I guess they’ll keep their designatedplace in their totes for now.

    We’ll get ’em out at some point and reminisce, I’m sure.

    And how was your week?

    Lifestyles Editor Tammie Brewer can be reached at The DAILYLEADER at (601) 833-6961 ext. 144, by e-mail attbrewer@dailyleader.com or you can write to her at P.O. Box 551,Brookhaven MS 39602.