Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

update

Posted by JudyS on 10/29/03 at 13:54 (135954)

I apologize, my friends, for not posting yesterday.
We arrived home in the aft. to house and grounds covered in ash and the sky still blanketed with yellow smoke. Keeping the doors and windows closed, as advised, worked well. I also steamed smell-good oils all day to help with the smoky odor.
We made quite a mistake when we were evacuated - we left windows, flue and roof vents open. Didn't even think about it! Every fiber and surface inside the house is choked with ash. What a mess. We've been mopping, vacuuming and laundering ever since. Now there's a good formula for creating sore feet!
We also still have our friends from the community of Alpine, further up in the hills, with us. Their homes are intact up there but they still have no access due to burned down power lines. They'll probably be with us for a few more days.
Carole, that is a terrific map you found. I think I mentioned earlier that we are in the foothills east of the San Diego area. When we were evacuated we were looking at the fire burning the small community of Crest on a ridge above us. Crest lost 960 homes - nearly 100%. This is because the fire approached it from a canyon on it's east edge which is well known for creating a chimney effect when a fire starts. The fire sped up the canyon wall and hit Crest before anyone knew what was happening. Another reason no one knew soon enough (and you'll hear about this) was that the media had zero coverage of the fire in the eastern area (East County). They were concentrating on the fires in San Diego and, just as with the fire departments, they were spread thin in personnel. We were shocked when we saw the fire burning the length of the ridge outside our front window. It was about 1/2 hour later that we were evacuated.

It was thought that the two major fires would join but, because the winds died down, that didn't happen. However, one of them has continued east through the mountains and is just wreaking havoc. It has completely wiped out two small mountain communities and right now threatens another that is a popular tourist community. (Carole, Julian)

About fire fighting support. What a mess! Lots and lots of finger-pointing. Some SD crews were hundreds of miles up north fighting existing fires there. When our fires started, they were not released to come back here! Evidently that's the methodology in CA. Some are pointing fingers at Gray Davis saying he didn't authorize state support, nor request federal support, when he was asked. Tankers sat on the runways up the coast. No national guard troops, no military troops (we have just a few here!) were utilized. No military fire-fighting equipment was put in to action. No bulldozers nor water trucks from the myriad of construction companies were used.
Davis finally talked to Bush and Bush finally authorized federal assistance but it was far far too little far far too late.
Meanwhile, the fire chief of San Diego, who seems like a very genuine man, insists that there is nothing wrong with the decision-making methodology in CA so finger-pointing may be unnecessary. All we know is that the aid was not forthcoming when it was needed.

The bottom line at our home is that we were lucky. The experience had its dramatic moments but the fact is that we are left with only having to clean up ash. We have many acquaintances in the two near mountain communities so I imagine we'll view the devistation sooner or later. One can only imagine.

I think the city/county is pretty much in the shell-shocked phase now. I know we are.

Re: update

marie on 10/29/03 at 15:39 (135961)

Thanks so much for the update. We have all been very concerned for you. Sounds like you have a mess on your hands. If I was closer I'd gladly come and help. Don't overdo on the cleaning...take your time and stay healthy.

PHEW.....
best wishes marie

Re: update

Suzanne D on 10/29/03 at 15:39 (135963)

Judy, you are bound to be worn out right now with the combined effects of the stress of the past days and the work of cleaning up when you returned home. Thank goodness your house was spared! Do try to get some rest along with the cleaning up you are doing.

It is staggering to think of entire communities being wiped out! Will they rebuild or go elsewhere?

Just today we had volunteer fire fighters at school talking to the children since October is National Fire Prevention Month. The dad of one of my little girls brought in all his gear and put it on so the children would know what to expect if they ever had to have assistance from the fire department. He said sometimes children are so scared of the suit and mask that they run and hide and make it difficult for them to be rescued.

Someone asked if any of our firefighters would be going to California to help, but our speaker said that the last time that happened that the firefighters actually got in the way and caused more problems as they weren't trained to fight that kind of fire.

I wondered if any schools were destroyed. Losses like this seem so staggering that as individuals we end up feeling as if there is nothing we can do. But if I knew of a school who lost everything, I would be glad to 'adopt' a first grade classroom and send some notes from the children as well as some books to help get them started again. Just a thought...

Take care, and thanks for the update!
Suzanne :)

Re: update

Rick R on 10/29/03 at 16:43 (135969)

Thanks for the update, glad you are OK and sorry you are up to your ash in work. It is always so informative to get the inside scoop on national events. On a local radion program today the topic of what you would take with you in such a case was bantered about. Did you learn anything about what you value most from this experience?

Rick

Re: update

JudyS on 10/29/03 at 17:22 (135970)

What one values most in a crisis is always a thought-provoking question, Rick.
I had no hesitation about what to take because we tend to be aware enough to have thought about it a long time ago. It was a simple no-brainer for us. We took Mickey the cat, photos, files, a few pieces of family china and four or five changes of clothes. Also, thanks to Carole's reminder, laptop and camera. It didn't take ten minutes to load the car.

Oh yeah - also, John, rather miraculously, knew exactly what binder (of about fifty, unlabeled and stored in a somewhat inaccessable spot)contained his 1975 Fleers.....
Amazing - he can't put the can of coffee back in the same place twice!

Now, here's the funny part. Our 22-year-old son phoned while we were in the hotel. He quickly rattled off the names of his three childhood stuffed animals that we've stored away. He wanted to know if we'd secured them! Now mind you, this young man is as macho as they come and hides his more sensitive side well so that was pretty funny. I told him I was faced with 'Sophie's Choice' and only took along one of the toys!

Many, many folks have asked if we were upset, worried, frightened, etc. about possibly losing the house and its contents. No, we weren't. Does that seem odd? The house and it's contents may be our little piece of the world and so on but the fact is that as long as the family is intact the rest is close to meaningless. Not to mention thirty years of homeowner's insurance premiums! :) We know it would be a heck of an ordeal to rebuild but we chose not to put a lot of stressful thinking in to 'what ifs'.

Re: update

Carole C in NOLA on 10/29/03 at 20:31 (135978)

Judy, I'm glad you were able to get back to your home. As staggering as the job of cleaning up that caustic ash must be, it's way better than I feared your situation might be.

I hope Julian is spared. I remember the picturesque and historic main street of Julian; at least, thirty years ago, it was like stepping into the past. Dan Rather and Geraldo Rivera both broadcast from Julian tonight.

I am shocked to hear about Crest. There were some beautiful homes there, far enough out to be away from the busy city, but close enough in to commute. Of course, I am remembering from the vantage point of our 'churchmouse days', when I was impressed by nearly anything, but I remember thinking some of the homes there were fabulous and seemed to me to be the epitome of the California dream.

These fires were so big, and sprang up so quickly in so many places, that I don't see how anything more could have been done than was done. From what I heard, Lindbergh Field and Miramar were both closed down, and with a fire in Otay even that little general aviation airport down there was probably closed. With all the major freeways out of town closed, the problems must have been staggeirng. There were a lot of firefighters, and decision makers, putting everything they could into that effort but sadly, sometimes impossible situations occur.

Carole C

Re: update

Necee on 10/30/03 at 00:45 (135988)

They mentioned on the news tonight that the wildfires have consumed an area as large as the whole state of New Hampshire.

I hope and pray that this comes to an end soon.

Necee

Re: update

Julie on 10/30/03 at 01:32 (135991)

Judy, I was already in awe of your cool head in the crisis, but now I'm dumbstruck with admiration. You certainly have your priorities right. Sure, in a life-and-death situation all that matters is people, not 'things' - but I wish I could be confident that if I were faced with what you were faced with I would be as balanced as you've been.

I hope this is the end of it for you. But what a clean-up operation is in store for everyone.

Re: update

Rick R on 10/30/03 at 06:34 (135992)

Thanks for sharing! Now keep, in mind your son was only thinking of your potential grandchildren and the joy you will have seeing them with his old stuffed animals,..... I'm sure of it. I played out this scenario a few times in my feeble mind and I must admit I didn't think enough about the children's most prescious childhood toys. Mine range from 23 to 17 so it isn't even obvious to me any more. Great, now I have homework. Not to worry I'm sure my wife knows, I'll just cheat!

Rick

Re: IRS help

Carole C in NOLA on 10/30/03 at 06:45 (135993)

Judy,

I hope you are keeping track of what this disaster has cost you, because it's tax deductible.

Some people need money fast to rebuild or whatever. The IRS is allowing them to amend LAST year's tax return and put the fire losses on it.

Here's the info: http://www.bankrate.com/brm/itax/news/20010302a.asp

Carole C

Re: IRS help

Kathy G on 10/30/03 at 09:11 (135995)

Great to hear from you, Judy. You're good to open your home to your friends.

Interesting discussion about what you'd save if you faced similar circumstances. My sister and I were talking about it yesterday. We both agreed that we couldn't think of anything we'd grab, other than the obvious. We aren't even sure we'd think of the pictures. Maybe because we just aren't picture people. We never think to take pictures even if we have a camera with us. I did mention an amber dish that my mother gave to me that is an antique. It's one of the only things she ever gave me and it immediately came to mind.

I think you have a healthy attitude about rebuilding if it came to that. You have everything in perspective.

Hope you get everything cleaned up soon and get to rest. And hopefully, these dreadful fires will go out so that you can get some peace. It still must be hard to hear the reports and see the smoke and ashes from nearby.

Re: My post had nothing to do with Carole's very helpful post! Sorry!

Kathy G on 10/30/03 at 09:11 (135996)

nm

Re: IRS Help

Kathy G on 10/30/03 at 09:16 (135997)

Thanks for that link, Carole. You find some of the most informative websites! I am sending it along to my sister and brother-in-law who were flooded out in the hurricane. It may be of some help to them and I don't know if they know about it. I know that I didn't know you could do such a thing.

Re: IRS Help

Carole C in NOLA on 10/30/03 at 14:24 (136012)

I didn't know you could juggle taxes like this either. It seems like a great idea, though, that would help free up some cash during the year of a disaster when it's most needed.

Carole C

Re: IRS help

BevN. on 10/30/03 at 15:07 (136013)

I was watching a news report where only one house in a whole subdivision was left standing. It is so very sad. That family of course have opened their home to everyone there as they sift through their things , just as Judy is doing. The lady of the house said she has the only 2 flushing toilets in the whole area and running water. It just breaks my heart to watch those TV reports.:( Of course it is all material and can be replaced except for the lives that were lost fighting the fires, and that is so tragic too. Our prayers go out to those families [-0<

Re: IRS help

marie on 10/30/03 at 16:56 (136020)

A very kind and thoughtful post, Bev. Possesions only have meaning because people cherish the memories surrounding the object. Without the people there are no memories and without memories the objects have no meaning.

God bless the families who have suffered the loss of loved ones and their pets as well that have perished.

marie

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Suzanne D. on 10/30/03 at 21:03 (136029)

Rick, my daughters are ages 17 and 22 - almost the same ages as your children. I'm sure you remember the Smurfs, Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, and of course, Cabbage Patch dolls - providing you have a girl! Maybe you have noticed that Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake are making a comeback. Can the Smurfs be far behind? :)

I've been thinking about what I would take for each of my daughters if that situation arose. I would have to take a Cabbage Patch doll, one of her 4-H trophies and something from marching band for my oldest daughter. My younger daughter has a penguin collection, so I'd have to grab one and also something related to her ballet classes.

Sometimes, it's the little things that have sentimental value. When my father died 16 years ago, my mother just could not throw out his old metal lunchbox which he had carried so many years to work. She had a florist spray paint it and put some artificial green leaves inside. After she died a year later, I took it and held onto it until last spring. My daughter married, and I made her cake topper of flowers and some of the leaves from the lunchbox. Then I threw the lunchbox away as it had rusted and was falling apart. But the leaves washed nicely and are kept now in the bouquet.

Suzanne :)

Re: update

JudyS on 10/31/03 at 09:20 (136053)

Carole - the weather helped out yesterday, as did one thousand firefighters, and historic Julian was spared - it was a hell of a fight. Unfortunately many Julian homes were lost. A funny thing is that a local columnist, Neil Morgan, had a cabin up there and he often wrote fondly about the cabin and his times there - the cabin is lost and I felt myself getting emotional over it!
Crest does have a few 'nicer-home' blocks, but for the most part it's a community of ex-hippies, ex-cowboys and Harley-Davidson fanatics. The homes there were old, eclectic, full of character and mostly wood. The same, you'll remember, for Harbison Canyon. A large amount of the homes could not be built by today's code standards. There is lots of hope that the rebuilding will be able to resurrect at least some of that flavor.

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Rick R on 10/31/03 at 09:52 (136057)

Wow right on target. My girls are the 23 and 20 year old's. How about Rainbow Bright? My son (17) had the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle thing going on. Daughter# 2's very first posession was a baby smurf her sister gave her in the hospital, laid right next to her in the bucket on day 1.

I got points from the oldest last night. While she was away in college someone threw away a stupid plastic cup she painted her name on. I took it out of the garbage and it's downstairs in my dungeon. I can't find my stinking tools but I know where that cup is! She was so happy when I told her I still had it, I'm not even sure why it came up. I have no idea why it means anything to her, nor why I thought it might.

Out of all the sports trophies I know enough to get the softball the league director gave to #2. She hit it 320 ft, I think she was about 13 or 14 at the time. She was well established as a power hitter but this shot was something to behold. After several decades running the league he said he had never seen anything like it. I know her secret, she couldn't stand the girl playing center field. No matter where she played or how deep, Christina would pop one over head. So that one's a keeper.

What a cool story about the lunchbox. My grandfather died a bit over a year ago at 97. I have been acumulating his stuff over the years. This summer I thought I lost a pocket knife of his and I was bummed out big time. Found it tucked away in a 'safe' place so I wouldn't loose it.

Rick

Re: update

Carole C in NOLA on 10/31/03 at 10:20 (136059)

I suppose the tiny silver lining to the cloud of Crest being about 100% destroyed, is that the rebuilt homes will have to conform to today's tougher building codes.

I heard that tough new building codes were a good part of the reason there was so little damage in the northwest from the big Seattle earthquake a year or two ago. After hearing that, I began to view building codes in a much more positive light. It's good to know that the codes really can prevent at least some earthquake damage.

Carole C

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

JudyS on 10/31/03 at 10:37 (136063)

rick you are too funny :) Dungeon, huh? What's your wife's secret? :)
About a year ago I replaced a set of salt and pepper shakers. They'd sat on the kitchen counter for umpteen years and were no big deal. My 22-year-old was home from college a following weekend and noticed IMMEDIATELY that they were gone! Geez Mom, he said, they were a part of my childhood!

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Suzanne D on 10/31/03 at 10:47 (136064)

Oh, yes, Rick, Rainbow Bright! And her little sidekick, Twink! At least if they got 'lost', they were easy to find because they were so bright! :)

Your oldest will probably always remember that you saved her special cup. Sometimes we don't know why we're attached to something, and usually it IS something that others might consider insignificant!

Wow! Christina must have surely been a power hitter! My girls took after their mother and never excelled in sports. Their poor father always wished he could go to a ballgame every once in awhile instead of band and choir concerts or youth theater productions. I told him he might have hope some year in a future grandchild. My oldest daughter is married to a former cross-country All-American, so I can see them having a little boy (or girl) someday who will be hard to catch!

I'm glad you found your grandfather's pocket knife. I remember my grandfather sitting around 'whittling' a lot with his pocket knife. He always had a supply of cedar sticks and would make this really cool pile of curly, nice-smelling shavings when he was finished. I begged for a pocket knife and tried, but it was harder than it looked! Of course I think they gave me a really dull knife to keep me from hurting myself!

Good memories...

Suzanne :)

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Carole C in NOLA on 10/31/03 at 11:04 (136069)

I have a daughter Christina, too! My Christina is 25 and living in Oregon. I just wanted to tell you that you have great taste in names. LOL

My Christina despises her middle name, Elaine. She likes Christina, though, and has never shortened her name to Christy, Chris, or Tina.

She was crazy about My Little Ponies and had about twenty of them, I think! She kept her favorite one. She also had the My Little Pony castle and stable.

Carole C

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

JudyS on 10/31/03 at 11:06 (136071)

so.....I take it that none of you with girl children have stored away a Batman Cave, a Batmobile, a Starwars space vehicle...etc. etc.? :)

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Rick R on 10/31/03 at 11:23 (136072)

Did your Grandpappy ever show you how to make a willow whistle? I was ready so stop the breeding thing after Christina because I had my 'boy'. Even at 2 I knew we had something. Couldn't catch her for starters. She started running the night before she turned 7 months old. We were on a first name basis in the emergency room, no exaggeration! She made it down state both as a pole vaulter and a sprinter. My wife insisted we give it one more try. I was so ready for a third girl but we got the son. Thank goodness he is athletic enough to not live in too much of a shadow. He's actually a better athlete, a bit faster but doesn't have the killer attitude she does. With our oldest, we are just glad that in the last few years she has learned to put her hands out when she falls down so the big old knot on her forehead has gone away.

Rick

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Rick R on 10/31/03 at 11:29 (136073)

How could I forget My Little Pony! They were all over the place. Our Chtistina has used her full name too. Other than CT (Chris Tina) and Beana, Bean-Bean, Beanie or 'the Bean' only in the family. Started with her cousin's attempt to say Christina when she was born, cane out Beana.

Rick

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Suzanne D on 10/31/03 at 11:36 (136075)

Oh, yes, My Little Ponies! Gracious, it sounds like we all spent our money on the same things! :) My oldest learned to braid by fooling with the ponies' manes.

Does anyone remember the Shirtails? I think they were a cartoon for awhile, and Burger King gave the stuffed animals wearing t-shirts with their kiddie meals. There was a panda and 3 or 4 others. I remember eating at Burger King several times until we collected them all!

Suzanne :)

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Suzanne D on 10/31/03 at 11:44 (136076)

I don't think I ever saw a willow whistle, Rick. Actually, my grandfather was always a quiet, almost austere man and didn't talk to us kids too much or show us how to make things. But I was fascinated by the whittling and would stand and watch him with admiration.

I remember wondering if he ever smiled very much; he looked very much like Abraham Lincoln. But when I was in college, he had tuberculosis and had to stay several weeks in a hospital. He wrote the nicest note in reply to a letter I sent him, and I still have it. He told me he loved me and how proud he was of me. That was the first time he ever let those feelings show!

Well, these posts have been interesting and have brought back good memories! I had better get something done before my schoolchildren get back from PE. They are certainly wound up today because of Halloween! :D

Suzanne :)

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Rick R on 10/31/03 at 12:00 (136078)

During a sermon when I was a kid my minister was trying to make a point. He intended to demonstrate how people could never agree on who was the greatest human they knew of currently on earth. Well that backfired, Gramps won the election hands down, the deck was indeed stacked. That old man many years later became the minister's father in law! He came to understand what we ment. Uncle John the Preacher is a darned impressive guy himself! I reminded him of his stupid election just last year to keep him humble.

Rick

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Carole C in NOLA on 10/31/03 at 12:46 (136080)

My daughter took her SR-71 Blackbird model with her when she moved out, as well as her huge collection of Star Wars stuff, which she still collects...

No Batmobile, though! :)

Carole C

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Carole C in NOLA on 10/31/03 at 13:08 (136081)

Beana, that's cute!

When our Christina was tiny, she said her name 'Katina' or 'Kitina', and we would call her that sometimes. But, as soon as she could say Christina correctly, she'd correct us if we called her Katina.

Carole C

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Rick R on 10/31/03 at 13:49 (136084)

Sounds like another fiesty Christina. There does seem to be something to the name.

Rick

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Carole C in NOLA on 10/31/03 at 14:43 (136088)

Definitely fiesty! And obstinate? My Christina takes the quality of being 'obstinate' or stubborn to whole new level! LOL

But luckily there's a flip side to being obstinate, that gives her an advantage in life. When she sets her mind on something, she hangs on like a piranha and giving up just isn't in her nature. That's my Christina.

Carole C (proudly)

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

nancy s. on 10/31/03 at 19:09 (136102)

you folks made me go searching today for the black and yellow stuffed tiger my uncle gave me when i was 4 as a reward for cutting my hand. his name is . . . yes, 'tiger.' over the years, a piece of material came loose from the side of his mouth and fell off. now some kind of hay pokes out of the hole and makes him look like he's snarling. i love him, and i'm going to put him near the front door so i can grab him in case of flood (more likely here than fire).

nancy
.

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Suzanne D. on 10/31/03 at 19:23 (136104)

Sounds like your Grandpa was a pretty great guy! I enjoyed the story...

Suzanne :)

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Suzanne D. on 10/31/03 at 19:26 (136105)

That's neat, Nancy, that you still have him! :)

When I was a little girl, my mother would bring home a napkin for me from wherever she had been. Now that sounds pretty corny, but it satisfied me, and I saved them. Later, friends who traveled to far-off places would bring a napkin home for me from restaurants, etc. I still have them all in a box but haven't looked at them in years. I guess I'll have to go down to the basement later (when my feet aren't huring so badly!) and take a look at them.

Suzanne :)

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

John H on 11/01/03 at 11:50 (136130)

The SR71 Blackbird built in the early 60's still holds the worlds record for the fastest coast to coast flight ever. What a machine. Flew on the edge of space. I think we have moth balled them. They were pulled out of mothballs once. Only the best of the best got to fly them and I am not sure we still have anything that can do what they could do. Fly fast, fly high, and fly for distance. Probably the space craft have made them obsolete.

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

John H on 11/01/03 at 11:52 (136132)

Pony? I had a pet alligator that I paid $1.00 for. He got to big and my parents made me give him away. I would charge my buddies 1 cent to view him.

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

BevN. on 11/01/03 at 12:01 (136134)

Suzanne D.,
When I married and moved away, my parents moved to another home. Then one day I came home and wanted some of my childhood things and they had gotten rid of everything. To this day I still can not believe they did that. I have nothing of my childhood. They got rid of my 9' doll collection my grandmother got me when she traveled , my girlscout badges(there were many), and all of my childhood toys and even my beautiful piano they promised they would keep for me. So I had none of those things to pass on to my children or hold on to into my adult life. I guess that's why I held on to so much of my children's things so they could pass them onto their children.
I'm sorry to hear your feet are giving you so much pain. Being a teacher is not easy on the ol' feet :( Have a nice day today :) Bev

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Carole C in NOLA on 11/01/03 at 12:04 (136135)

Christina is the world's greatest source of trivia concerning the SR-71 Blackbird, and believe me, I've heard WAY too much about it through the years.

My ex took a photo of her as an adult next to a real one, which I thought was pretty neat. Yes, they are considered to be obsolete now. She's still a die-hard fan of them, and has been since she built that model in 1986, at age 11.

Carole C

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Carole C in NOLA on 11/01/03 at 12:09 (136136)

No, no, no, My Little Ponies were not actually real. They were plastic toy ponies about 6' high, with long colored manes and tails that little girls could brush and comb. You could buy all sorts of saddles and hats and barns for them, and such.

They came in an infinite variety of colors. For example, my daughter's first My Little Pony was purple with a bright green mane and tail. That seemed pretty strange to me, but she loved it.

Your pet alligator would have probably bit them in half! LOL

Carole C

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

marie on 11/01/03 at 15:38 (136146)

Yes I know just how you feel....the same thing happened to me while I was at college. My mother gave my dolls and my bicycle to my nieces and nephews....I barely got 'Tootles' one of my dolls. My mom gave my beds to my sister's kids...I had a pair of twin beds that were originally my brothers. They didn't want them so I had asked for them and was told they were mine. my sister ruined them. She painted them black and they were in a pile of junk in her garage. She told me to take one...we traded. I was able to restore it. Of course then my sister wanted it back but I said 'no way'. It's funny how we get so attached to these things. Our stuff is an expression of us...it saids 'I was here and my life had meaning.....even if it was only to myself'.

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Carole C in NOLA on 11/01/03 at 15:52 (136149)

Bev, my parents were quite the opposite. When I was sixteen, I sorted through all of my stuff and told my mother what I hoped would be kept, and what could be thrown out. She hid the latter in the attic rather than throwing it away.

Then, when I was in my late 20's she returned to me a bunch of old, falling apart dolls and such that she had kept, despite my wishes. I thought to myself, 'Whatever I am going to do with these decrepit dollies???'

I saved one and gave it to my daughter, and threw the others away. I have none of that stuff, and I don't miss it a bit. To me, the memories are much nicer than those old things. Also, I need all my closet space for things I've more recently acquired.

Different strokes for different folks...

Carole C

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

BevN. on 11/01/03 at 20:52 (136161)

Carole,
I was mostly upset about my piano she got rid of as it was a beautiful one and had special meaning to me, and I hoped to have it in my own home. Also the doll collection from various countries from my grandmother were special and were my girlscout things. My granddaughters are in Girlscouts now and I would love to be able to show them all of 'grandma's' things from when she was in Girlscouts. Bev

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

marie on 11/01/03 at 21:02 (136162)

There is a history to things. When I was the president of the historical society we had so many things given to us. As some folks got older they would call me about something that they wanted to donate. Usually it was heart wrenching for them to give up some treasured piece but they wanted the history to survive and a memory that their life had meaning. Our possesions do often outlast us. We don't own this old house we live in. We're just taking care of it until the next occupant moves in. I wish the house could talk....I am sure there are a treasure of memories in these walls.

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Suzanne D. on 11/01/03 at 21:15 (136166)

Growing up, Bev, I thought more about holding onto things than most children do, I guess. This is because my grandma often talked sadly about how her mother, father, and brothers and sisters all died of tuberculosis by the time she was 20 years old. She would recall standing and watching their personal belongings be burned in the backyard after each of them died. The fear of spreading the disease was so great that these measures were taken. She didn't even have a picture of any of them. That made me sad for her. So now I hate to part with anything my children played with! I have too many plastic tubs of toys out in our shed. Someday we'll have to go through them and let my daughters pick what they want to keep.

I'm sorry about your things. But I know you are enjoying watching your grandchildren play with your children's toys!

Suzanne :)

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

Suzanne D. on 11/01/03 at 21:19 (136169)

Marie, my great-aunt had a velvet quilt she pieced together in the 20's. A week before she died, she told my mother she wanted me to have the quilt as I always took the time to listen to her tell about making it. It has little pictures she embroidered on many of the pieces. She was one to talk often of the history of things, and she wanted her family to remember. I wish I had written down many of her stories. I remember bits and pieces of many of them, but someone should have written them down, I think.

I'm sure you helped some people feel good about donating to the historical society. That was important work!

Suzanne :)

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

John H on 11/02/03 at 10:48 (136190)

Some of the great toys I had growning up could never be sold today. Chemistry Sets with all sorts of great formulas for stink bombs and other good stuff. Lead Molding sets. You melted the lead and placed the molten lead in molds to make solders and all sorts of good stuff. Never mind the holes I burned in the carpet and wood floors. Erector sets with motors. BB Guns. Little guns that fired a stick with a suction cup on the end of it. Cap pistols. Real roller skates for skating on the side walk not skate boards.

Re: sentimental keepsakes...

JudyS on 11/02/03 at 10:54 (136191)

Bev - my experience was the same as yours - nothing remained of my childhood - possibly only because we were a family of four children in a small house with no room to store things! However, we didn't even have old photos so I was overjoyed about ten years ago when my cousin sent me a box full of photos of me, my sibs and our cousins in the 50's and 60's.

I, too, stored away quite a bit for my children. I took an SUV-full of my older son's things up north to him about 3 years ago and the 22-year-old's things are taking up all the space in a closet! I sure will be glad when he gets his own place - did I mention that he's graduating from college in December?