Ok, maybe not so much my childhood, but a decent amount of my past. Yesterday I went down to my parents’ house and had dinner along with some spirituality (don’t worry, I don’t feel that this is the proper forum for discussing my beliefs). It’s always good to see my family, share some good food and wine, and then enjoy some quality TV together. The evening was marked by the Memorial celebration, which still makes me feel good even though I am no longer practicing. Not only is the spiritual message one I enjoy, but seeing members of a Congregation that I was once a part is a rather renewing experience – even if it does include an ex and her husband (another subject I’m not going into except to say that there’s no anymosity present, merely… apathy?). My point here is that I was already thinking about my past before we even returned home.
Once we got back home, however, I had decided that it was time for me to collect some more of my old crap to get it out of my mom’s way. I used to collect baseball cards, and now it’s time to sell them or who knows what. So I went into my old room and grabbed the boxes in my closet exactly where I left them. To my surprise, however, one of them was not filled with baseball cards, rather random souvenirs from when I still lived there, or at least was going back during the summers.
Lisa got to deal with me becoming a big dork when I got back home and started to go through my treasures. The baseball cards themselves were exciting because it was a remainder of a time when I loved the game and spent tons of free time sorting, trading, and just plain looking at my collection. I could still identify half of the years simply by looking at the designs 🙂 (’81 Topps remains my favorite to this day – classic, simple and elegant and of course, the year after the Phillis won it all). It was never a huge collection by any standard, but I still had some great cards here and there and even if I sell them I’ll probably at least keep the Mike Schmidt cards.
The other box, however, had me just plain flipping out. A lot of its contents were items I thought lost for good. Little things that had always had a place as long as I lived in Pennsylvania, but got lost in the shuffle of college and moving. I found old high school pictures of my ex, and even the notes we wrote back and forth to each other as teenagers. There were old ID cards, train passes and badges – even a free condom probably given to me during some ill-conceived safe-sex demonstration. I have a bunch of graduation cards, letters from traveling friends and sisters, and wedding invitations shoved in there. I also found the long-lost Chief Bender tobacco card that I had removed from the rest of my baseball cards for safe keeping and had hoped to return to its rightful owner. Mark will be excited to see that I have an autographed Philadelphia Wings sticker commemorating their 1994 MILL Championship. Along with Paul Gait and another name I couldn’t make out is the signature of Dallas Eliuk – the greatest lacrosse goalie ever and 14-year veteran of the league (yes, he’s still the goalie for the Wings 10 years after my sisters’ got his autograph).
The greatest find, however, was a cigar still in its little metal casing. My brother-in-law Matt gave these cigars to all of the ushers at his wedding to my sister Lisa. I never smoked it, but instead held on to it as a memento of the occasion. I’m glad that I still have it, so I can continue to remind myself of those precious memories.