What to do with a box of memories

By Tammy Keith Originally Published February 10, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated February 8, 2013 at 11:26 a.m.
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My mother sent me a text the other day with a threat of sorts.

It had a photo attached that showed a bunch of boxes scattered on the guest-room floor.

“This stuff is what I cleaned out of the bottom of one closet! The top is filled with your and Shane’s toys/games. I guess boxes will go to garage and hope someone steals them — this stuff HAS to go!” she texted.

I told her she’d better not throw away my stuff until I went through it.

I mean, what’s her rush?

“Really, who keeps their ‘kids’’ stuff until they are almost 50?” she texted.

I replied: “Well, I guess the mom who is crazy enough to do it!”

I couldn’t remember, other than a Jane West doll, what she even had of mine.

She replied with a list: “Books, doll from Miss Emma and Jean, stuffed animals, Pee-wee Herman doll.”

The china doll was given to me by Miss Emma, a sixth-grade teacher, and Miss Jean, her grown daughter, who collected dolls for years. I kept the doll on my bed when I was growing up. Her pink christening dress had a tag inside that said “Made by Miss Emma.” She was like a grandmother to my brother, especially, and we loved to go to her house.

Mom suggested contacting one of Miss Emma’s granddaughters to see if she wanted the doll. I thought it was a great idea.

My two sons are now 23 and 19, and most of my childhood dolls are still smothering in a box in my attic. They melt a little more every summer, bless their hearts, with no girls to play with them.

I believe Pee-wee Herman was a garage-sale find after I was married.

Mom said she kept that stuff to preserve our memories for us.

She said my brother’s stuff included high school and college awards and fraternity memorabilia.

“He even has his journal from his 1993 trip to Scotland with college,” she texted.

Students were required to keep a journal for a grade.

“He asked me not to read it … and I never did.”

Are you kidding? If I’d known that sucker was at Mom’s house, I’d have been all over it.

She packed his stuff into two totes and gave them to him to take home.

I have no room for anything else at my house.

My older son called and told me that because duck season is over, he needed to bring a few things to put in our garage.

I got home, and there were decoys and waders, which went nicely with the duck prints, love seat and couch he brought back after living in Texas and doing an internship at a hunting-and-fishing newspaper.

He doesn’t need them with his new roommate.

My 19-year-old has decided to move out, and he’s looking for an apartment.

While I’m sort of sad, I’m going to help him pack. I’ll send the love seat and couch.

And, I think a Pee-wee Herman doll would go perfectly with his decor.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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