I come from a family of pack rats. I even have it on my business card. So in some ways, I thought it would be easy for me to find all my treasures for this month's LOL project because I never throw anything away. But when forced to pick something I treasured, it became more and more difficult. I first went to the attic and dug out the box labeled "Genie's Goodies", confident I would find all my treasures in there. I found tons of memories, some good and some I'd rather not recall that often. I found lots of trivial bits from my first marriage, my old pocket knife, lots of old letters, some (empty) boxes of medical marijuana from my ex-father-in-law, and a giant pile of junk. In the end, I couldn't find much I wanted to write about. It mostly reminded me that I keep a lot of odd things for unknown reasons. These weren't really treasures since they didn't give me any real joy or happy memories, they were just things I couldn't part with since they chronicled my life.
My parents have recently started cleaning out the attic in their house. As all things in our family, it was left until it became an absolute crisis. My parents' roof has been in disrepair for years now and was beginning to leak. In order to get a new roof, some of the boards needed to be replaced as well as a few rafters. But to get to all of that, the entire attic had to be emptied. Instant crisis.
My parents took several truck loads of stuff to the dump and very few things were saved. Some were damaged from water or time, some were not worth keeping, a few were genuine treasures. About two weeks ago, my father called me and started off with, "you remember your stove and your other stove ... well, they're in the attic and I didn't know if you wanted them." I told him I at least wanted a picture so he could deliver them to my garage and I would dispose of them.
For context, these are the play kitchen pieces I got for the Christmas of 1981 when I was 4 years old. You can actually listen to that Christmas morning recording in a post from three years ago. It's fun, you should go listen just to hear my incredible Southern accent. If you're pressed for time, you can fast forward to 3:40 in the recording just to hear me scream "A STOVE!"
I asked Rich to drag in my play kitchen so I could photograph it. They were quite dusty but in much better condition than I would have expected. As I started washing them and sorting the contents, I was having a harder time parting with them. At first, I assumed they would be so gross they should just be thrown away. Then I thought maybe I would give them to the thrift store, but worried that with them being a bit worn they might get thrown away. No, these need to go to a good home. I kept scrubbing and sorting fake food products and realized that for now, that "good home" was still here.
I can't say that if the house were on fire, I would run back in to retrieve my stove and other stove and fridge. I didn't really find anything that I would run back in the house for. But going back and listening to that old recording and playing with my kitchen this afternoon has brought me so much joy, I can't imagine throwing them away quite yet. Maybe our little baby will eventually want to do some cooking and washing of his own in a few years.
Click the image to view the entire kitchen collection on Flickr