It’s time for a change. For the past few days, Chip and I have been packing up the kitchen. Beginning tomorrow the kitchen is being gutted and remodeled. I am a displaced cook for now and feeling somewhat stressed.
I never considered myself a pack rat. As we purged cabinet after cabinet we cleaned up and threw out chipped and worn dishes and plates. Chip repeatedly asked the question, “Are you ever going to use this again?” In most cases the answer was no. But as I looked closer, I was both surprised and pleased at what I found:
- A set of glasses from Carnival Cruise Lines that we used to toast each other on our honeymoon in 1990. (Hurricane Hugo hit in the fall of 1989 when we were married and decimated the Caribbean so we went the winter of 1990.)
- Amelia’s blue tinted sunglasses along with about three other pair that she duped my sister Amy into buying for her.
- Jack’s whoopee cushion that he used on everyone for months!
- Baby spoons, you know, the ones that have rubber coating on the tip so the metal doesn’t go in the baby’s mouth. One pink and one blue.
- I pair of fangs that Jack used on Halloween. This were cool; they actually retracted.
- I came upon some of the kid’s art projects- hand made cards, magnets and clay animals.
- My grandmother’s recipe book with all her handwritten notes.
- Winnie-the-Pooh and Barbie soup bowls.
- A paper bag full of silly Bands!
- Some old baby food jars. My mother saved them and used them for something, I can’t remember why.
- Chip counted 55 various coffee mugs. Best Mom. Best Dad. Inspirational sayings. RIT Mom and Dad mugs and some homemade painted mugs.
- A handful of cats eye marbles. (The kids didn’t know what they were.)
- School directories dating back to 2006 along with the kid’s notes and highlighted friend’s names and phone numbers.
While I may never ‘use these things again’, they will continue to be a part of my kitchen. I use them to remember times that are gone but not forgotten.
We continued for the next two days to pack things up and lastly, I carefully placed my grandmother’s rolling pin in a safe place. I sit now in an empty kitchen with 10 years of memories surrounding me. At one time Jack fit under that counter standing up straight. Amelia and I made cookies on that counter and on Christmas, the crowd gathered while Chip made pizza.
I am sure the new kitchen will be great and beautiful and very functional. It will need to grow with the family and take on the new events to become part of new memories. The years will surely fly by and soon it will only be me and Chip hanging out in the kitchen. One day when we are gone, the kids will go through the same motions in this kitchen as they pack it up for the last time. They will come across all the memorabilia so carefully kept and left behind.
I hope they smile and know why I saved these things for so long. These many little things tell a very big story. A family story. Keep these things Amelia and Jack and add them to the things that will make your own family memories.