Sunday, January 02, 2011

Storytelling Sunday–An Unexpected Surprise

When you begin something new – something completely new - you never really know what to expect.  A new school, a new job, a new marriage – all bring exciting adventures and experiences.  The same is true for me this first Sunday in a new year.

I recently began Ali Edward’s class, Yesterday | Today over at Big Picture Classes.  The classes began just a few days ago, but those in the class are gearing up and getting to know one another.  It’s great fun getting to know other like minded scrapbookers who are interested in telling the stories that mean the most to them and those tales they want to pass onto future generations.

One fellow classmate, Sian of From High in the Sky blog had what she calls Storytelling Sunday.  The first Sunday of each month she uses her blog to share a little story and she has invited others to participate, so I thought this would be a wonderful addition to my blog.  I will try to keep them short and hopefully not bore you.  Perhaps you will even be inspired to join in the Storytelling Sunday fun and being this tradition on YOUR blog as well.  Here is my little story for January.

I have a tradition each New Year’s Eve.  It doesn’t involve getting all dressed up, going out, eating an over priced meal in a crowded, noisy restaurant, or fighting the crowds.  It’s a tradition that involved just me and my memories.

Each New Year’s Eve I send a little time (sometimes it’s several hours) going through boxes of memories.  I called them boxes of memories because they are shoeboxes that I have been collecting for decades stuffed full of ticket stubs, pictures, cards received from others and all the little pieces of ephemera that make up my life and the little moments that I don’t want to forget.

This year, I wanted to tackle a large box that was labeled “MEMORIES” and it has been taped shut since I moved to St. Louis nearly 8 years ago.  I couldn’t remember what was in it so I was looking forward to looking into what was much like a time capsule for me.

Brian''s-BootsThe first thing I caught sight of was my son’s first pair of cowboy boots.  He couldn’t have been more than 3 years old when he got these; judging from the size.  Seeing those well worn, dirt incrusted boots nearly brought tears to my eyes.  My son will be 35 this year and seeing those tiny boots that he wore as he ran around my parent’s farm really brought back a flood of memories.  I also found some very well loved Tonka trucks of his, that I kept for some reason…not sure why, but just holding them in my hands really made me smile, much like the image of him running around in those boots.

My best surprise from my box of memories however, was finding several letters that my mother had written to me.  Mom and Dad passed 11 years ago, and back then she was concerned with paying high long-distance phone bills, so she would occasionally pop a quick letter in the mail to me when the inspiration struck her.  I’m so thankful that she did because within those letters are heartfelt sentiments of which I never fully appreciated when I received them, but somewhere deep inside I knew that someday I would want these letters, so I put them into that year’s shoebox along with the birthday cards and planner pages of that year. 

Reading those letters I sensed the love they held for me – the hopes for my happiness and strangely enough, I almost felt like I was reading them for the first time.  I probably skimmed right over the thoughts she expressed in words when I originally read them now gave new meaning to her sentiments.  What a blessing it was to feel as though I was still getting sweet letters from Mom – even years after her passing.  It’s true that love never dies – not that kind of love.  I felt it when she was here with me, and I feel it even now through her words.  Thanks Mom for somehow knowing that I would want these letters and the comfort they would give me.

Thanks for stopping in today. Have a wonderful Sunday.

9 comments :

Kelli said...

I'm so loving Ali's class, I was nervous spending that much money that I wouldn't. But I have more perspective and ideas running through me in the past 4 days then I have had in any class I've taken at BPC :)

what a fun story. the boot story made me smile, having a 8 year old and 5 year old, i wonder what I'll think of their tiny stuff when they are 35....

Debgem said...

How lovely to find all those letters - I think the drawback of modern technology is that we do send fewer letters to our loved ones. I think I'm going to write to my mum - thanks. BTW - your son's boots are so cute - they grow so fast!!

Jimjams said...

How amazing that you've kept such evocative things. A lovely idea to open up a different one each year and reflect.

Marilyn (mlj-mlj) said...

A wonderful story and a wonderful tradition, Lynn. Happy New Year!

Patti J said...

I'll so look forward to your Sunday stories! Your class sounds like a great adventure! I love that you found those letters from your mom. That's priceless, and something you will treasure forever. I know how much you miss her, and this must have been such a blessing. Finding those boots would have choked me up too. We had a fire in 1980, and lost everything. Our son's baby things were all in the house. He's now 35 too! (I keep finding things we have in common!) It would be so much fun to have some of those things now! Hugs, dear friend!!!! Sounds like 2011 will be a great year for you!

Sian said...

Lynn, Thank you so much! I am absolutely delighted to meet you because I am another one who collects boxes of ephemera (sometimes when I show some on blog I get comments saying "wow, do you really keep this stuff!"). Your New Years Eve story is just perfect - and it is making me look forward to next months already!

judy said...

What an awesome tradition! The part about you finding your mother's letters was so touching. How wonderful it would be to have such letters from my mother. She wasn't much on corresponding. Isn't it amazing how fast our kids grow up. I've run across a few articles of clothing that my son wore (while looking for something in the basement). It's hard to believe that he used to fit in those tiny clothes 30 years ago!
Can't wait to read your next Sunday Stories.

miriam.rogers said...

Oh this is such a gorgeous story, and what lovely memories stored away in a box. Can't wait for you to open another one. :)

Gail T said...

Lynn, I so enjoyed reading your story - what a treasure finding your Mum's letters to you. It made me choke up. Looking forward to next month's story. I'm taking that class too but I'm already behind as I haven't started it yet.