02 June 2020

Bess Tuggle's Memoirs of Surviving Children: Memories Between the Pages



My mother is cleaning out her room.  There are SO many levels of “funny” to this, but I’ll try to keep it to the basics.

            When I was little, cleaning my room was a chore that I hated.  HATED!  My room pretty much got the white-glove treatment, and I flunked inspection every time.  EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!  I can’t forget our Pomeranian, Peachy, for calling me out on my chocolate stashes under my bed.  (This deserves a growl here; A LOUD one!)  The dog would steal my candy, then drag her butt across the floors for a week after munching my stash.  We had hardwood floors.  Cleaning them was my job.  Use your imagination.

            Now that my mom’s finally cleaning up her room (I don’t cut her a lot of slack; and I’ve been giving her h-e-double-l every time I try to walk into her room for years) we’re both reliving memories we’ve found from under layers.  I will admit that I’m  impressed with her efforts.  It looks like you can finally WALK through her room!  I saw a FLOOR under there!  Imagine that!  She also repainted her room.  I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m sure it’s -perfect-.  And she was smart enough not to ask me to help with that project.  I can stain and I can seal.  Put a paintbrush in my hand and you have a MESS!    

            My mom gave be a bookshelf. Not that I don’t have a gracious plenty, books and shelves, but I can never have too many of either. 

            I still have to move the rest of my reference books over.  HEAVEN HELP we have a dictionary on a bookcase that I can FIND!  F-Google!!!.  There’s a Thesaurus in easy reach.  Black’s stares at me from the second shelve.  All the classics are within reach…  (Not that they teach them anymore, but I still enjoy reading them)

            It’s the things between the books and pages that bring back the most memories.  I found a couple pictures of my grandparents wedding.  The envelope is legal size, and the postage stamp is 3 cents.  Military yearbooks and elementary school yearbooks.  Old pictures tucked between pages and/or books to keep them safe.  My mother’s Latin book from high school with a newspaper clipping tucked in.  She remembers it.  My “Christmas Books.”  I can tell you every present I’ve bought, and for whom, since the early 90’s.  Most receipts still tucked in.

Then there’s the kid presents.  I have a hot rod of some sort, made with bottle caps and some kind of putty.  There’s a home made ship in a bottle – the ship is drawn on notebook paper and stuck in a tequila bottle, but it’s still a ship in in a bottle.  I found the $100 bill that was given to me as a college graduation joke.  It was supposed to be counterfeit, but it’s not.  It’s just old.  1950 kinda old.  It can pass the ink test at the bank but they won’t except it because it doesn’t have “In God we Trust” printed on it.  (Quick history lesson – it wasn’t until the mid-50’s that “God” was added to our pledge and our money)  Handmade presents that still bring me joy remembering the little fingers that made them.

This was -supposed- to be a quick, easy project, moving books, but it’s nice to slow down and go through things, and remember.

One shelf down.  Two more to go.

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