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treasure hunt
Yep...I'm still alive ;) In odd twist of serendipity, Babygirl decided this was the weekend to go through the attic. When the temp is 90+. I didn't last very long, but she and b'friend went at it like fiends. They pulled stuff out and asked me questions about pictures and knick knacks and what nots. We marveled over what we found tucked away in the upper level of heat.

We are pack rats, and we come by it honest. I spent a couple of days last fall pitching gift boxes out the attic window to burn...about 15 years worth. Now at least you can walk up there, and we use bags for wrapping. We broke open the footlocker that I took to college with me in 1976 and it came down to the living room to become my coffee table. All of her dolls and toys were there, along with every single handmade anything that she ever crafted as a child. Some were gnawed around the edges by mice, while others remained as if freshly created by a 5 year old.

She was enthralled by the collection of old stuff that has been handed down to me through the generations..pieces of this and that with history that I can relate to her. Mostly it was an easy yet intense period of (re)discovery for both of us. The only tears came when, while going through her baby clothes, she found a tiny T-shirt that says "Daddy's girl" on the front. He is lost to her now, and she struggles with that now and again. So do I.

We pulled out the dress she came home from the hospital in, a blue calico print so tiny that I can hardly believe her seven pound self ever wore it. There was a Teddy Ruxpin and Popples and several Barbies. A Strawberry Shortcake thermos and some Madame Alexander dolls. The things that mean the most to me, like her Peter Rabbit cup and saucer and bowl are sitting around the house as part of the current decor. Some day they will be passed to her own child.

My history was there as well, preserved carefully by my mother and stored away. I have a stack of newspapers to sift through and remember...one date July 21, 1969 with the headline: "We Made It! We're on the MOON." There is a December 1963 edition of the Saturday Evening Post with Norman Rockwell's rendition of JFK on the cover. I found a couple of volumes of Rod McKuen's poetry and letters from high school boyfriends and my own dolls from my babygirl days.

I love this letter written by my grandmother to my uncle on the day I was born, and also his reply. I was the first grandchild on that side of the family so I was Ms. Thang for a while.
letter from gaga

Does anybody remember the POW-MIA metal bracelets we wore in the early 70's? Each one had the name of a Vietnam soldier missing in action or being held prisoner of war. I wore that thing religiously every day for months with this name and date of disappearance: LT. James Herrick Jr., 10/27/69. I wonder if he made it out of the jungle alive. That could explain a little about my devotion to non-violence.

What's in your attic?
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