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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Souvenirs Can Comfort, and Cry

When you get to be my age and can rustle up enough money to move, as I am doing now, you let others do the heavy stuff. Like today when the last of my storeroom stragglers will be brought in. The last big thing was the piano. A goodly number of boxes, and some odds and ends will come today also. Who’s taking care of all that? My daughter, Robin. She hired a truck and two strong men. She doesn’t need to be told what to do. She’s an expert on her own behalf. She has been taking off time from her painting to help me and she’s doing all this for me cheerfully. 

Moving is an ordeal unlike any other. Since I can’t do much else, what I do best is sort through the keepers and the give-away things. Last night I looked through a huge collection of CD’s, and cassette tapes. These pack away so easily into drawers I rarely think of them.  Now even the titles reach out to grab me. “Remember me? You used to love listening to me. How could you send me to the Good Will?” So, I’ve made a resolution to take out one a day to give it a few minutes of my time. I think that might become special.

When the piano gets here I’ll have it tuned and then maybe I’ll make it a point to sit down and play it for at least a half hour each day. One of my favorite pieces of sheet music is an old song called “Among My Souvenirs.” It always brings up a few tears but I don’t mind. In case you youngsters out there don’t know the words, here they are, but you’ll have to Google it up to hear the tune.

There's nothing left for me
Of days that used to be
They're just a memory
Among my souvenirs

Some letters sad and blue
A photograph or two
I see a rose from you
Among my souvenirs

A few more tokens rest
Within my treasure chest
And, though they do their best
To give me consolation,

I count them all apart
And, as the teardrops start,
I find a broken heart
Among my souvenirs

You can’t give away a broken heart. You either have to mend it or bury it or wrap up the pieces in something nice. 

Moving requires going through everything and deciding how much it means to you. Even Robin, who loves the uncluttered look, is giving in to most of my little loves. We’re finding special places for things. I’d give you a few examples but they wouldn’t mean much to you. You have your own keepers. No doubt they’re tucked away in good places. If you aren’t going through that bottom drawer today, do it. Just for fun. And it’s OK to cry a little too.


  1. Here's a link to a version online. (There are others, but I think this is best for the era you're going for.)

  2. Grandma, you once offered me a rock heart that Wally G had given you. I think he'd found it on the ranch way back when. I hope you are keeping it. But if you must decrease your belongings, I'll take it. (Though I think you should keep it. Really.)