Monday, March 24, 2014


We have spent the last three weekends cleaning out my mom's house. And every Sunday night, after I come home and unload the car into my 1100 square foot bungalow, which is now beginning to resemble a storage shed, I tell myself that I am not going to bring home ONE. MORE. THING. Just. SAY. NO. I tell myself firmly as I drive to Colorado Springs.

But every Sunday night, I come home with another load of stuff.

I can't help it.

You see, I am the keeper of the paper in our family.

Yesterday's haul included a free sample edition of a neighborhood newspaper, the "Art Press," written by my sisters and our neighbors, Janelle and Linda Wisby, when we were in about second grade. Evidently we had opened a museum, and were trying to solicit visitors, artists, and/or members.  The paper features many fascinating articles:
    • "The Childhood Museum" by Janelle Wisby- The Childhood Museum is a wonderful place. There are not only pictures, but many other works of art. In a month or two, two of our pictures will go on sale. They are both large and good. They cost from $1.60 to $1.80 apiece. Come see them while they are up. Don't be too slow or you won't ever see them. 
    • "We Need You" by Janelle Wisby. We need you. There is a museum at 2024 Chelton Road. There are about 50 pictures in it, plus many to sell. We have a donation box. When you donate, we buy supplies, do more pictures and sell more pictures. Do you think you could look through the museum? I hope so!  But remember we are not at home all the time.
    • "Where is Tommy?" by Carol Wilcox- Tommy went to art lessons every Monday at 3:00. He came home at 5:00. One day Tommy was not home. 'He's just doing his painting," thought his mom. It was 6:00. He wasn't home yet. Mrs. Dunn was worried. At 6:30 in walked Tommy.
    • "What Art Can Do" by Carol Wilcox- Art can brighten your home or make you happy. A sick person can use art to make him happy. Art can also be fun and keep you out of trouble. If you go to your grandmother's house without your mother or father, a picture makes you happy. A picture has a cheery look.
    • I also contributed several poems to the newspaper.
"The Zoo"
The Zoo!
The Zoo!
The wonderful zoo!
Ask your father
to take you
to the Zoo!
"Me and Mike"
I like to hike.
I do it with Mike. 
Me and Mike are alike. 
I like Mike.
I also brought home a file of my mother's Christmas letters for the last twenty years, the prayer I wrote and shared at my dad's funeral in December, 1993, as well as the sympathy cards from his death, my mother's recipe boxes, in case I ever decide I want to cook, and the dissertation dedication I wrote and sent to my mom shortly after my dad died.

I know I really can't keep bringing stuff back to my house.

But I really can't help it.

I am the keeper of the paper in my family.


Ramona said...

Love this post. The articles written by you and your sisters remind me of our 4th grade newspaper that I still have. When I was on the newspaper staff in jr. high, we were fledgling typists using mimeograph paper. There are worse things to be than a keeper of papers.

Elizabeth G. said...

I couldn't help but connect to your post. My mom is the keeper of the papers in our family. When my Grandmother passed away this summer, everything landed at my mom's house. A storage unit later and she still has a collection. I'm glad that she collects the papers and memories. Glad that you do too.

Linda B said...

If they're important to you, you need to keep them-that's it. It's okay. Plus, they sound wonderful to me! (Do I get to say?)