Moving sparks memories

Published 2:37 am Wednesday, January 10, 2007

By Staff
It's amazing the detritus that can collect over a decade - roughly the amount of time I've been out of my parents' house. (But don't ask about the fourth-grade science notes that are still tucked away in a box in their attic somewhere.)
I've discovered over the past few days, as my husband and I work to pack for an upcoming move to a new house, that I am an even worse pack rat than I ever thought.
And I married one, too.
Last week Josh split the packing tape on a box he packed sometime in the early 1990s.
It was filled with baseball cards, old newspaper clippings and - almost inexplicably - a small collection of empty Mr. Pibb cans. Turns out they were there as &#8220filler” so the precious baseball cards would not be jostled around during the half-dozen moves my husband has made since he packed the box in the first place.
By default of marriage, I've become someone who co-owns a commemorative Coca-Cola bottle with Bear Bryant's picture on it.
But I can't fault only my husband.
Because he married a fellow packrat, Josh is now the proud owner of a battered collection of stuffed animals, a box filled with batteries that may or may not work, and an endless supply of pens without ink.
I found a box of index cards with my notes from freshman Western civilization class - along with my husband's phone number from when we were first dating.
And therein lies the problem - tucked in among these everyday, uninteresting, needless items are the stories of our lives, the little details that bring back so many memories.
Old calendars from the early days of my career as a reporter offer a meager who's who of the few important people I interviewed - one day it was a conference call with Jesse Jackson, another was a delightful afternoon with Kathryn Tucker Windham.
Address books show where my loved ones have lived over the years.
And old Christmas cards are a time machine for my friends and their new and growing families.
I understand that if I get rid of the physical things, I'll still have the memories.
But there is nothing like seeing the scrawled numbers on a piece of notebook paper, in handwriting so familiar to me now, to bring back memories of first dates and first kisses.
Luckily for me, I married a pack rat who lets me keep more than just memories.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 251-867-4876 or by e-mail at

Email newsletter signup