Goodbye Bobbsey Twins….

John has my Bobbsey Twins books.
I don’t know John very well. I met him when he bought eleven boxes of books from me.
I like any man that buys eleven boxes of books. He must be good, right?
When I called him a few days later and asked him if he would like to own my Bobbsey Twins, free of charge, he said yes.
He came back with all the books he had bought in his van, because he hadn’t found room for them in the house yet, that’s how I know he loves books.
He took the Bobbsey Twins, but he told me, “If you ever want them back, you call me.”
I thought that was an awesome thing to say.
He said that he would keep them safe and treasure them.
I love that, John, but I will never call you for those books. I let them go and I let them go into hands that will give them love and respect.
I knew I could not throw those books away or sell them at a yard sale.
Some had been sent to me by fans of my story, “The Bobbsey Twins, Dad and Me.”
Many were gifts from my husband, who was thrilled each time he found one for me.
There were about forty of them, dating from the first book, and I loved them all.
I saved one, “The Bobbsey Twins at Snow Lodge,” but there was no room for the box full of Twins in my new, tiny house on wheels.
The memories, yes. The books, no.

The Bobbsey Twins, Dad And Me

( #10 SHE Saga) Let It Go, Let It Go

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I feel numb and She is hiding.  I know she’s furious with me and she didn’t believe that I would go through with my plan to get rid of everything that I didn’t absolutely need or want…before we moved into our tiny home on wheels.

I guess it was my turn to pitch a fit. It happened when I was decluttering tonight, when I was down to facing the boxes that I hadn’t unpacked in over ten years.

She objected over every piece I tossed. She cried. She screamed.

She was so upset that she had me walking in circles, holding things to my chest, paralyzed by grief and indecision. After about an hour of circles, I snapped.

“Stop! Stop, leave me the f… alone,” I screamed as I dumped another pile of boxes in the middle of the room. When the pile was gigantic, I sat down beside it with a kitchen trash can beside me.

She left and the silence was eerie.

I quickly filled that kitchen bag, so I went downstairs for the green yard bags and I kept going.

I dragged at least six green bags full of papers, memories, CD’s and tapes down the stairs tonight and out onto the front porch for trash day. Plus, containers and boxes full of stuff.

My wedding dress got special treatment. It was 3:00 a.m. and I walked outside and hung it on a tree beside the yard sale.

My neighbor was still outside because she was getting ready to have a yard sale with me, and she said, “You have to take a picture,” and of course, I did.

As I took pictures, trying to capture my emotional whirlpool in a snapshot of a dress, I remembered the day I went shopping for it with my mum and how proud she was that I was marrying such a good man, a man who worked and took care of me and my three kids financially.

I remembered how happy she was to buy the dress for me, and in 1983, $27.00 was a lot of money.

The dress draped my tiny hips like it was designed just for me, and it made Mum smile because back then, I seldom wore dresses.

She special ordered artificial roses for my corsage and for the wedding, because I was allergic to flowers and I remember how the florist thoughtlessly sprayed them with rose perfume and I sneezed all day.

Our mind is like a computer and it captures every little thing we have ever done, seen or felt.

I threw the still rosy corsage away tonight too, along with a box of wedding day souvenirs. We never dreamed thirty-eight years ago it would end this way, my wedding dress hung in a tree for a yard sale, all alone in the dark. Big ouch.

Couldn’t hold on till morning. Needed to let it go, let it go.

He was here helping me finish up the packing and for the closing, and I couldn’t afford to show any weaknesses in front of him. It was a real test.

His heart was hurting as he saw me throw away our memories.

The picture Mum bought me because she thought it looked like us, my IHRA umbrella and dozens of presents he had bought me.

I think it hit him hardest when he saw my books start to go. Fifteen houses and thirty-eight years, through it all, he’d been complaining about moving my books. I always found ways to resist his demands to get rid of the damn books, because I loved my books. I had learned that if I carried the boxes in and out of the moving trucks, it wasn’t as bad, but even then, the “weight” it added bothered him.

I usually soothe him when he’s hurting, even if he’s sad because he hurt me, but not anymore. (Codependency, which I’m recovering from, one day at a time…amen.)

I probably went too far tonight, when I shoved She away with all my strength.
She left, but I know she will be back, so I’m going to enjoy this time without her.

It’s the first time in forever that she hasn’t been challenging me, quietly or violently.

(# 1 SHE Saga) She Wants What She Wants

Link above will take you to the complete list of She Saga posts.

Goodbye, My Virgin Gateway

I threw away my twenty-year-old Gateway computer today.
Probably sounds like no big deal, but she was my first tech love and my best computer ever.
She was also a virgin. I never put her on the Internet and somehow, she survived without all the little patches and urgent updates.
She was working the last time I tested her.
That was about a year ago, and she was fine, so when I sold my house this month, downsizing to a 17-foot trailer, I grabbed her, and I squeezed her into my tiny home.
I knew right away that she was too big, so I was going to double check that I had emptied her files and put her into storage, where she could live out her life in dignity, but when I plugged her in, she was gone. Dead.
A blue DOS screen pushed out white letters, asking to be connected to the Internet to boot up.
I whispered, “Hell, no. No, I don’t think so, not you, my sweet lady, you would never ask me to connect you to the Internet.”
That’s how I knew she was already gone; an imposter had taken over her system.
I’m afraid she suffered a gruesome finale because I got it in my head that I wouldn’t throw her away without taking out her hard drive.
I soon realized that twenty years ago, they didn’t exactly make it easy to get into your computer. I think they never expected us to learn how to replace our own hard drives and mother boards.
It took three screwdrivers, a hammer, a pair of scissors and a lot of stubbornness, but I pried her open and I got the hard drive out.
It was sad, really sad, because I wrote on that computer for many years, and she was my ride or die girl during the five years that I wrote for the IHRA’s Drag Review Magazine.
Aging out is rough but, I guess we all have an expiration date, even computers.
She wasn’t awake when I took her apart and I’m grateful for that and for the fact that she didn’t know how she was going to end.
She’s gone. Yes, I got rid of another thing that I thought I couldn’t live without.
My twenty-year-old year Gateway computer, once the trusted saver, organizer and keeper of my creative efforts, she was a proud lady, strong and reliable. I’ll never forget her.

 

The Wedding Heels

I’m trying to de-clutter my life and unravel my mind.
Yesterday, I threw my thirty-five-year-old, size five wedding heels in the trash. I tried on a lot of shoes before I found the perfect heels. They were important. My future mother-in-law bought them for me. She wasn’t impressed by her son marrying a woman with three kids, so they were a peace-offering.
The heels have stuck around. They made the cut every time I packed. They have been with us to fifteen houses and a dozen apartments.
I had hoped to wear them again, maybe on an anniversary, but that’s not going to happen.
My feet are no longer small and petite, and my husband and I have separated.
I looked at the shoes laying there in the trash, taunting me, reminding me of my wedding day, and I pushed them in deeper. I instantly panicked, but I took deep breaths and I walked away.
Later, I carried the bag outside to the trash can.
Today, I was out front tearing open the trash bags. Coffee grounds, dog’s pee papers, egg shells and dirty paper plates, I found.
No shoes.
I gave up easy, compared to my norm.
I’m not a quitter. I held on to those heels for thirty-five years.
I stopped because I knew it was hopeless.
I could save the heels. But I couldn’t save us.
I’m strong and I’m weak. I’m resisting the urge to go back out there now.
I just want the trash truck to come and take the heels away before I give in to my compulsion to bring them back into the house.
If I can leave the heels in the trash, maybe I’ll make it through this after all.
P.S. The trash men came and the shoes have gone to their final resting place.

It’s The Memories

Women Who Think Too Much by Jeanne Marie

We start out with nothing and we pick up a lot of things along the way. Some of the things are important and some of them are not.
Some of those things bring us joy and some of them bring us down. Some of them actually hinder us and so many hurt us.
Today, I sit here wondering, where are the letters I wrote to you when you were a baby?
In our crazy lives, we have moved so many times and lost so many material things, and I wonder, are baby letters material things or are they heart things?
I always tell you that you are my sunshine and the first time I told you that you were two years old.
I sat down that night and I wrote you a letter so that you would always know, no matter where you went, if we were together or apart, that…

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It’s The Memories

We start out with nothing and we pick up a lot of things along the way. Some of the things are important and some of them are not.
Some of those things bring us joy and some of them bring us down. Some of them actually hinder us and so many hurt us.
Today, I sit here wondering, where are the letters I wrote to you when you were a baby?
In our crazy lives, we have moved so many times and lost so many material things, and I wonder, are baby letters material things or are they heart things?
I always tell you that you are my sunshine and the first time I told you that you were two years old.
I sat down that night and I wrote you a letter so that you would always know, no matter where you went, if we were together or apart, that you were a ray of sunshine in my life.
Since then, we’ve put a lot of miles on our boxes and our possessions.
We have traveled to different states, to different apartments and lived in dozens of houses.
A lot of memory boxes have been lost along the way.
I spent a moment regretting those losses, wishing I still had your baby book and your brother’s Hot Wheels and Lego’s and your hippie christening dress, but then I remember that most importantly, I still have you and your brother, and all the moments I spent with your sister.
I own my memories and I don’t need to carry around all the boxes.
Even knowing that, I still have way too many boxes because every time I lose a memory box, I hold on tighter to stuff.
I think today I need to clean out some of the boxes and lighten my load because in the end we come with nothing and we leave with nothing.
It’s all the people we love in between our beginnings and our endings that matter and the things we carry around are not important.
The best things can’t be packed up in a box…the memories, the love and the moments.
The boxes are just stuff that can be lost.
We own our precious memories, the moments and the love already received, because those things are safe, packed in our hearts and in our minds.