My late, greatly loved husband, was a pack rat of gigantic proportions.  He has been gone for 45 years, I have moved twice since than and I am still finding items that he owned.  I have gone through his and my possessions, disposing of things I no longer want, or use, and sorting others many times so that I could find them if needed.  But I still come across some interesting items.

When we married in 1947 he brought with him all of his beloved possessions, in his mind, and things that he might need some day or would come in handy.  I was shocked when he presented me with a bag of socks that needed mending.  It was a big bag, so I am sure some dated back to his high school days. Needless to say, I was not going to spend my time darning old socks.  I don’t remember what he did with the sock bag, but I don’t remember his disposing of it.

One wall in our garage was stacked to the ceiling with newspapers that he had not gotten around to reading.  But couldn’t part with them because he didn’t want to miss some interesting story. When we moved out of that house into a larger one I thought he was going to cry.  But he survived the move, without the newspapers. However, he did bring his collection of old magazines that he hadn’t read yet. In addition, he had reams of paper, boxes of pens and pencils, and all sorts of items he might need for his writing activity.

This was in the days prior to the computer age, so we didn’t have one.

My husband, Jim, was an unsuccessful writer.  He loved to write. As a newspaper reporter he was able to use his talent to write the story that accompanied pictures of the event he had covered.  But wasn’t able to bring that ability into other types of publication. I still have some of the stories he wrote along with two scrapbooks of his news reporting days.

And, again today, I ran across a minor item that was typical of his collections.  It was a tiny box of one sided razor blades. I haven’t seen those in a very long time, but they are very handy to use.  It is a great gadget to use opening a taped- up box.

In retrospect, I believe that his need to have everything handy that he might need someday, or, perhaps was a result of his father’s untimely death.  That parent died at the age of 34 of a heart attack, at home. Jim was 8 years old and his sister was 6. His mother was devastated and could not take care of her children.  They were sent to live with relatives until she could recover. That family was not a loving one and the children did not thrive.  His mother never remarried.

Other than the need to have “things” and keep them, Jim did not show any bad effects of his childhood.  He was everything I wanted in a husband and I miss him to this day.

Afghan Solution

The third afghan problem has been resolved.  My daughter, Circe, took it and will carry it with her the next time she goes to San Francisco to visit  her son and his family.  Their son, Ozzie, is only two years old, but Circe will give him the afghan.  He is getting bigger all the time and sleeps in a real bed, so the afghan will help keep him warm in the San Francisco weather.  I remember that it was very cold on my first visit there in August on my honeymoon.

I’m happy to have homes for all the afghans I have made including the three that were stored in my studio.  Now, on to finishing the disposal project for the rest of the stuff I no longer want, or need, all over my house.

Christmas Memories of Long Ago

Recently I needed to share my Christmas traditions with a group of friends and it brought back old memories.

When I was a little girl it was the late 1930’s.  My father was a chef who didn’t have a secure job.  My mother didn’t work.  Obviously we didn’t have much money.  My father would wait until Christmas Eve to go out to buy a tree.  He knew that he could get one cheaply since the seller would be anxious to close up and go home. By the time he got home my brother and I would be sound asleep.  My parents put up the tree, decorated it and put our few presents under it.  Then they would come in and wake us up by yelling, “Kids, get up! Santa’s here!” Of course, we couldn’t get up fast enough to see Santa, but low and behold there was a beautiful decorated tree in our living room with presents under it.  We were so excited.  We could only open one.  We had to wait for the others in the morning.

My father did this for a reason.  He wanted us to have a good time, and best of all, he didn’t want to be awakened at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning.

My father also had other family Christmas traditions to pass on to us such as egg nog at night and raw oysters for breakfast the next morning.  The egg nog was great, not so much the oysters.

As the years passed my brother and I grew up, married, and I had a family of my own.  My husband liked the Christmas Eve activity and so we continued to celebrate it with our children.  To this day my family gathers on Christmas Eve and has dinner, then we open our presents.  This allows everyone to have a quiet Christmas Day and to do whatever pleases them.

We have egg nog, but no oysters.

I Love Cats

green_eyes_cat_faceThroughout all my years of growing up and growing old I have had a cat, sometimes two.  Except now.  For the last 15 years I have not had a cat for a pet.  The last one died of old age about that long ago.  I did not acquire a new one and I don’t know why I didn’t.

But then I moved into a mobile home.  And somehow didn’t think about getting a new cat.  So I don’t have a cat now and I can’t think about getting one.  My home is small.  I would have to find a place for a litter box and if the cat happened to get outside it would be very difficult to find it.  Then driving to a vet when needed with a cat in the car is not something I want to do.  Been there, done that.

So I don’t have a cat.  But I miss having that little soft, furry companion.  I miss the purring and the rubbing against my leg for attention.

Then I saw this advertisement for a black T shirt with a silvery white cat on it and I fell in love. I want that T shirt. However, I have a closet full of T shirts and should not even consider buying more. I think maybe wearing the T shirt would almost be the same as having a real cat without all the disadvantages.  And I dream.