I’ve been cleaning house a little bit lately, pulling out boxes of random stuff that I’ve found in the closet or under my bed and going through them to weed out the crap. It’s been fun actually, I forgot about a lot of this stuff. There are a couple things that I am very grateful to have found, especially since a few years ago the storage unit I had rented to keep my most prized possessions from childhood or mementos from my grandmother had been broken into and all of the contents stolen. This included my prized Barbie collection, still in their original boxes, all my holiday stuff and most sadly of all, my christmas stocking that my Aunt Nancy made for me when I was a baby. All gone.

Why would I trust this stuff to a  storage unit, you might ask? I thought it would be safer than at my apartment. We have some rather high crime rates in Arizona, and as I found out, nothing is sacred to somebody who feels they have the right to another person’s possessions and memories.

Anyway, here are a few of the things I have found so far.

Notes from my friends Jenny and Amy from junior high/high school. Nothing particualrly exciting to anyone but me. And Jenny and Amy, probably. Mostly cartoons of teachers or of Dave Scott, the kid who wore maternity t-shirts to gym class.

This stupid matchbook that I thought was “sooo hilarious”. I carried this with me everywhere, although I didn’t ever use any. I think I kept it in my bag in the hopes that someone would go through it and be like, “Oh shit, I AM nosey!!”. I was such a dork.

A cool Muppets tin that I bought on a class trip to Buck’s County, PA in an antique shop there. It was probably my freshman year of high school, and I was there with the drama club. I remember thinking that the tin was in good shape and well worth the $3 it cost me! Still is!

Speaking of the Muppets, this is something that I can’t believe I still have. This is a Miss Piggy pin that belonged to my Granny. It is stamped with 1979 on the back, and some of the paint is peeling off. Miss Piggy was Gran’s favorite Muppet, mine was a toss up between Rolph or Gonzo. She used to wear this pin on her sweater or jacket sometimes, but the rest of the time she stuck it to the satin lining on the inside lid of her jewelry box, and when I would go stay with Granny and Pop Pop for the weekend I loved to open her jewelry box and just look at everything. Not really wear it, just take it out and look at it. And this was one of my favorite things. I’m glad I kept this.

And finally, this. This is my very first major craft project that couldn’t be done in just an hour. I think I started this around age 7, and I worked on it on and off for a few years. It’s a dress for one of my Barbies, made with red felt with a clumsily-stitched snap sewn on the back so it would stay on. Granny taught me to sew and this is the first thing I wanted to do with it. I can’t say how many hours I worked on this, sewing the beads that were once a shiny silver to the bodice, then one cherry-red sequin after the other. At first Gran helped me, but I got pretty good at stitching them on by myself, and I used to pull this out every time she came over to show her how far I had gotten. She always seemed excited about it too. I worked for a long time, double-stitching each sequin so they would lay flatter and smoother. It took me so long to get this far that I finally outgrew my love of barbies and gave up the project. In fact the needle and thread I was using is still attached, and has literally rusted to the dress.

I was so close to finishing!! I wish I had. But honestly, I kind of I like it how it is, and I am thinking that now that I found it, I’d like to get a shadow box to put it in and hang it on the wall.

My first real craft. I thought it had been stolen from my storage unit with all my other handmade stuff, but I was so overwhelmed with joy and nostalgia to have found it, the last thing I thought I would find just crammed in a box under the bed.

So since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I decided I am thankful for surprises like these. And thankful to have had a grandmother who was as excited about red, sparkly things as I am.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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