23 January 2009

The Story before The Story:

I was going to write a resolutions post, didn't get around to it. But a key component of that post was going to be about revisi
ting the past. I started down this trail as the year came to a close when I reunited with old family friends (more about that another time or we'll never get to the point of this post). These sorts of visits are difficult for me because I don't like to 'go there'. Inevitably my Mom will become a topic of conversation and it is still a topic I don't talk about very well. Anyway, I faced that fear and had a wonderful visit with dear old friends.

For similar reasons I generally dread going to storage because there are all these large pieces of furniture that I do not foresee ever fitting into our home, yet there they are collecting dust and I can't part with them so I just leave feeling conflicted and bummed. So when I innocently went into storage to find a particular photo of my Mom I wanted for our family room (I am working on a family photo display), I happened upon the past and I embraced it! I went rummaging through dusty boxes and came across all sorts of wonderful treasures that I didn't even remember were in there. Sadly the photo was not in the best quality and will not be able to be a part of our display, but here it is. I will find another one on my next trip!

The Story:

On my visit to storage I happened upon a box that had a stool in it that
my brother and I used to use as children. I forgot I saved this and was so excited by the timing because Elliot is just now starting to use a stool to reach the sink for brushing his teeth or to get up to his highchair. How wonderful that he can use the same stool I used!

Another box that I happened up had one of the most amazing finds of all...an entire box of typed-written short stories authored my Grandfather, Paul V. Sheehan (my Mom's Dad). Paul V. (as my Mom liked to call him) passed away when I was around 3 (I believe he was in his 60's). He was a Professor of Journalism at Fresno State from around the mid-1930 to early to mid-1960's. On the side he wrote, and wrote and apparently wrote
some more. My mom spoke of his short-stories, but somehow it got lost in my memory. It must have been a box that my Mom had in her storage shed that I just moved without really looking at because the writing on the box is hers. It feels like the first time I've ever seen these stories. I am going to see if I can find someone/someplace to scan them (page by page at home is not an option) to ensure they are preserved, but I cannot wait to read them in their glorious typewritten paper form! {Isn't the title of the one that was on top a little eerie?}

Some other noteworthy finds...my very first 'ATM' card known as a Versatel card, an authentic cassette tape, a grade school yearbook from when I was in Kindergarten, a box of paperbacks and one near the top was about MLK (strange considering it was days from his birthday as well as the Inauguration of Obama), a school assignment where I drew a pie chart of oil production in Asia (5th grade I think, I guess I was destined to be an excel super-user), an 'original' copy of 'I am a Bunny' one of my favorite books that I have convinced Elliot to love too (in a box with a ton more Richard Scarry books which might have been from when my Mom was a teacher, not sure).
And the final artifact that had me laughing and crying was a recipe that I wrote for my mom for Mother's Day when I was in the 3rd grade (I think):


hannah m said...

Oh, Amy. This is my all time favorite Amy post. Thank you for sharing this glimpse of your precious past. I love it all so much, but I especially adore the cursive-handwritten recipe for your mom. Specifically the part at the end that says "Pour into living room and turn on Jeopardy." That had me laughing and crying, too. I can imagine that these "storage adventures" are bittersweet, but I think you collected some very special memories on this trip.

I can't wait to see your family photo display. And I can't wait to read some of your grandfather's short stories (I love short stories!).

Ducky said...

Marivolious milk and cleannes. You are so dear and cute, Amy. The love and imagination and creativity you put into that recipe is a joy to see. The whole post is touching, and you did find some wonderful treasures, for sure.

The picture of your mom is beautiful and I can see your face in hers. I wonder if you could have it restored and "remastered?"

Sharon said...


I absolutely love this post. It had me laughing and crying too. I have an aunt who restores old photos. She has done some amazing work with my family's old photos. Let me know if you want her contact info.

Anonymous said...

Let me reiterate. This was wonderful. Your mother was lovely and there seems to be this aura of kindness around her, which I'm sure is where you get your big heart from. Thank You for letting me read and be a part of your life that we don't usually get to talk about. yc

karolina said...

The same Bunny book! :)

Wonderful post, Amy. I do hope to see some of those short stories too someday-- they sound like quite a fascinating find.

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