Out of the Box-The Attic Archives

January 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm 12 comments


The attic, a place for “shoving everything” over the years- The attic became my place for all things needing to be stored

I just can’t throw that away- I might need it

– mainly because my husband had taken over the whole basement with his “junk”!

What has happened over the years I became the paperwork keeper. I admit it I am a disgrace – I don’t file and I don’t organize stuff- people yes- events yes -but not papers/photos cards NO!

Chris artwork 3years old


My mother is wonderful when it comes to photo albums you know where when what and who. I, on the other hand, tend to rationalize

I have to get to that


and put the photos and paper work in drawers and cupboards.

Chris was also like me in that regard as well. So as the drawers would fill they every once in a while got dumped into a bigger box- which eventually got sent to the attic.

Chris was the stronger so he would toss the boxes across to a space that was clearer- away from the pull down ladder. However even the boxes have no rhyme or reason to them- some contain years worth of scripts and all things theatre along with school certificates and Hallowe’en. it really just depended on what the drawer held at the time it was “filed”.

Chris used the attic as his personal “catch-all” as well. The attic became his “in case I need it space” and his paintings and tents and “paraphernalia from a college parties ” found a space nestled along with Christmas decorations- a twin bed ( not sure why that is there) – well you get the picture

Since Chris died and “I was in search of my son”- the journey I have had a nagging voice telling me to go to the attic.

A few weeks ago we had a semi clearout- bags and bags of junk, paperwork and hard copies of years of writing for various publications, reports on highland dancing – thousands of documents “I had to keep” just in case I needed confirmation ( I was pretty controversial in my writing and in my younger days)- All tossed just so I could access my sons clutter.

There was a box cardboard somewhat damp due to being next to the air vent. Now what was in this I wondered as my husband struggled to bring it down.

It was life!!!!

The contents of years of putting “I must save that” into a deep sideboard.

There were cards wishing us congratulations on our engagement from people long since passed – our wedding photos and invitations – the birth of our daughter and then son- cards sent by Nana and granddad on their birthdays, poems from Nana.
Easter bunny card pictures of a little girl then joined later by a little boy- photograph albums – some whose pages have ripped from the album- happiness of celebrations – artwork from chubby little fingers- a sister writing the card for her baby brother-

his card to her on being his sister– letter from my husband before they were born – and after they were born- Cards from great grandmothers- family photos from before I was born intermingled with high school graduation pictures – this damp cardboard box contained life – my life- my mother’s life- my daughter’s life and my sons- and a hand print given to a mother so many years ago that clutches at my heart-

As I sat on the floor of his old bedroom sorting through our lives I, of course, became awash with tears- the damp cardboard box that held happiness lost I realized that like it or not our life really is about boxes……………….TO BE CONTINUED……………….

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Entry filed under: Brit take, Chris Ritchey, grief, journey, Love. Tags: , .

1-1-11 – The blog that was Lorain City Schools- The meeting- they said…

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Grammy  |  January 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    What a treasure to find! While it brings back a flood of emotions and feelings, in some cases they can be good to feel. I’d done that with storeage drawers and boxes too. Finding it hard at first once I stopped looking at it as things gone but as things remembered, a history in the works, I could continue to “go through this family history.” Enjoy as much as you can and be glad you found it before it was gone forever.

    Love and hugs,

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    There was an awful lot in that box- I even found the minutes to the first Lorain Pride meeting and the participants and who was doing what etc. I will share before this blog becomes an archive itself……..

  • 3. Lisa  |  January 5, 2011 at 1:21 am

    I am glad that something [or somebody] directed you to the attic and this box. You’ve got some very important treasures there – maybe your Mum could scrapbook it for [or with] you.

  • 4. Carolyn  |  January 5, 2011 at 3:11 am

    i have had similar feelings finding an old Christmas card from my sister and then my niece gave me a few of her Christmas ornaments( Janice loved the holidays). It was had taking down our tree and packing the ornaments away.

  • 5. thatwoman  |  January 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Oh dear no- no scrap booking- would drive me crazy- ( well crazier than I already am) I packed up a lot of it and gave it to Nikki- kept some for use in future posts and packed away in a different box ( closer to hand than the attic) some I wanted near me.

    I am still not done in the attic..and the basement too is being sorted….. so we will see what we will see 😉

  • 6. Mark  |  January 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Definitely hit the jackpot in the attic! Chris is still whispering in your ear, directing you to these treasures.

  • 7. Loraine Ritchey  |  January 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    something is whispering pretty loudly and there is more up there just can’t lift some of the things to get to the places where Chris “sent” his boxes 🙂 and now it is too cold 😦

  • 8. Lisa  |  January 9, 2011 at 4:09 am

    Put on your coats and boots and head up there!

  • 9. thatwoman  |  January 9, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I have to put on more than my coat and boots Lisa – as I go through the search I need a suit of emotional armour to stop the slings and arrows of memory from wounding me to the quick 😦

  • 10. Lisa  |  January 9, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Didn’t think of that, sorry 😦
    I should know better, living in the boobytrapped house of grief that I do.

  • […] Going through my “boxes” I came across material “Lorain and Lorain(E) of Yesteryear”. […]

  • 12. The Wall- not Facebook- « That Woman’s Weblog  |  April 11, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    […] – I find so much more of Chris’s work. Some is stored in what has now become a Chris Ritchey Library of Life Room ( aka his old bedroom) but once in a while I come across a sketch book or drawing , water-colour […]

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