House Excavations: The Makings of Childhood
The sorting continues ….
The past number of weeks, I’ve been packing boxes with books and décor, trying to sort as I go. There’s no sense moving stuff we no longer want. And when you’ve lived in a house for close to 30 years, it’s amazing how much stuff accumulates that you no longer have a use for or, worse yet, never had a use for and can’t figure out how it came to be in the house.
Today, Hubby and I tackled boxes stored in one of our three closets. (That’s one of the quirks of our 1894 house that I forgot to mention last week. Old houses don’t have many closets. Ours had three when we moved in, one of which was an awkward triangle in one of the bedrooms. The house still has three closets, but we reconfigured the upstairs closets into one larger closet and added a closet in the downstairs entry. But I digress.)
Many of the boxes in our dining room closet (because apparently a dining room needs a closet more than a bedroom does in an old house?) were well sorted, including the boxes of Christmas ornaments, wrapping paper, photographs, and paperwork from past businesses. I also found a box of old tax returns.
And then there were the boxes of items from our children’s babyhoods, my husband’s childhood, and a random box of items from my extended family. These were all boxes that needed further sorting. I had kept a lot of hospital and early childhood info as well as greeting cards for the kids that they would have no real connection to, so I filled the paper recycling bin and whittled things down to one large envelope for each kid. (You’re welcome, children!)
There is one box from the closet with items that I am at a loss as to how to dispose of them.
The box contains a bunch of random ceramic creations made by our children when they were young. You know, the pinch pots and coil snakes and figurines that are utterly endearing when your kids bring them home to you but that they are mortified that you kept all this time. In addition to what was in the box, we also had another pile of the kids’ ceramics that we want to get rid of.
Most of them were made by Eldest Son, an artist from a young age who loved playing with clay. He made a couple of sharks, a dog, a pumpkin, a sand castle, a giant arm, the head of what looks like a warrior, and a tiny seal balancing a red ball on its nose.
Young Son Number Two had quite a few items in the pile as well, including a coil snake, a mug with spikes, and a monkey head.
All I found from Daughter in the box was a small coil snake. She wasn’t much into messing with clay.
I’m not sure who was responsible for what looks like two sundials in this collection.
Lest you think we are completely cold-hearted in wanting to get rid of these ceramics, we’ve actually kept several items made by the kids which are not shown here and have already been packed away.
The question is, what do we do with these ceramics? The kids don’t want them back, so that’s not an option. I’m pretty sure donating them to a thrift store is also not an option. I don’t want to turn them into artworks myself because I don’t have the time or inclination to do so. I’d like to be able to recycle them in some way, but I’ve heard conflicting stories about whether they can be broken down and reused for making other ceramics. (If you can enlighten me about whether they can be reused by potters or ceramics artists, I’d love to hear about it!)
I’m very tempted to take all of them and bury them in a hole in the “forest” on our property. Wouldn’t future archaeologists be super curious about them when they are dug up?
Aside from the ceramics, while I was sorting my extended family items into boxes that I had previously created for such things, I ran across another childhood creation.
This gray and brown pom-pom squirrel was made by me in about fourth or fifth grade. I remember going through a very crafty phase at that point, trying all sorts of things, like candle-making, crocheting, and pom-pom crafts like this. I gave this squirrel to my dad. I found it in a box of my dad’s things that was given to me by my step-mom after he died. It’s pretty ratty and smooshed and I can’t believe he kept it. (Kinda mortified, really.) But, I’m pleased that he did. 🙂