When I bought the house, my dad asked me a lot of questions about the the basement and the size of the garage. Naturally, he wanted to be sure these crucial spaces were dry and in good condition. But I now realize that he had an ulterior motive. He was ready for me to take back all the stuff I’d been storing in his attic and garage for the last two decades. And really, who can blame him?
So over the course of a year, the things of my life have slowing been accumulating around me and this house like nails to a magnetized screwdriver. My purple mountain bike from college has found its way back to me, as have my four snow tires, and a whole slew of mildewed cardboard boxes.
At first I planned to go through all the cardboard boxes and I did find some things I’d forgotten I owned–like the brilliantly masochistic Silver Palate Cookbook and a clutch of wooden spoons I’d collected in college. But then I started finding piles of old letters from old boyfriends and school pictures from seventh grade and the hand-sewn doll named Ed that my mother made for me when I was two. All those years of storing stuff at my parents’ house meant that I was free of my own past. But now it’s here with me. So I went to Lowes and bought some of those durable plastic tubs with snap-on lids. Everything’s in there now, stacked neatly in a dry corner of my basement until I can figure out what it means to have the remnants of your history so close at hand.