I made a personal time box on Sunday, January 14, 1989. I cannot explain why. I filled it with treasures, a note to myself, and a record of personal information in case someone else found the box. I remember I was reading “After the Bomb,” a young adult novel about nuclear holocaust. I suspect I thought that this time box–a shoebox–might somehow survive whereas I might not. It wasn’t morbid, really. I wasn’t thinking so much about my demise but the box’s survival.
The box was labelled “Open in 2010” and last week I opened it. More than 20 years after I made it, I started to pull those treasures out of the box.
Here’s what I found.
1) A great photo of my nan on our old living room sofa. She was wearing a blue silk nightgown and big, dangly pearl earrings. She had her red curly hair up in combs and lipstick on. I’m sure it was Christmas morning. My friend Heather remarked that she looked like someone out of that old tv show “Dallas.” That is exactly how I remember my nan. It’s been over 13 years and I still miss her.
2) A 1976 $2 bill. It’s crinkled and well-used but still cool to see.
Other significantly less impressive finds:
3) Eight of my best jelly bracelets, including the ones with the sparkles and liquid inside (which has since evaporated or leaked)
4) A dozen plastic charms including a pink baseball bat, an egg in a frying pan, and a jar of two-tone pills.
5) A fabric-covered box of fabric-covered unsharpened pencils.
6) Six of my grandmother’s rings (old costume jewelry). The part that goes around your finger on a few rings is a gold elastic woven thread type-thing.
7) A random assortment of valentines (including Ziggy and Minnie Mouse). Not from close friends, mind you, but from random people in my class.
8 ) A 680 CFTR bumper sticker signed by “___ Spencer” with “Thanks for listening.” I did really like CFTR when I was a kid. It ruled.
9) My old phone book with neatly written names and complete addresses of all my friends. My cursive writing was spectacular, I must say.
10) Painted plastic window ornaments that my friend Zenia says are “Shrinky-dinks” <??>
11) My Camp Miakonda song book and a letter to me at camp from my parents.
12) A two-page list of blonde jokes including such favourites as “What do you call three blondes in a freezer? Frosted flakes.” and “Why do blondes have TGIF written on their shoes? Toes go in first.”
And a few other things…
I wonder what I was thinking at the time I put these things in a shoebox to be preserved. I think that… I wasn’t thinking. At least not too deeply anyway. I just put in the things that I loved at that moment. Maybe my other takeaway from opening this box should be a reminder to live in the moment. How can I be disappointed with that?