Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I’m up and moving just a bit earlier than usual this morning. I’m picking up my daughter at the airport from an early flight. She’s flying in for a Spring Break visit and one of her wedding showers. Another transitional week in my life I would suppose. At least it means that I’ll need to clear out room in the garage to store the gifts until they have an apartment. Let me pause here to give those of you who think that once the “kids are grown” that you can downsize your living arrangements. I know, as my parents before me know, that this is not a good idea. Your job as a parent is to reside in a home larger than your children until such a time as they buy their own home. In the mean time, you become a “U Store it” outlet. Some of you, with children more numerous than myself, may have to own your own franchise.
I need to do a good job with the garage arrangements. Besides the wedding stuff that will begin to arrive, I also happen to be storage for a Spring garage sale. And don’t forget that we actually have some of our own stuff that seems to get lost in the mix. The other day, as I was shuffling through stuff out there and trying to make a preliminary assessment of the situation, I came to the realization that I’d lost 20 years somewhere. I’m out there pulling boxes and bags off of shelves to see what needs to be saved and what might have “gotten lost in a move”. Anyway, I begin to uncover an assortment of items stamped with the Fischer Price logo. It’s like a time capsule. As our kid outgrew them and went on to cooler and more expensive things, my wife encouraged me to “hold on to these for our grandchildren”.
Some of you don’t understand how ridiculous this sounds to a guy trying desperately to find space for the craftsman toolbox. Like a good husband, I honored the request. Through five moves, totaling about 4000 miles these remnants of childhoods past have accompanied us to places most of my tools never saw. They survived a dozen garage sale seasons. They came across mountain passes like the Donner party, except they survived. They’ve fought off mold and spiders and rats and….. well you get the idea.
And all of a sudden, quite without warning, 20 years vanished in the time it took for me to open a box. As I peeled back the tabs on the box, I realized that it’s time for them once again. Princess Lily will experience the same joy that they once brought to her dad and like the “ring of power” they will draw all children unto themselves once again with the promise of being the cool kid with the retro toys. I have to admit that it was a little unbalancing to open a box and be flooded with memories of 20 years ago when I couldn’t remember 20 minutes ago. It was like a U- haul induced Alzheimer’s moment. It’s possible I guess, that as I spend time this weekend making room for more boxes, I’ll catch glimpses of these past 20 years. And hopefully, this new stuff going in won’t be around here for 20 more.

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