"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Thursday, 20 March 2014

20 years in a drawer

It has been a year of sorting out stuff.  From the time Michael's mom died, to Nic moving out of Albion Road, to a burglary and now a change of desks in an office where I no longer work, it seems to have been a non-stop time of "sorting out" for me.  I am getting quite used to it, but not that good at throwing out and still have wooden crates with things that I am not too sure what to do with.

Leaving my office last year was not as difficult as I thought it would be. Mainly because no one was replacing me, my desk and computer would be there for me and I could pop in every couple of days to catch up on any office politics, go through my emails, use the scanner, photocopier and printer if I had to (wonderful when your husband is the boss), so everything was great.

Things change though and last week I was landed with the job of emptying my office desk as they were having a change around.  Long overdue, I suppose.  I came home with a couple of boxes and spent last night going through them.  

There were the notes I had used for Nicky's funeral and notes that Dalene and I made for my grandfather's memorial. There were cards from Nicky, letters from ex-girlfriends and plenty of programmes from all the funerals through the years.

Besides the bottles of diet potions, herbal teas, natural hormonal gels, hand creams, fountain pens, photographs, notes and cards and a sizeable amount of cash, I also came upon a couple of treasures.

The postcard below Matthew had written to my aunt after we had spent a few nights with her in Johannesburg.  It is written on a postcard from the Karoo National Park where we had spent a night on our way back to Cape Town after the 1995 World Cup.

Now what is the good of teaching your kids good manners, having them write a card and then never posting it because it "got lost" in a pile on your desk before you could find the box number?  Sorry Matt.  Thanks for "haveing us" Aunty Revonica.

I have a wonderful pile of emails from my friend Cheryl in New Zealand. Pages and pages of the two of us pouring our hearts out to each other.  She was settling into a new life in New Zealand with her husband and two young boys while my life with my three young boys was being split apart.  I felt quite sad because that was such a big part of our lives and we don't email much anymore.  We have Facebook to keep in touch and every couple of months we have a mammoth telephone session.  I miss her so much, she has visited a couple of times and we know that our bond is secure but those emails were really a lifeline at the time for both of us.  We can use the "no time, so busy" excuse on not being good about keeping in touch, but that is no excuse.  We managed to find the time before and perhaps it was because we were both needy at the time and the emails were a form of therapy.  There is a book for me in those emails so they could not be put into the paper waste pile.

This is the pencil holder from my desk which her youngest son Daniel had made for me.

This is the "tongue in cheek" reference letter which I wrote for her before she left. For once she was at a loss for words:-

Those were the days.  Wouldn't you love to have her working with you?

There is a file of emails from Gareth when he did his 2 years working in London.  He wrote under the name Poncey Malherbe and those emails started a cult following in Cape Town and led him on the path of journalism.  Some brilliant stuff there and so many events and funny stories that I had forgotten about.  There is a book in those emails for him as well.

Nic's email file from his gap year is less full.  Most of the emails seem to be me having to change flights or connections and help him and his mate get out of America before their visa's expired.  His general emails from London tell of revelry, music concerts, furniture removals and camping on couches.

Then there is a hard covered journal that Gareth had made up to list the family's CD collection.  At the back of the journal are words for certain songs - so much time to spare instead of doing homework!!  I do however notice, on investigation, that there is an X next to my Van Morrison CD and that it could perhaps still be in the possession of Paul Swanson!!

So once again, an evening of memories rekindled by the contents of a desk drawer.

Some stuff has to be kept, other stuff read for the last time and turfed away, expired potions, tablets and creams thrown away.  I now have another crate labelled "Coulters" for my collection. Anybody need a box of tampons? 

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