Actually, it isn’t “IT”, it’s “THEM.” Where did I put them?In my recent drive to thin out the years of accumulated treasures in my little office, I have had to make many, many decisions, critical decisions, as to what stays and what goes. I cannot in my wildest imaginings believe that I tossed out my three junior high school yearbooks.
But neither can I find them anywhere.For years they have sat with all our other yearbooks in a small bookcase in my office. In the last year as I have winnowed through all our ephemera, I have kept in mind what our kids would be faced with when we died, so I have moved all Jerry’s material into one area and all of my family’s material into another area to make it easy for them to sort through. With our marriage being a second marriage for both of us, we want to be sure items get to the proper family.
After being a secretary almost all my married life, I also knew that whatever I did with the material we’ve collected also had to be put in a logical place and easily found. What good is a system if it only causes more confusion?Getting back to yearbooks, Jerry has yearbooks from his mother, his father, his first wife, and himself. The hardback yearbooks are in the left hand bookcase in back of my desk, and the softbacks (the older ones dating from the 1920s) are in labeled boxes sitting in the same area.
My high school and college yearbooks are in the right hand bookcase in back of my desk. My mother's are in a box there; my dad had no yearbooks, as he only went through 8th grade (elementary school out on the plains of Colorado). But where did I put my soft-back junior high school yearbooks? If my system worked, they should have been in a box next to my own high school yearbooks.But they are not, and I can’t find them anywhere.
In my file cabinet I have what I call the “Archives” – a file for each person or family into which I have saved personal material. In my own file, for example I have my college transcripts (awful grades, I see), a poem written in 1953 from a smitten suitor, a personal essay published in 1982 in a local newspaper about being a lousy grandma, and other things that I suppose after I am gone my family will enjoy/be surprised/shocked at knowing about me. It is mostly insignificant stuff, but I wondered if perhaps I’d stuck those three yearbooks in a file next to “Bobby Personal.”Nope. I looked and they aren’t there.
I sorted a lot of books and albums into storage tubs – things that I am not ready to part with and want to keep handy but not necessarily taking up room on a bookcase shelf. I checked in those tubs, and they aren’t there.What did I do with them? I’ve looked in all the obvious places, and according to my theory, they should be in an obvious place. I imagine they are in a place where I thought, “Of course I’ll remember putting them here. It’s a logical place!” Well, it isn’t! At least it isn’t now. I’m sure it was when I came up with that idea.
I hate to say it but this is what old age does to a person!So all I can think of now is this: I must mentally mark the room off in quadrants and then go through each quadrant with a microscope. As my mother always advised me when I couldn’t find something, “They don’t have legs.”
The first quadrant includes a 4-drawer chest of drawers that has been turned into a storage bin. The top drawer holds scarves, nylons, old eyeglasses - a true Fibber McGee’s drawer if I ever saw one. Being a shallow drawer, my yearbooks will be visible if there. The second drawer is used for computer peripherals and other electronic equipment that I really should get rid of, but then you never know when you might need to use the hub again, or the old optical mouse. No books there. The third drawer is for yarn supplies and equipment. No books there. The fourth drawer is for all my counted cross-stitch projects – unfinished, of course. No books there. And the last drawer is for my stash of towels and washcloths. In this apartment we have no room for them in the linen closet so I keep them in this deepest of drawers. With no books.I know those books aren’t in that chest, but I will force myself to look again with a critical eye; perhaps this time I will decide a few more things can be added to the “Salvation Army donation pile.” I can’t afford to get sidetracked, however. I must stay focused on looking for these books.
Where could they be? They don’t have legs.