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Living the past and letting it go

August 3, 2010

My parents appear ready to sell the house where they have lived for 35 years, and where I grew up. They almost sold four years ago and it didn’t happen, but this time events seem to be coming together to force the issue.


This headboard above my old bed is about 30 years old, has outlasted the original frame and mattress. I wish it had all sorts of wild and interesting tales to tell of my youth, but mostly I connect it with 5 incredibly dull, disappointing years of high school.

The most positive memories are baseball-related – many years listening to Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth… the heartbreak of Dave Stieb’s back-to-back 1-hitters in 1988… turning off Game 4 of the 1993 World Series, then being woken up the next morning by the news the Jayson had come back and won.

My mother asked me to pick through things to either toss out or keep in storage. Lots of useless stuff, but also nostalgia. The first copy of The Lord Of The Rings I ever read, about 25 years ago:

The Fellowship was lost long ago, the others aren’t really worth keeping. But there is something quaint about the “Authorized Canadian Edition”, including J.R.R.’s welcome of it.

Also, a gift from 1987:

I won’t give it away, as the names of the people who gave it to me are inside. Still, it has to go – the text is Kindle-material, while the gawdawful-ugly cover limits its keepsake value.

Still, books are – tangible. And once they’re gone, they’re gone. I have a perfectly good Lord of the Rings trilogy, with all three books; that Canadian edition was printed in 1972, and I don’t think I nor anyone else will miss it. But there is something strangely attractive about it – I can tell myself that it’s the text inside that counts, but those nine characters on the front cover (w. horse) were the ones I grew up with, long before the movies came along (though I’m not sure what those keys represent).

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