There's An Attic In Everyone's Life

There’s an attic in everyone’s life. Some cobwebby place where important things get stored. Often to be forgotten. But meant never to be lost.

My attic is where I can no longer reach. It sits in the dusty silence of that great brick bungalow in my old neighborhood, owned by someone I don’t even know. The home in which my family and I grew up together so many long years ago. Living, loving, and enshrining prized items up there.

Everything you can think of, smile over, or cry at. Christmas wrappings…photo albums…gloves and scarves for the next winter, bathing suits and picnic baskets for the next summer…sentimental toys we never wanted to give up… needlework gems from Grandma and that dented cornet from Grandpa…extra batteries we planned to use …cherished autograph books our classmates signed and who we knew we would always remember…sheet music and LP records we intended never to give up…special toys and radio premiums like that 1939 Jack Armstrong hike-o-meter…oh, and those scrap books.

An attic is not simply a storage room. More like a museum. A secret palace where sacred moments are sealed. As a kid you visit it, but you never tarry long. After all, there will be time enough. Only that time doesn’t always come.

Children grow up and move away. Parents die. Neighbors change. The empty bungalow is at last sold. Now whenever you drive past, you can almost hear it weep for you. You think of that great dark attic. What have they done with it? Why did we hastily forget about it? How come no one ever thought of unsealing its gifts as reverently as we once sealed them?

Too late. Too long ago. Too many relics gone with the wind. Somehow, though, a memory fondles each treasure. And the heart, well, it can see each treasure again in all its splendor. Like a family, a community and a nation needs to keep remembering and honoring who, why and how we got here.

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  • On a practical level, there are either the hoarders, who need "Organizing with Erin" or something similar, or the others who believe in recycling, Goodwill, or garage sales. However, I find estate garage sales creepy in that a couple to which I was dragged essentially had a 90 year old's clothes that smelled like they were in mothballs for about 60 years.

    Now, if you are talking about the attic of the mind, I'll bet that all of us have something there. Maybe even creepy.

  • In reply to jack:

    The attic of the mind, definitely. But there really was (is) in attic in my old Austin neighborhood that I fear we never truly excavated when we moved. So many lost treasures. Making the attic of my mind all the more important

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