The big box

I made myself a treat. My husband had to meet with clients over the weekend, so while he was busy, I bought two pounds of little neck clams and made myself a feast. I had clams while I was visiting Seattle, of course, but I can never get too many!

I’m finally attacking some chores that I’ve tried to avoid. When I say avoid, I mean I’ve successfully put them off for years!

First there was a huge box that my brother mailed to me in 2015. I know the date because its stamped across the two-foot by three-foot-long box on the UPS label. It was a box from Mom. I hadn’t looked at it until after she died. When I was getting ready for my trip to spread her ashes on on our riverfront property, I thought perhaps I’d take a peek inside the box. I found several photos to share with family and promised myself I’d get into the box when I returned.

The box had lived in our hallway closet in Palm Springs until we moved. Then it found a home in a hallway closet in Arizona.

I ordered a couple photo storage boxes and decided I needed to sort through the photos from mom’s childhood through my adulthood. The keepers are now in a 11.25″ X 7.75″ box.

I discovered tiny little photos from my mom’s childhood of relatives I’ve never met. I think Mom said she had a Brownie camera. I wonder if that’s what made the teeny tiny photos?

I found color polaroids from my childhood. Photos from our trip to Hawaii when I was in second grade. Vacation days in Victoria BC where my brother and I were dressed up like we were going to church. Several years of birthday parties with neighborhood and school friends.

Mom also had tons of photos of my children, from when they were babies to beginning grade school. I did more throwing out than saving and felt somewhat satisfied to toss the huge cardboard box in recycling.

Now I have four boxes out from the same hallway closet to conquer. I’m on a roll and don’t want to stop now. These boxes are full of framed photos. I think I’m going to take the photos out and if I want to keep them, store them in a photo box. The frames I’ll take to the Kiwanis Thrift Shop. It will feel good to get rid of all this stuff that’s sitting in boxes for years. These are boxes that were stored for years in Palm Springs and rather than making decisions about them before we moved, I moved the boxes with me.

Here’s a photo my mom took of my husband and me when we first got together. My husband was my son’s age!
Do you have any chores or boxes in closets that you’ve avoided?

45 thoughts on “The big box

  1. Cheers and kudos to you for tackling the boxes of family photos…I need — so much — to do the same. I love the discoveries you found…and the photo of you and your husband? Stunning, Elizabeth! Thanks for sharing…and I’m glad you enjoyed the clams…I never understood the appeal, but I think that’s just the shellfish allergy talking! 🤣

  2. Good for you! I always love organizing so I am feeling happy just reading 🙂 I have a thought on the tiny photos for you- There was a time- maybe late 60’s or early 70’s when you could get photo rolls developed and returned with a “regular” size plus a bonus smaller version. After doing my own clean out years ago I found a few of those mini versions and the memory surfaced of seeing thos as a child. If they look like that 60-70ish time frame maybe that’s the answer!

  3. Great photo. I was going through boxes with my mother-in-law when we moved her here and there were a lot of photos. I want to go through them with her again so she can tell me who the people are. I want my kids to know about their history. You picked a good day for the title because we are on the letter “B” in the A to Z!

  4. We rarely print out photos anymore. I wonder what my kids and future generations will do. Will they have old boxes full of flash drives or some other “storage thingy” — my IT term — that they’ll sift through, going through old photos? Anyway, love the old photo.

    • Thanks! I used to walk downtown Palm Springs to a place called “Double Photo.” I’d get doubles of everything and I took a ton of photos of my young children. Times have changed!

  5. What a beautiful photo, EA! I totally understand how that box got moved around without being opened and am inspired by your efforts – thinking of all the things around here I need to crack open! How satisfying. Hope you are feeling better!

  6. Those are great photos, E.A. Wickham! Sometimes I do this and go through my old photos, never getting rid of any. A photographer just left as she was here to photo me for my book sleeve for Barringer’s Publishing. She was great! From Alabama, a good photographer. She took a great photo of me and the pug!

  7. I was very nervous about her coming and remembered the time in NYC that I was a clothing model and they made me up-my hair and clothes. I looked fantastic! I could not compare myself to the 25 year old woman I was then but I like the photo and more importantly, another step is done!

  8. Your photo is beautiful. You asked so I’ll answer, yes I have boxes in closets that I avoid and I have furniture + rugs in the basement that I ignore. Sentimental stuff sticks to me like glue. I know it needs to go away but I can’t find the will to make it happen.

  9. I sure wish I could still eat clams – their so yummy! About the third time I pigged out on them, I developed a bivalve allergy.

    I don’t think I have any boxes to unpack, but I do need to sort through my mother’s photo albums (and my digital photos) and do a lot of sorting and culling.

  10. OMG! I love that photo of you and your future husband! My sister and I are trying to find the inspiration to do the same, deciding what photos to keep and what to let go is exhausting mentally! You’re doing it! Bravo! I’m feeling inspired. Hugs, C

  11. I’m possibly a little farther along in the process of culling photos and other documents. Of course, there are so many in which I can’t identify a single person. I’m not sure my mom or dad would have been able to either.

    In trying to organize everything I was a little surprised to discover that there are multiples of the same photo(s) in different places. I’m surmising from this that even way back in the very olden days, like before we got the photos we took on our instamatic cameras (remember those?) developed and printed through the photo department at our local drugstore, people who purchased photos (no matter how or where or by whom they were taken or developed or printed) ordered multiples! I can say this with some certainty after throwing out so many duplicates, triplicates, quadruplicates of shots of the same people. All this duplication came from Mom taking in the photo albums and boxes of photos from various family members when they passed. I’m pretty sure she didn’t know what she had but boy I sure do.

    As far as moving stuff that has remained buried in a closet wherever I have lived, at the moment I can cop to having a lot of sewing to do!

    • I had put together a photo box for both kids. A lot of my mom’s photos were duplicates of what I already have. I threw away most of the tiny photos of people I don’t know.

Leave a Reply