As I was unpacking and organizing in the new house the other day, I came across all our old photo albums, pictures that have been in boxes in the basement for years and years. It’s strange, looking back at who I was. The Pre-Hearing Loss Mindy. My short-term memory took a hit two years ago when I was struggling with dementia or whatever that was, but in the stress of it all I think I also forgot a lot of the long-term stuff. Things that happened years ago. Who I was, what I loved, clothes I wore. And what’s interesting is that when I started pulling the photo albums out of the boxes Natalie asked me “are those your memories?” Yes sweetie, yes they are. I look at the pictures and it’s all coming back to me. They are not lost forever after all.
I’ve been de-cluttering lately. Feels good to get rid of things. It’s good preparation for if we ever move to a new house. Which I hope we do, eventually. I finally went through the box of stuff that my former co-workers packed up for me when I lost my hearing and left work. That sounds like they were anxious for me to be gone, but really they were getting ready to move to a new building, so it had to be done. I found a lot of good stuff in there, pictures from when the kids were younger, my ipod and speakers, my notary stamp, even some herbal tea bags.
I’m enjoying a cup of tea right now, of a flavor I had not tried before. I’m sure it was one a coworker gave me to try. Orange spice black tea. It’s actually quite yummy. As soon as the scent hit my nose it brought me back to my hippy days. And not the ones I spent stoned. It was after that, when I first moved to Lansing. I did hippy things (I suppose, not having lived during the true hippy era) like walking around the campus of MSU wearing sandals with fuzzy socks and long skirts, or drinking coffee at Bilbo’s until the wee hours, playing crazy silly songs on the jukebox (Cibo Matto, do you know your chicken?). I used to shop for tapes and CDs at the campus music store (two of which I found recently, but have no way to play, or listen to, really). I had a roommate who introduced me to house plants and egg noodles (the egg noodle craze lasting much longer than the plants, as I have a hard time keeping green things alive). I went to local concerts, camped out on lawns, and danced crazy dances. It was truly a carefree time for me, which I suppose is where the hippy reference fits best.
I also did some pretty stupid things in those days, even after giving up smoking pot and drinking. I used to take off driving and get myself lost, just so I could find my way home again. When I lived downtown I very often walked around alone. On Independence Day I walked half a dozen blocks to sit on a hill to watch the fireworks. Alone. And this was 1997, so I had no cell phone. Then there was the time I considered buying a VW bus from a guy I met at the laundromat, so I took the bus for a test drive, with the stranger dude riding along. Not smart.
Hmm. That train of thought took an unexpected turn. It’s good to remember happy times from the past, but I guess it’s also just as good to recognize some of the stupid things we’ve done, and be thankful we lived through them. God often keeps us safe despite ourselves, doesn’t he?