Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sore muscles and memories...

Working in the boys' old room has proven to be quite an adventure. I feel like I've been on some kind of Indiana Jones expedition. I have all kinds of bumps, bruises, and scrapes on my knuckles and ankles from moving furniture, scraping walls, taking down shelves, and toting ladders. All the muscles that have sat dormant for the last few years are now screaming at me, as is my lower back . . . all from carrying heavy items, squatting, getting up and down, and bending the wrong way. Excedrin is my friend!!

But . . . I've also found all kinds of treasures. The bookshelf had to be emptied of all the old childrens books, and I couldn't help but pause as I took each one down. There were so many, and I could remember reading every single one of them to the boys . . . some so often that the pages were bent and torn.

Then came their baby books. I couldn't help but smile as I turned the pages of each one, it was like being there again. I found old pictures I'd forgotten about. Of course, I had to read through each book to look once again at all their firsts . . . so many wonderful memories. I couldn't help but feel rather sad, though, as I thought of how Seth will miss so many of Sawyer's firsts.

The armoire was next, and it was full of Kevin's military stuff . . . old uniforms, a hard hat and reflective belt from working on the flight line, overalls for keeping his uniform clean, training manuals, certificates of achievement, and commendation medals. The Air Force was his life for over 9 years. I found the snorkeling gear he bought when he went TDY to Guam one year . . . you should have seen his eyes light up when I gave it to him. He still talks about Guam and would like to go back again. When he was there, he tried to get his grandfather one of the commemorative coins that the Guam government gave out at their 50-year celebration to honor the Marines who liberated them from the Japanese during WWII . . . his grandfather, my dad, just happens to be one of those Marines . . . but there were no coins to be found. Dad was set to go to that celebration in 1994, but was unable to make the trip when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Anyway, Kevin brought his grandfather some items from the museum that was built where the Marines landed back in 1944.

The armoire also held a bunch of Seth's stuff . . . old civies that no longer fit him, wet suits he wore to wakeboard when the lake water was a bit chilly, boot casts he wore when he broke his foot as a teenager . . . twice, and, of course, his "chrome dome." The chrome dome is a shiny silver helmet that he wore when he played roller hockey. During a tournament one year, he scored a goal and then did a backwards roll and came right back up on his feet . . . it was the coolest thing . . . and completely accidental.

The cubby holes held yet more treasures . . . Seth's old wallet full of highschool IDs, a grand prix ID, old work IDs, old insurance cards, and his first drivers license with a picture of him when he was just 16. It also held an Army ID card that he got for doing a simulator at an air show at Barksdale Air Force Base where Kevin was based when Seth was still in highschool . . . a sign of things to come?? I also found a picture of Kevin with a huge smile on his face that was taken when he and a friend went camping the summer after graduation, right before he left for basic training. That picture is now on my refrigerator.

The closet has yet to be emptied, but it doesn't have to be in order to finish the room . . . thank goodness. It's full of paintball guns and equipment, at least a dozen hockey sticks, a couple of tote boxes full of boy stuff, Kevin's Garth Brooks-style cowboy hat from way back, and Rick's baseball bag that holds all the bats, balls, and gloves . . . except for Ken's grandfather's glove, Ken's old glove and cleats from his little league days, and Seth's lefty glove, all of which have gone to Fort Hood to decorate the nursery.

So many wonderful memories!!! Some of these treasures will, without a doubt, find their way back into the guest room when it is finished . . . I'm not quite sure how or where, but they will be there. Some things are just too precious to let go of . . . . . :)