A Box Full of Memories

By Sherry Harris

In Northern VirginiaIMG_3954

I have a box of things I’ve gathered over the years. It’s not a pretty box and I’ve changed it out for a bigger one occasionally but it holds an odd assortment of things I love. I’ve carried it with me over all our military IMG_3962moves — anyone from the military will recognize the packing tape on the box. It includes:  a scarf my mother-in-law gave me, a collapsible cup from a fourth grade trip to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, a strand of “pearls” in a blue felt case — a gift as we left sixth grade, my sister’s bubble-head Barbie, and a box I decoupaged with a card I loved.

IMG_3959The crooked “M” came from our Rambler. We were on a car trip between my fifth and sixth grade year. We left Davenport, Iowa went to Niagara Falls, New York City, Washington DC, Williamsburg and Jamestown, Virginia. On the way home we were in a car accident in Louisville, Kentucky. The “M” ended up in the street.

IMG_3957The yarn dolls are from the Amana Colonies in Iowa. I’m not sure how they came to live in an old matchbox but they’ve been there for years.

IMG_3960I made this box when I was four at a family church camp on a lake somewhere in Iowa. Inside is a cap gun, a pin from the United Nations, my Brownie pins, an enamel necklace I made in fourth or fifth grade art class, a bracelet that always pinched and other assorted things.

My memory box made me wonder what my character Sarah Winston would have in her memory box. She grew up in Pacific Grove, California next to Monterey. Sarah has a bag of sea glass she picked up on walks along the Pacific Ocean and an old salt shaker full of IMG_3964sand from the beach there.

IMG_3965Sarah went to her first yard sale when she was in second grade and bought this little toy trolley.

IMG_3966She also has an album that was her great-grandmother’s.

IMG_3967These are other things Sarah bought at yard sales or picked up on her travels.

What do you have in your memory box? What does your character keep?

10 Thoughts

  1. I love this post, Sherry. I have memory box items scattered all over the place. My Japanese name stamp that my students had made for me as a going away present. Several silver dollars from my dad. Foreign money. A goofy little ceramic dish I made in the 4th grade. And so on. But the better question is what would Lauren Rousseau and Cam Flaherty hold onto? I’m going to give that some thought. Very instructive.

    1. Thanks, Edith. I was moving the box from one spot to the other recently. It made me think about what Sarah would treasure enough to drag around the country when she moved.

  2. I love this idea, Sherry! I am a little worried since my characters haven’t been doing a lot of moving that they will have an attic full of memories to go through!

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