As a girl, I loved venturing into my grandparent’s huge east coast basement. Newspapers exposed me to current events, I shopped amongst the canned goods, invented new uses for broken machines, or read years of Good Housekeeping! I knew my grandmother and mother in the roles they fulfilled for me, but the basement gave me insight on what their lives entailed. I felt well prepared reading the monthly GH column “My Problem and How I Solved It.”

Knowing how hungrily I sifted through the past inspired me to save some things to share with my children.  I limit myself to one hope chest (not counting photos – stored elsewhere) and there’s room for more.  One of my 101 goals in 1,001 days involved sharing my treasure chest with my children.

As the chest opened, my kids gasped at the colorful possibilities!  We started with publications from significant events that have happened since I started my collection.

From a San Diego paper detailing the LA Riots, 9-11, Elvis, epic college football, to the Man on the moon…

Some events affected me more than others.

The elegant people’s princess. When she died, shortly before her fairy tale finally came true, our fairy tales got shaken too.

For the most part I’ve collected items since the late 80’s.  Every now and then at used bookstores or libraries I’ll find old magazines to put aside, or some life events warrant anniversary editions. Not only do the articles provide amazing information, the advertisements provide great laughs!

I include some mementos from previous employers – I’ve sold off or given away anything collectable.  I used to hope my kids would become rich by eBaying it all, then I decided I should handle it rather than burden them.

This shows just a small sampling of the fun things I accumulated along the way!

Then we got into some of my childhood memories.  For the first time I looked at my baby doll like the ancient relic that my children saw her as – or perhaps saw me as.

A simple doll (named Beanie Baby – original, I know), a bridle and ballet shoes – none of which I stuck with that long.

I shared obituaries of my grandparents, whom they never met.  I displayed college diplomas to “I climbed the Great Wall of China” certificates. My son salivated, commandeering my Checkpoint Charlie tee-shirt.  My daughter tried figuring out which old yearbook photos showed my sisters and I.  I wracked my brain for anything unacceptable inscribed in its pages.

I can’t get her to become a Girl Scout but she loved wearing my sash from my three years as a Scout!

I loved seeing them enjoy open access to my childhood and they loved seeing that I did more with my life before I went to Mommy University.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debbie
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 08:58:57

    So much great fun and nostalgia sharing memories with our children–my children (all adults now) used to love my memory box and all have one of their own to share someday.



  2. Marie Midtlid
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 18:58:29

    Ah, that sounds like so much fun!!


  3. AlohaKarina
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 19:55:42

    Oh that’s always fun, to share things with your kids like that. I have a little treasure chest of very small toys, and my youngest LOVES to play with them. 🙂


    • Sarah Harris
      Mar 13, 2012 @ 22:25:44

      It can truly be just about anything! My grandparents had a bowl of pennies that we could play with – not good for young kids – but as we were older, we loved to use them! Thanks for wandering by today!


  4. living4bliss
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 14:45:10

    I have a plastic storage bin with drawers for my 19 month old grandson.

    I know it sounds a little creepy but I also included among photos and other memorabilia, funeral bulletins. They tell the story of his ancestors and where he came from as well.

    I hope he appreciates the memories.


  5. Kristin Barton Cuthriell
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 13:18:41

    My daughter also wears my girlscout sash. I enjoyed reading your post.


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