Yes, East-Over, the spring holiday where we remember the brave bunny who led the Jews out of Egypt by laying a trail of chocolate eggs nestled into the shifting desert sands, and delivered them to a promised land of glazed ham and spiked lemonade.
What? Look, I don’t know where you buy your calendars, but my calendar has this one clearly marked. Anyway …
Chris and I got to show off our weeks of hard work to Rachel this weekend when she flew home from DC.
This is her impressed face.
We uncovered this statue early on in the process, and have been saving it for Rachel. I remember this little blue guy standing guard in my Dad’s home office in Buffalo, and long before that, in his basement office in the house we grew up in back on Buno road.
Today we got a few more boxes of books and knick-knacks to the Salvation Army in Ann Arbor. A little part of me still squirms uncomfortably whenever I see a worker unceremoniously dump a box of books into a giant blue canvas bin. First of all, they’re books! You don’t just toss them around like so many cast-off socks at the end of a long day. But more than that, even as I give them away, I’m still attached to them. They’re still Dad’s books, and however illogical, I see those books tumbling over each other haphazardly and it feels like someone is jack-hammering right into Dad’s grave.
It’s hard. If you’re the one stuck with the task of cleaning out a relative’s house a week after their death or you’ve got a stack of boxes in the basement from 10 years ago, it’s still hard. All our lives, we identify ourselves and each other with things. There’s Jay in his Porsche. There’s Heidi, and would you look at those shoes! I had my My Little Pony collection. Dad had his library.
But we’re not our things. We’re really not. I know with total certainty that Dad still would have been a brilliant conversationalist and a dedicated teacher without all of his books. I can still appreciate the more child-like pleasures of life without all 100 My Little Pony figurines.
It was this thought that led me to finally say goodbye to my red Doc Martin’s.
My mom bought me these boots when I was 15. They saw occasional use in high school, mostly around Halloween or for the rare concert or party. And I wore them exclusively for about 6 months in 2008, when I back-packed around the country on my hobo-punk odyssey. And that’s it. I’ve held onto them for the past 4 years for a variety of reasons. They remind me of my adventures, they were a beautiful gift, and somewhere deep down, I had hoped I might one day resurrect my punk rock Dorothy costume.
But without them, I’m still the same person who packed a meager back-pack’s worth of supplies and headed out without a destination or a clue. I still love the music of Rancid. I certainly still love my mom! And now I have 10 pounds less of stuff to pack, to move around, to think about.