Tuesday Musings.

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I’ve dusted off my semi-regular “Tuesday Musings” post, as it has been a while since it appeared in this blog.  I’m writing today about my dusty treasures and trinkets, discovered as I ravaged through the basement on my cleaning blitz earlier this Summer.

How do you define treasures and trinkets?  They are those small keepsakes that you have held onto through the years, conflicted on whether to part with them, knowing you’ll feel guilty for simply tossing out an item that at one time held meaning, or gave you pleasure.

I hear the horror stories about people faced with the wicked forces of nature, such as wildfires or hurricanes, who must flee their homes without their most-treasured possessions.  I don’t know how they do it … a lifetime of memories gone in a heartbeat.

This box in the basement filled with trinkets and treasures held no real sentimental value, but instead were keepsakes from other eras in my life.

Over the weekend I finished perusing the last of those items I had stuffed into a large box during my initial clean-up phase in the basement.

As many of you longtime followers of this blog know, my New Year’s resolution for 2017 was to restore order to my house this year.  It was a worthwhile, but tiring endeavor, dealing with upstairs, then downstairs, the latter which was neglected and unloved for many years, and had become a catchall for items which made upstairs look messy, so they were relegated to the basement.  That messiness in the basement was pushed over the edge on June 9th when an all-house insulation job and messy contractors left the basement in a shambles.  I could bore you with before and after pictures, but suffice it to say, it was a nightmare.

But, I got myself a shop vac and wore out two broom heads from sweeping with a vengeance, so I no longer have to cringe and make apologies when I take the Flame Furnace tech downstairs for his semi-annual furnace and A/C checks.

That clean-up in the basement took the entire month of July, and I was frazzled by that job and did not want to spend another minute down there, but, I had gathered some items together in a box to give them a “once-over” before deciding whether to toss them or not.

So, I’ve finally made my way through that cardboard box that contained a mishmash of memories and disposed of them accordingly, saving only one item, just like a new year where you exclaim “out with the old, in with the new!”  There was a little angst involved, in what mementoes to keep.  Some gave me cause to pause, and others I said to myself “Linda … really??!!”

Well, many of those trinkets were related to trips taken through the years.

In the early 60s, my father had a job interview in California, so we made a family trip there and visited tourist spots geared for kids like Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and Marineland of the Pacific.  I still had a pink folding comb with an emblem of Bubbles the Whale, the star of the show.  I wonder why I kept it all these years … surely  not for any sentimental value?   If I want to remember that day at Marineland, I need only look at this photo of myself wrinkling my nose after feeding a smelly old fish to an exuberant seal.

Marineland of the Pacific

I traveled to Germany with my father in 1969 and saved all the cardboard coasters featuring the various German beers from the many biergartens we visited in Germany and Bavaria.  At each biergarten, a “sweating” mug of beer for adults, or non-alcoholic apfelwein (cider) for kids was plopped onto a colorful coaster when it arrived at your table.  As a 13-year old, I thought that was pretty “neat” and brought home a stack of those coasters which were still rubber-banded together, yellowed  at the edges and never used.   This image from Pinterest shows you those coasters in their heyday.

beer coasters from pinterest1

In the Summer of 1974 I traveled to Spain with friends of our family.  We went to a show featuring flamenco dancers and I bought a pair of castanets the next day in a marketplace in town.  So, did I buy them because I was inspired by the folk dancers who clacked them noisily while performing their moves, or did I plan on doing some flamenco dancing when I returned from vacation?  I also found a small black furry bull, which was no doubt a souvenir from the one and only bullfight I attended.  I bought some Toledo jewelry as well.  The ring was black with gold flowers but it was dressy and not too practical for everyday wear as a student, and working at the diner on the weekends.

Fast forward to 1981 when I took a week-long American Express land tour of Greece followed by a week-long cruise of the Greek islands, with stops in Cairo, Ephesus (Turkey) and Jerusalem.  I simply had to buy a necklace with my name spelled out in hieroglyphics … like the Toledo jewelry, it didn’t fit in with my work wardrobe, and was a tad touristy-looking once I got back into the daily grind.  Likewise, living in the moment, I just loved the music which you heard in every little Greek village, or every night while on the cruise ship.  Most of the people in our tour group purchased 8-track tapes of that Bouzouki music, and when I returned home from the trip, for months I over-played that tape; it drove my parents crazy.  I still had the tape, but no 8-track player.  Most of the women bought traditional Greek garb, patterned cotton caftans and long dangling wire and beaded earrings to wear aboard the ship at night.  I guess I thought I’d wear these items once I returned home, but nope – they have been folded up and tucked away for decades, only to be thrown away all these years later.

In 1983 I had a three-week excursion with Maupintour through four Scandinavian countries and Russia.  In my mementoes, I found an envelope filled with Russian rubles because our tour guide said “take some of this colorful paper currency home to show your friends and family.”  Plus, a mandatory purchase for everyone who visits Russia is a Matryoshka doll, which you probably know as “Russian nesting dolls” – yup, I had a set of them too.

Maupintour sponsored a photography contest where you could enter the photos you thought best typified your tour.  You had to submit the 8 ½ X 11 matted photos with a description on the back and they were returned to you when the contest was over.  I was interested in photography way back then and had the 35mm camera, special lenses, tripod … the whole nine yards.  I even took photography classes at a local camera shop.  So, after lugging all that heavy camera equipment around for three weeks, I was excited to enter a few of my favorite photos from the trip for the chance at a prize and to see the picture(s) used in future travel brochures.

This was a land tour of Norway, Denmark and Sweden and Finland, then we took a short Baltic Sea cruise to cross from Helsinki to St. Petersburg.  We later travelled by plane from St. Petersburg to Moscow.

As to the photo contest, I was just ecstatic when my photo of an ordinary dairy cow in a Swedish pasture, which I entitled “Tranquility” won first prize!  Well, holy cow!  That was a first for me.

Tranquility Cow

I also won an honorable mention, even though the photo of me was taken by a fellow passenger, but it was recognized as representative of our tour.

This picture was aboard the cruise ship that crossed the Baltic sea from Finland to Russia.

Baltic Sea Cruise

There were other doodads and souvenirs of trips long ago, among them a straw handmade wallet from St. Thomas and a leather coin purse from a bazaar in Colombia, South America.  I should have kept my money I paid for those items, because no money was ever placed into them when I returned home.

Digging further into that box of treasures and trinkets was another photo of some significance.  In 2010, I submitted this picture to “The News-Herald” of a Red Admiral butterfly alighting on one of the cone flowers in my backyard garden.   Our local paper used to have a weekly feature that spotlighted nature photos taken by local amateur photographers.  I scanned it in as best I could, but I have clung onto that newspaper feature page as well.

Butterfly in newspaper

There was a paper trail of tickets and programs from concerts and events attended through the years, the most-interesting event being the King Tut exhibit, “The Treasures of Tutankhamen” at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

King Tut Show

We were visiting my grandmother for her birthday that weekend and my aunt got the advance tickets and went with me … you might recall that back in 1979, you had to physically go buy the tickets in advance for any big show – how different it is now with online sales.

I found the spiral notebook I created when I redid the landscaping from scratch in 1985.  Each page had a hangtag from that tree, flowering shrub or perennial, plus notes on its care which I received from Johnny’s Nursery.  Most of those trees, shrubs and flowers are now gone, as is Johnny’s Nursery.

I discovered a yellowed, folded-up complete Section A of “The Detroit News” commemorating man’s first steps on the moon on July 20, 1969.  I recall my mom read the story, then handed it to me saying “read this and then put it in a safe place as it might be worth something one day.”  So, what does a 13-year old know about saving such important things, except to put them in a box out of sight, and out of mind for all these years.  I now have put that newspaper story into the top drawer of my old cherry wood desk that was relegated to the basement after my status as “student” was officially over.  There’s plenty of room in that old desk now that I cleared out at least three pocket dictionaries, a thesaurus, and a very large Merriam-Webster dictionary, no doubt from my college days.  Who looks things up in the dictionary anymore?  You check at dictionary.com in case you’re not sure after spell-check gives it a whirl.  I remember my parents subscribed to “National Geographic Magazine” for decades, and when they ran out of places to put the old issues, decided to donate them to the local library who refused them since no one every requested that magazine to read or even for term papers.  (Remember term papers before Google?)

I guess I am a “saver” and not a “thrower” … my mom did not hoard memories to become dust catchers or to take up space in the house.  Come to think of it, I never saw my first tooth, a lock of hair or bronzed baby shoes around the house.  And I was an only child!  Hmm.

Rummaging through those treasures and trinkets was a fond look back at my past.  Upstairs, there are many photo albums and scrapbooks reposing in the bottom of a seldom-used closet.  In those pages, mementos and memories have more permanent homes, carefully pasted-in pictures and small items with precisely lettered titles that are still intact on their pages decades later.

I lingered long over that collection of memories and finally let them go into the trash.  But, those mementoes, those tangible items that one time gave me such pleasure are not forgotten because the memories pertaining to them are forever engrained within my soul.

And the one item I saved?  The front-page of the moon landing because it might make me a rich woman one day.

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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18 Responses to Tuesday Musings.

  1. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………”Holy Cow”………………..you’re a world traveler……………………..I do remember the “nature photos” from people’s backyard findings in the newspaper………………and yes I do have a couple of dictionaries and yes I still do look up words to make sure i spelled words correctly……………….AND I’m a “thrower” not a “saver.”

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    • lindasschaub says:

      Ann Marie – I traveled a lot in the 70s/early 80s. None of my friends wanted to travel as most of them were either in school, married, had families, etc. so I took a few trips with my parents, and the rest I went on tour groups by myself. Went with my parents to England/Germany Austria in 1979 (three weeks in May) and didn’t bring back anything! Had a pocket camera only. At one time, I had many dictionaries, but since I am on the computer so much, I did not keep them – no, I don’t know every word in the dictionary either. Far from it. It’s good you’re a “thrower” … my mom was a “thrower” too. You really pared down to make the move from the house to the apartment. I admire that – I would have some issues having to do that now. 🙂

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  2. Wow that was excellent! You really should repost some of these older blogs, now that you have more readers. I think people would enjoy them. I’m sure I still have the turquoise print muumuu I bought back from Hawaii in 1981 – plus an old pink bridesmaid dress from 1983 that I hung onto as it might make a good fairy princess outfit for Halloween – all my old school textbooks and binders from university even though they look like some kind of strange hieroglyphics now……the things we keep?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      You know I may do that Joan as many of the long posts were just read by one or two people – this one maybe more as it was in September last year. I am a saver not a thrower and that is why there is so much clutter in this small house. I brought back those Greek things and I remember my mother looking at me (picture her rolling eyes) and the music I was playing like I was still there on a Greek Island. See … you brought home a muumuu. I finally got rid of the school things, though I do have a binder known as a string book but these are articles I wrote while on the school newspaper and editor of the school handbook. They would be no use to me now – 40 years after graduation, but still I hung on to them. The things we keep indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You should repost the declutter one in January when many people are making that a New Years Resolution – it’s a post many people would relate too. Going to bed…..goodnite Sister!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        You make a good point there Sister … in fact I could embark on the same “decluttering resolution” as I look around now. My resolution for 2018 was to learn more things … I have a friend in Virginia and she suggested we learn how to Skype to visit online … we never did learn. She is in grad school, having begun this phase of her life in October 2017 – she graduated college same time as me (1978) then went back to school for a masters in social work, couldn’t find a job and same boat as me so we have been legal secretaries all these decades. But her mom passed away and she used some of the inheritance money to quit her job and go to school for a masters in gerontology full time … one more year to go, but a new career for her at 63 years old … not for me, I couldn’t learn Skype and wanted to learn how to do a few new things on the computer … I think I have to “reblog my resolution” not only the post, but my life … you know I will do that as a post and I have done funny posts called “Tuesday Musings” … I will do that definitely for 01/01/19 – thank you for the suggestion Joan, er Sister! I will catch up with your comments and I never went on Reader last night as it was so late … I have to look at my heron pictures which I uploaded to see how they turned out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s an excellent idea. No new career plans for me, unless it’s something fun and profitable! I tried to Skype with my brother years ago and could not get it to work so I ended up deleting the program.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I think I will likely abandon the idea too. I think it works well on a Mac and is called “Face Time” but I have Windows. I know people love their Macs for their ease of use of all programs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My brother is a Mac person and says he can Facetime on his Iphone also – I know people love their Macs but most of the world is Windows.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I think they are too – I am dreading Windows 10 but I hear people say it is not as hard as they thought it was to learn. After January 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7. We use it at work as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I got a new computer two years ago and it came with Windows 10, and I actually don’t mind it. It wasn’t a big learning curve, but then I probably don’t use as many of the features as you would in your work. The computer shop transferred all my files and stuff over for me….for a fee of course.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I would have them transfer it too. I don’t have any experience in Excel, PowerPoint or Access … I do a lot of charts for Robb but I do them in table charts and turn off the gridlines. I do that for all his memos and letters where he itemizes or numbers things to keep everything lined up. I am not skilled in the rest of Office features I’m sorry to say.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I only know Word. I will usually draft my blogs (the writing part) in Microsoft Word, then paste and copy it to WordPress. And now they make you buy an annual subscription to Microsoft Office, so I pay for a lot of features I never use…..of course if I ever get writing my book it may come in handy for chapters etc!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I do that too as I find it easier to work in and see what I am doing, but I just got Word only from Software King as I don’t use the rest of the programs, including Outlook. I use Outlook at work, but just web-based e-mail at home. Yes, you’ll want fancier enhancements by then!

        Liked by 1 person

      • PS. My real sister and I are like chalk and cheese, so you shall be my adopted sister!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Well I would like that Joan – I have never had siblings and would have liked to have had at least one – my parents never complied though! We are already both Canadian plus we have all our other similarities – it was meant to be!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sadly, sometimes you can have siblings and have nothing in common with them, even though you all grew up in the same house!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That is true too Joan. My mother was estranged from her brother for many years – I only saw him at my grandparents funerals and my grandmother’s 80th birthday party which was two months before she passed away in January 1986.

        Liked by 1 person

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