Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Suitcases, Trunks and Books OH MY

So it's a new year and already some changes are in the works. It all began on January 2nd. Rob and I were invited to a party at Steve & Cathy's for the soccer team. It was nice just to get out and enjoy ourselves as adults. The party was at Steve's uncles house. This is where I know God was in control. (was there ever any question) I didn't put the pieces of the puzzle together. I just loved that old house and the "dental" molding that was put up piece by piece throughout the home and even on the outside up AND down stairs. I joked about this is what people did BEFORE facebook and television. Steve took us on a tour and I just was in my own piece of heaven. I loved it! There were rooms with BOOKS, a bathroom with great fixtures and these fun green walls of this material that Gram Madsen had in her kitchen, and a room with suitcases and trunks. I squealed like a schoolgirl. There is no other way to describe it. I had never seen such treasures. There is something about an old book that has already been read. The words already a part of someone's being... the words impacting the life of someone before you. The words have already come alive and are just sitting there waiting someone new to come along and bring new life into them. The suitcases speak to all of the fun and even mundane places they have traveled. The trunks spoke to me in a way that I didn't fully understand until I came home and explained the evenings events to Megan. As a little girl I had a trunk in my closet. I kept my toys and other treasures in it. There was a lid that I kept closed so that I could sit on it. I went there to daydream and escape from the real world. When life got to be too much I went in my closet and just escaped sitting on that trunk dreaming happy dreams. Fast forward to my mom asking me if there was anything I wanted from my room because they were turning it into a large bathroom with a garden tub. I asked for that trunk and was told no. I never knew the story behind the trunk. Somehow I thought it would be my hopechest... I always had hope when I was there dreaming of a safer happier life. But it wasn't going to be. I'd have to make my life safer and happier without the trunk. And I have but it's been a long time... not long enough to erase the memory of being told that I could not have that trunk... but since then I have a life that does not NEED a trunk. I did not realize how much it had all meant to me until I was telling Megan about seeing a roomful of trunks. Then I was told that if I wanted I could have one... any trunk I wanted... and the suitcases too... and I could look at the books and take what I wanted. I was overwhelmed. My own family had said no and here this family was saying yes and somehow they made it seem like I was doing THEM a favor by taking them. So generous and they had no idea what that offer meant. I never needed to see those trunks again... just knowing that someone said yes to me, that was giving me something after spending my life being told "no" so many times that I wouldn't dare to hope to be given something. Yes, I was embarrassed for squealing like a school girl but that was my honest gut reaction... and that is WHO I am. I get happy and excited in life and I express it.

So what do you do after you embarrass yourself at a party? Well, I took a good look at my reaction and realized that I just love old stuff... stuff that has a history, a story to tell. I love helping out with my kids' classes, chaperoning field trips, making gingerbread houses and helping with class parties BUT I am not a PTO mom. I spend my free time browsing at the antique store for fun. These are the things that get me going. So I googled the Vedder Library and saw they needed volunteers. I called the library on Tuesday and went in to fill out the volunteer form right after. For me the Vedder Library is AMAZING. The idea of being surrounded by the things I love is so exciting to me. Family history is so interesting to me. To top it off I do have my Library Science degree. So I get to combine the two things I love, research and family history.

I was in Ray Beecher's home and it opened my eyes. I wasn't looking for it. I certainly was not expecting it. I had asked God to show me a place to volunteer my time now that I had all 5 kids in school. I thought He'd lead me to the rescue mission or a domestic violence shelter maybe even something helping children in need. Again He had something else in mind for me... I was not looking at me... was not seeing ME and what I enjoy... I was seeing what I thought I aught to be doing, what would be expected. (by who, I don't know) Now I see that my passions combined with my education can work together. I'm not saying this is earth shattering but it is very interesting how one night can help you see yourself differently.