It was a common practice to sit with my grandparents at the dinner table, after all the dinner dishes had been cleared away and go through a few hand selected photo albums that my grandmother picked out just for the occasion.
Doing the dinner dishes are not important, my grandmother insisted.
Sharing our common memories are.
However, I don’t call these fat, over stuffed relics photo albums.
I think the term archives is much more suitable.
These archives include reams of journals, pictures, postcards, letters, newspaper and magazine clippings, pressed botanicals, paper napkins, swizzle sticks, matchbooks, records of expenses, speeches, sermons, prayers, songs, stamps, travel brochures, receipts, ledgers, telegrams, sugar packets, ticket stubs, menus, programs, cut-outs, notes, personal diaries, travel logs, photo albums, paper place-mats, food wrappers, coasters, travel papers, money, invitations, military documents, and more.
Page by page, we would stop and remenisce over the people and places depicted within the pages. I was about to turn one of these pages when something most unusual caught my eye.
After lifting it out of it’s plastic and sticky photo album cover, I held up a simple piece of blue fuzz to my grandmother.
“What is this?” I asked her.
“That is from the U.N.” she answered, blushing with pride.
“Yes, but where did you get it from?” I asked again.
It was a simple blue fuzzy. I know for a fact that gift shops do not sell fuzzies, with the exception of the one next to Graceland of course.
She then described how on a tour she had scratched this humble blue piece of blue fuzz from a rug when no one was watching.
I must have been so shocked by this revelation because the next thing that I knew was that I was no longer holding the blue fuzzy.
I had by accident dropped it onto my grandmother’s dark brown rug.
My grandmother immediately let out a cry.
The next thing I knew was that my husband and I were on our hands and knees searching around and under the dinner table trying to find my grandmother’s precious blue fuzzy laying somewhere amidst the shaggy dark brown rug.
Within minutes, the renegade fuzzy had been found and safely returned to it’s pages within the photo album.
About ten years later, after my grandparents had passed away I was given many of these archival photo albums to take care of.
Of course, I slowly went through them, one by one.
I was surprised to discovered however, that the blue fuzzy was no longer within it’s album anymore. It had altogether disappeared.
In time, I had made my way through all the photo albums, and began to go through all of my grandmothers knick-knacks that were entrusted to me to keep in storage.
Inside a brown wooden box, I found a small vial of wooden matches from the Detroit Plaza Hotel, a small souvenir sewing kit from Stuttgart, a large Apollo 11 round metal pin featuring a photo of astronauts Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin, and a curious little pink round plastic container, much like a lipgloss case.
Curious, I unscrewed the case.
Can you guess what I found laying inside?
You’re thinking that I found the blue fuzzy, right?
I did not find the blue fuzzy.
I found a green fuzzy.