In Family

In our house
in our basement
on a shelf
in a box…

I found some things that I have had for a very long time. They were stuffed into this wonky little pot that I made in pottery class in 1977. I was 12.

My husband and I have been spending a few nights a week going through our belongings in our basement in preparation for an upcoming garage sale. As much as it is tedious, it’s also a way to revisit our pasts, both as a couple and before we were together. Old notebooks, letters to each other, photos from college. We try to focus on the task at hand, getting rid of stuff we don’t use or need any more. But some nights we find *the good stuff* and get caught up in a nostalgia vortex.

I thought I’d share the random little gems I found in a very old box from my childhood. (I’ll spare you a photo of my retainer. Eww.)

1) Mickey Mouse hankie – I have no idea where this came from or why I kept it.

2) Barbie Sunglasses (sitting on the hankie) – Pink, mirrored. From my 1970’s Malibu Barbie. Complete awesome.

3) Sealing Wax Stamp – with an embossed initial “B”. Reserved for use on the most important of letters to prevent tampering.

4) Girl Scout Pocket knife – I loved getting this back when I was a Girl Scout and I’m so happy I still have it, even if it’s just to look at on occasion.

5) Wonky clay pot – I believe this was my first time throwing on a potter’s wheel.

6) Cassette Tape – One side is labeled “Billy Joel: 52nd Street” and the other, “Betsy, guitar”. I tried to play the guitar side, hoping to hear my 8 year old self singing “How Much is the Doggy in the Window?”. Instead I heard Foreigner singing Double Vision. Hmmm. Probably the work of my 12 year old self.

7) Lucky Rabbit’s Foot – I cherished that thing. I showed my boys and they were totally disgusted. (Whaaa? C’mon you guys, it was LUCKY!)

8) Silver Dollar – c.1922

9) Silver Hair Barrette, engraved with my name.

10) Guitar picks – I loved my guitar picks.

I also found some comics I wrote for the college newspaper (so corny!) and letters from old friends, my brothers, my husband when we were dating. It’s sad to me that no one writes letters anymore. I don’t write letters any more. (Do you write letters any more?)

One of the best things I rediscovered was the journal of quotes I started when my kids first began to talk. It only has a few dozen entries because it was lost in a moving box for the past 3 years. We’ve been having a wonderful time reading it together. Now that they are 8 and 10, they can appreciate the funny things they said when they were 2 and 4. And maybe someday they’ll rediscover it in an old box when they are 40 something, cleaning the basement and getting into a nostalgia vortex of their own.

Recent Posts
Showing 22 comments
  • saganaga

    ah yes the rabbit’s foot key chain, but the Barbie sun glasses ~ those are fabulous (i’ll have to look to see if i still have a pair)

  • Lisa at Lil Fish Studios

    Aww, love this! I am the worst organizer because I get bogged down in these sorts of treasures.

    And I totally remember the dyed rabbits’ feet keychains.

  • daisy janie

    I love every single second of this post!!! I was 7 in 1977 – and despite our slight age difference, I can relate to each item in such a real/surreal way! Did you sing, too? I bet you have a great voice! Thanks for sharing!

  • Dree

    Too cool! I turned 8 in 1977. I had a lucky rabbit’s foot keychain. My cat ate it, I kid you not. I was completely, totally crushed at the time.

    I can’t believe that pot was your first try!

  • Launi

    Fabulous post. Quite certain that nearly everyone has a box just like this. Mine has a Little Kiddle and a bent up ring that turns your finger green. Also carried the rabbit’s foot–purple–around for a year or so before my mean big brother informed me that it was a rabbit’s foot…no, no…a REAL rabbit’s FOOT. I nearly threw up. It’s a wonderful life–isn’t it?

  • Pearly Queen

    …and talking of luck, I have had a plague of beetly things lately – a cross between a grasshopper and a cockroach – so, hideous and jumps! Yesterday I was told they are considered lucky. Too late for me – I squashed each one!

  • Christy

    Oh boy, do I need to do this. I love this post. And I love the Barbie sunglasses. Keep Those. And whaddaya mean you don’t write letters? These are the best letters! You write them all the time. Thanks :-)

    (omg–my word verification for this comment is “trasho” LOL maybe someone is trying to tell me to clean out MY boxes!

  • Christina J.

    Oh you were so lucky to have a pink rabbit’s foot keychain. I remember how badly I wanted one, but my mom wouldn’t let me have one. I was recently telling my son about that and he looked pretty horrified!

  • frou-frou

    Oh I love finding old things that make me all nostalgic. They usually bring back all sorts of memories and even if they aren’t all good, enough time has usually passed that they don’t seem so bad. You’ve made me want to rummage around on the back of cupboards now! Fiona

  • Megan

    I was 5 in 1977 but my older brother who was 14 had a lucky rabbits foot that he would fasten around one of his belt loops. That was THE most mysterious, magical thing in my 5 year old world!

    Thanks for the trip back! Love the mix of Mickey and Billy Joel- 12 is a great age!!

  • Andrea

    What a bunch of great memories!!! Thanks for sharing.. but PLEASE PLEASE share the comics – we’d love to see them. The cornier the better ;)

  • Jaye

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I am sure we all have some of those boxes and I commend you for going through them together. Yes, I do write letters. I don’t get as many back as I write, but I enjoy the writing. Let me know if you want me to write you. ;-)

  • branchhomestead

    i am sitting at my kitchen table…all others asleep…laughing out loud! thank you. i love your voice. thanks for sharing these are great. i hope that you are hand writing some letters and using the fabulous “b” seal. i love the hand written note. i am personally way behind in my written correspondence but love it.
    so glad that you shared a little of your past. i can’t wait to see what you do with that mickey mouse handkerchief and i think you need to start carrying that rockin’ rabbit’s foot again!

  • Turtle

    lovely! i so hope your not getting rid of your hankie and gs knife! later you would kick yourself, those treasurew would fit in a little shoebox, i think they should def be keepers!

  • antheam

    Hi there! I just thought I would let you know that I loved your ‘Sewing Green’ book, and I was so inspired that I made the wrap-around skirt. I posted some photos on my blog:



  • Susan Being Snippy

    I write letters! I have a few old aunties, getting up into their 80’s, no internet for them, except when someone shows them family photos on a computer screen, So, I write them letters about every two weeks or so and they write me back. I always look forward to the letters that come back to me, I hope that my neices write me letters when I am approaching my 80’s… A letter in the mail is a wonderful wonderful thing.

  • Mommafo

    My kids are totally grossed out by the idea of rabbits feet! My dog always ate ours when we were little… that’s almost as gross.

  • Leilaluna

    giveawayyyy!!! :)

  • carla

    Every Monday my mother sat down and wrote me a letter. Because of Alheimer’s and blindness, she can no longer read or write but I saved all those thoughtful missives from her and they’re precious to me. Last week I read the book “Good Mail Day” which encourages people to start writing again. I think we should. I think I should.

    (I’m 11 years older than you, but I really enjoyed seeing the contents of your treasure box. A couple of weeks ago I went through some things in my mother’s old jewelry box: a bracelet my dad made for her at the foundry where he worked, a Mercury dime, my old hair barrette, the ink pen I received when I won the school spelling bee…)

  • Betz White

    Hooray for writing letters! Thanks everyone for your comments and for humoring my nostalgia!

  • Dotty

    Wow what an amazing find. I loved the fact you had your own intial stamp. that is so cute.

  • deborah

    holy cow!!!! i haven’t ventured into the treasure-trove awaiting in the basement in years. hmmmm? i’m almost positive i’ll find some silver dollars, a rabbit’s foot and cassette tapes. do i dare go down there? :)

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Be a VIP!

Member benefits include exclusive discounts, early bird specials and first dibs on new designs! Subscribe now to stay in touch!