Birdhouses and Days Gone By


Going through old stuff in the garage, trying to organize…my never ending project…and found an orientation CD from Kristen’s years at NC State. It occurs to me that she graduated five years ago this May. I look around at other stuff that’s cluttering up the garage, junky stuff, crappily built stuff, precious stuff, stuff that predates the CD by a decade or more: A little birdhouse with childish writing. A kite made of balsa wood and wrapping paper. A dusty kid’s Zebco pole that still has a tangle.

Kristen is a minimalist, she’d gently chide me for being overly sentimental and hanging on to such junk; she’d quote Thoreau: “Simplify!” She’d shake her head. But in “The Game of Life,” reality version, I’m approaching millionaire acres or the poor farm while she’s just getting to “Stop! Get married. Spin for prizes.” And just as the time between the bird house in 1997 and orientation in 2012 went by in the blink of an eye, so will the game; and one day…maybe as she’s adding kids to her little plastic car…she just may want these things of her childhood back.

So until then, I’ll continue my role as the curator of family memorabilia. The stuff will continue to gather dust; my dream of an cool organized workshop will remain a dream; and I’ll sit here with our birdhouse and strum a few chords and remember the Saturday morning that we built it like it was yesterday.

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