There were three and a half generations of my family in the room, so the conversations varied far and wide all evening. At one point, my father who is an excellent story writer and story teller, related a story from my childhood that I had completely forgotten. He seemed to recall it as if it happened yesterday and he told it with such great affection that it almost brought me to tears.
In 1979, as a 30 year old, my father felt the calling of the Lord on his heart to become a minister. To fulfill this goal, he decided that he needed to enroll in a Bible college program for training. This process necessitated a move for our little family--from Texas to Mississippi.
Shortly after we got settled in Mississippi, my dad set himself up a desk in their bedroom for conducting his studies. He purchased all manner of supplies for the desk--pens, papers, pencils, ruler, notebooks and dividers, paper clips and the most magical of desk tools--a putty-colored stapler and a whole box of additional staples.
A day or two into his college experience, Dad came home from class and picked up his stapler, only to find that it was completely empty of staples. Thinking perhaps he'd forgotten to fill it with staples, he opened the box of refill staples. Funny, it was also clearly used and about half empty.
Upon further investigation, my dad soon found his only child's newest piece of artwork--her name written in staples placed side-by-side across her bulletin board!
What makes this story endearing is that if you know me at all, you know that something life-altering happened when I discovered my dad's desk and his mother load of staples--I fell in love. From that day to this, I have loved all things related to school supplies and desk items. Fervently.
In the years since, as a student, I looked forward to the start of each new school year with great anticipation because there were new school supplies to be purchased. I remember my first year of college, going alone to Walmart and taking way too long to pick out supplies for myself. As a young mother, I savored the arrival of the supply list and the opportunity to carefully select crayons and scissors and glues and things for my boys. As a worker in a food pantry that served many young families and many grandmothers who were raising grandchildren, I have had the great honor of seeing that some other people's students were well-prepared for learning with appropriate supplies.
It been an ongoing task that I have enjoyed in many ways. Funny that the love of school supplies became such a part of me and yet, I had completely forgotten about using the new stapler to decorate my bulletin board.
I remember Dad's small desk and how cool I felt sitting in the giant chair with the wheels. I remember that many days, he would be sitting at his desk studying when I got home from school and that was a new twist in my life that I loved.
Hearing him recount this story with such laughter and affection made me so very happy and it also made me wonder what else I have forgotten. And why haven't I written some of these stories down.
Gotta fix that.
Who keeps your stories?
Who reminds you of what you have forgotten?
Who knows things that explain who you are from before you were really you?
I don't think there is a photo of my dad's first desk...certainly not one of me sitting at it. I'm thinking of matching a photo from that time period with this story or maybe I'll recreate the stapler artwork.
Or maybe if I ever have a clean desk, I'll take a picture of my own desk with my own stapler.
These are the stories I want to Scrapbook--the stories that bear witness to all the facets of life.
What about you?