Sunday, March 24, 2019

SOL19 Slice#24 Really me?

I am participating in the
 Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOL19)
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day for the month of March 2019.

A big thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing this unique opportunity
for teacher-writers to share and reflect.

We finally got around to adding new insulation plus a simple flooring to our attic crawlspace. Such a boring expense, and yet, of course, an important one for this old house of ours. In order to do the work, we had to empty the attic of all its treasures. We've been going through these boxes, sorting and culling. Having lived in this house for 30 plus years, going through boxes is not unlike unearthing a time capsule. I am astounded at what we kept, what we "treasured." Honestly, I've had to pause with some boxes, to recall if these were really mine at all - their insides seem so foreign. 

I found - for example - three boxes of old clothing that my boys had worn when they were young, in a box labeled "quilt scraps." I am not a quilter. I have never made a quilt. I am the recipient of an extraordinary scrap quilt made by my late mother-in-law, for my husband when he went away to college. Did I imagine that I might do the same for my children? Did I imagine this once? Was this really me? 

The other big surprise was my Russian textbooks and notebooks - once upon a time, I took notes in Russian?! I wrote pages and pages in Russian? I majored in Russian in college and continued to find ways to speak and use the language in graduate school and for a few years thereafter. I visited what was then the Soviet Union, and became quite fluent during my summer there. Then, life happened differently - here I am looking back 30 years on my Russian studies, a fabulously full life with many joys but little or no Russian. Truly, this is a case of use it or lose it. I've lost it. Except for the handwriting, I would not have known those old Russian notes were mine. What was I thinking by saving them?

A friend suggests that I get the app Duolingo, and see if my Russian comes back. Hmm. This seems more plausible than quilting!

Strange to think what time does. 


  1. I love your voice in this piece. You have perfectly captured the feelings of finding a long-ago you and trying to connect that person to the you of today.(Sometimes I look at my older writing and think, “Did I really write this?”). I loved the way you led into the story and then made me smile at the end with your choice between following through with Russian or quilting. I think when we were younger we thought we could do anything! Thanks for a breat piece!

  2. One of these days we too will purge our attic space and I fully expect to have a similar experience: stages of our lives that will either evoke very fond memories, and boxes that will have me wondering, "what was I thinking?" I tend to become very melancholy when doing that kind of thing (like my Mother), so I have been avoiding it for too long. I support the Duolingo could be fun!