Tuesday, May 17, 2022



Rainy weather has offered many opportunities to continue culling and clearing for our kitchen/family room remodel (which has been pushed back yet another few weeks as we make our way through an interminable permit process - oh my, THIS CONTINUED LAMENT will not be the point of today's blog post, I assure you, I assure me). 

Inside a large hope chest (really, a bench in our home), I found a treasure trove of music CD's and cassette tapes, long long forgotten. What to do with all these? 

The cassettes were problematic  - we have nothing to play these with anymore, and by and large, these were handmade playlists. Many of these I simply trashed; but, I made a small container of 'treasures' and we will see if anyone we know still has a cassette deck and whether these cassettes still play. In some cases, we are able to recreate (beloved) playlists again on our computer.

The CD sorting took an unexpectedly long time, as I opened each CD case to check for its corresponding CD, and created numerous piles:

- empty CD cases, requiring a further search through the large compilation cases
- a pile for donation
- a pile for trash (no corresponding CD can be found)
- a pile for each family member 
- a pile of "I DON'T KNOW, WHAT DO YOU THINK?" for everyone to look through

The individual piles for family members really confused me when I realized I had no music CDs for my youngest son; all the boys love music and have varied tastes - where/what/why does he have nothing? Then it dawned on me - he was ten years old when the ipod was created...he has always had music available digitally. Unlike his older brothers, he did not spend hours creating his own CDs for road trips and friends. He has no physical detritus to sort through! Extraordinary to think about.

It is astounding how clearing out this one chest led to a long, sentimental journey through time, remembering. 

It also led to a poem about creating playlists. I had a little fun with its visual structure, as I tried to capture how the technology of music collections has changed over time. Enjoy!

how to create a music playlist

imagine which songs to include? which to record first? which should be last in the set?

create the perfect music playlist romance friendship road trip dance party have fun

thinking this through you’ll need a blank cassette tape one by one spin the tunes

 on the turntable, line the needle up with the track, press record on the deck, &

build the playlist, yes there was such an art to it, don’t forget, hand write, no 

better yet, type the list of songs for the sleeve and if you really want to 

make this a gift, create vibrant cover art for the jacket, use your

imagination. later there were cd’s and computers so all

you had to do was gather songs from various cd’s & 

record an all new playlist on a blank cd 

yes a very similar process as before 

plus you could still create art

on the cd sleeve to add

sentiment and then

poof! there was

streaming &


at all






It's Tuesday and I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for creating this supportive community 
of teacher-writers!


  1. Maureen, it really does feel as though these changes in music formats happened as a trickle. I wonder what the next incarnation will be or if there will be one. Sunday I learned Apple will no longer make the iPod. I still have a tiny iPod shuffle I used to clip to my shirt. That might be my favorite music format given it’s size. Carrying g a phone to access Apple music is more cumbersome. I love music but never spent much time making cassette mix-tapes or burning my own CDs. I did, however, have some projects for students that involved burning CDs. One was to record their autobiography in a variety of genres. We recorded “radio plays,” too. I don’t think I have copies of those assignments now. Anyway, I hope that kitchen renovation begins before our next SOL so you can report on demo progress. The delays are awful. In the meantime, keep discovering those lost treasures.

  2. As someone who has made many a mixtape, I so appreciated this post. Making a streamed playlist just doesn't quite have the same meaning. I'm going to share the poem with a friend who used to make me mixtapes when we were kids. Thank you so much for this.

  3. It is amazing how much music has changed over the years. I still have a small collection of CDs, many created by my own children, and one CD player in a box! I think I know where it is headed.

  4. I still have a "boom box" that plays both CDs and cassette tapes. It came in really handy when I unearthed the basket of stories and cassettes my kids listened to 30+ years ago. Grandson has totally enjoyed them. Daughter encouraged me to donate an entire box of cassette tapes as we were decluttering this past week. Sigh!

  5. This brought back nostalgia I had forgotten about! My friends' favorite things to do for birthday party favor bags (do those still exist?!) was curated CDs... Of course with the fancy typed out list of songs for the sleeve. I still have a couple CDs stashed in my car for when I'm too lazy for my phone and feeling over the radio.