Memory Box

Above is the entire box. Below are enlargements of each square. Click on photos to enlarge. even more.

Over fifty years ago, my sister Betty gave me a memory box for Christmas.  It was an old box used to store type-setting letters with thirty compartments, some of which she backed up with paper and decorated with a buckeye, a small bird, a basket of dried flowers. It was up to me to fill the rest. I remember sitting that Christmas and choosing photos from my family album to put in some of the boxes and over the years I have added other objects that together tell the story of my life. I had the box hanging in my studio, but when men recently installed wifi wiring, they knocked it off the wall and a number of the pieces fell out of the box. Others rolled away and were lost. So, during this three months of isolation, I’ve spent more time in the studio and so for several days, off and on, I worked on refilling the memory box. In some cases the glue had soaked through the photos. In other cases the photos have nearly become invisible. I found backing material for some squares that had no backing, added items from the many drawers of items in my studio. Here is the finished project, mostly restored to its old order but with many additional items added as well. I was going to try to tell the story of each square, then decided that I would tell the stories as people queried me about them. If no one is curious, I’ll let the memory box tell its own story. If there are any squares you want me to tell the story of, make a request and it will be met. The memories span a time period from 1947 to 1987, when I got married. Above is the memory box, with all of its warts.

HERE is an Explanation of the “6 Coeds Narrowly Avoid Disaster in the Mountains” square, and HERE is an Explanation of the square with the quinine pills and pins.

34 thoughts on “Memory Box

  1. Marion Couvillion

    Beautiful Judy~! What fine memories, and a great way to display them both for yourself and for others.

    Thanks for sharing with us~!

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    Reply
    1. Colleen Eastman

      I know the story of the coeds and disaster in the mountains, but I want to know more about the other small items in that box. Elephant? Do tell.

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      1. slmret

        Like a lot of your stories, it begins like a story any other coed (former coed) might tell of going to cut a Christmas tree, but then turns into a major adventure or a near disaster. What an exciting life you have lived!

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  2. annieasksyou

    My immediate thought—before I reached your text—was that I’d like to see it annotated. I realize that would be a big project. Perhaps you can pick out a few that are particularly meaningful to you and write the stories about them? With or without rhyme—your choice!

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  3. integratedexpat

    How wonderful! I’m intrigued about your family connection to the Netherlands. But the square that intrigues me the most is the one with all the badges and the quinine pill tin, especially as one of the badges is in Dutch, ‘tasbureau’. That means ‘bag office’, so I’m imagining a bag drop service in an airport.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Okay.. I’ll put this one on my list. It is actually several stories.. the Tasbureau, the XO pin and the stick pin from the Broken Hills Leagues club are all different stories. The quinine pill box was actually in the box when I received it, and was just put in by my sister as an interesting antique
      object. I guess it could represent my trip through the Panama Canal ten years ago or so, as we had to get malaria shots as a precaution against Malaria and I believe quinine was used in its treatment. If so, she was precogitive.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Okay.. I’ll tell that story in a blog today as it is short and sweet. I’ve told it before but cannot find it and have decided it’s faster to rewrite a tale than to try to locate an old one.

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    2. lifelessons Post author

      The green rocket-shaped object is an eraser to stick on the end of a pencil when its eraser is used up and the crumpled pieces of paper represent pages of a story, book or poem that I’ve ripped out of the typewriter or printer and crumpled up to throw away… part of the writing process. The eraser also represents another story.. I’ll have to see if I actually did publish it on the next day. My memory falters as I’m writing this over two months after this post.

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  4. Pingback: Memories Decoded | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

  5. Pingback: Broken Hill and Other Adventures | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

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