Childhood Treasure Boxes

Thursday, October 8, 2009

So during my photo scavenging for my contest, I found that blue school box filled with old treasures from my 10-year old self... And I was so bemused and delighted at the contents--- things that were of SUCH value to a young kid.

I took photos of most of the contents, but didn't have room for them on the contest post, so I thought I'd share them here in a post of their own... Because I am a true sentimentalist at heart. I cherish things that have meaning in my life experience, and keep "treasures" well beyond their usefulness... Because of the memories and the sensations and the feelings they evoke.

Because this is a quality(flaw?) of mine, I have more than a few "treasure boxes"... The footlocker with high school mementos-- yearbooks, notes from friends, a boyfriend's hoodie, dried roses, etc. The box of old stuffed animals I treasured as a kid. The box with my baby book and baby blanket. The box of photos/programs/tshirts/dried bouquets from the plays I used to be in. So many remnants of who I once was.... And me, too sentimental to let it go and throw it all away.

Do any of you do this?

In the end, it makes for some charming anthropology-- at least, in the case of this little treasure box shown here...

{The Blue Box-- plastic, meant for school supplies. autographed in my frou-frou 10-yr.old hand}

{First Peek:}


{Detail Shot #1: I bought these Guatamalan 'Worry Dolls' with my very own money on a field trip to the St. Louis Science Center-- how funny that I now live two miles from there!--... I LOVED these things. They fascinated me in their ethnic style, in their own little wooden box, in their smallness.... I ADORED them and took them out to look at them all the time.}

{Detail Shot #2: my stamp book. I don't remember where I got the first hookup-- maybe in one of those cramped black and white ads in the back of magazines? But I began collecting stamps and found a "dealer" who would send small, crackly glassine envelopes with sets of cheap stamps from the most odd places... I had never heard of "Maygar" or "Guine Bissau", and they fascinated me. Every time I got a packet of stamps in the mail, I felt a thrill that was somehow illicit, mysterious, and fulfilling... Never sure where this dealer came from or how these stamps kept making their way to my home. Thinking back now, I feel a similar jolt-- this time, wondering if I ever paid for these things?? Strange. It was a brief season of collecting, so if I never DID pay for them, hopefully the bill wasn't too large. hehe... Awkward. I'm feeling nervous. Must move on...}

{Detail Shot #3: coins and jewelry... Loved that big fake penny. I think it was a prize from my school class for winning a spelling bee or getting top scores on an assignment... a prize carefully picked from a prize box, selected from among stickers, cute erasers, colorful paper clips. The jewel encrusted elephant and the cloisonne butterfly-- true relics of a fanciful little girl. The more rhinestones the better, always. Even still. The "I Am a Child of God" pendant, a gift from a relative somewhere... loved, but never worn. I never really WORE my kid jewelry very much... Just hoarded it and loved it. The big gold coin is plastic... I think it must have been peeled off of a sweepstakes mailer or other promotional junk mail...So useless, but not in the eyes of a little kid.}

{Detail Shot #4: Among other random business cards, my mother's business card when she first started playing in her string quartet. She designed the logo. And two pages from a genuine 1977 calendar I got from a cute elderly lady in my church. She was cleaning out her office with my help and came across the calendar, and I was THRILLED to have the ACTUAL page from the ACTUAL DAY I was ACTUALLY born. The other date I kept was Christmas of that year. Ya know, baby's first Christmas and all that. So funny how COOL I thought these pages were....}

{Detail Shot #5: My poetry book.... So special to me. I mean, look-- these are "some of [my] best". Ya know?}
Oh, you want a sample? You do?

Watch out.... I was PROLIFIC at age 10. Holy cow, HERE'S a winner (appropriately timed, and not at all edited):

It's Halloween!
Time for witches
and ghosts to scream!
Jack O'Lanterns eyes
will gleam!
There will be Dracula,
Frankenstein, too!
Ghosts and goblins will
all cry BOO!
Baby's and princesses
and Dennis the Mennises!
Rabbits and G.I Joe,
Mup-pet Babies too,
Masks and transformers,
A whaling Boat's Crew.
We all love Halloween!

I am DYING laughing. What the heck was THAT?!

(what's sad is that is STILL better than lots of my former students' poetry. And they were in high school. Yipes!)

Funny stuff... all of it. But what fun, right? Or just for me? Are the rest of you screaming, "throw that crap AWAY, you crazy girl!! It's JUNK!!"... If you are, you're probably right... But....

I just treasure it too much.



  1. That is awesome! I had tons of "worry dolls" growing up and you are the first person I have found that even knows what I am talking about. I actually went through my old stuff last week and had a blast reminiscing.

  2. That is awesome! I had tons of "worry dolls" growing up and you are the first person I have found that even knows what I am talking about. I actually went through my old stuff last week and had a blast reminiscing.

  3. that is awesome. i have several things kept too! one of which is a scrap of fabric from my "porting" skirt. my mom also saved all the cards we were given as kids. i have my baby book, i have my blessing dress, i have a ton of stuff that means NOTHING to anyone else but to me. well, and hopefully my grand kids. save this stuff friend. your grandkids will LOVE it!!!

  4. what a treasure! and the poem...LOVE IT. ;) and the worry dolls - i had those too!!! how UBEr cool were they though, really?!?!

  5. I'm glad you made this an additional post--my favorite part of the last one!

    I was SO SURE worry dolls were going to solve all my worries...I think a friend of Mom's got me my first teeny oval box.

    And I pity the person whose instinct is to throw this stuff away. Sure, if your house is overloaded with stuff kept just for sentimentality...and is bringing you down with it. But I don't want to live in a world where there isn't space for history. :)

  6. Just like everyone else, I think you need to keep it. These are all things that contribute to who you are.

    Before I moved across country I carried a suitcase around with me from house to house I lived in. If I hadn't moved I would probably still have it, but hopefully some of my friends have fun looking at some of my things.

  7. How fun to walk down Memory Lane! I still have my original Holly Hobby doll, several Cabbage Patch babies, stuffed animals, my high school "letterman's" jacket, cards, cards, and more cards than I know what to do with. And that's just the beginning, LOL. Part of me thinks I should just "let it go" but I just.can'! Keep it... you're kids will get a kick out of it some day! Just like we did :)

  8. Oh so charming! I love the fabric you are made of Emily. Thanks for sharing it with us. XOXO

  9. hahahaha. this made me laugh so hard. the actual page from the actual day. i probably have the exact same thing SOMEWHERE. Ahum, my mom's attic. i'll admit a part of me was thinking "throw that crap AWAY" which made me chuckle even more but then i realized it's just too hard. that's why i haven't gotten rid of my treasures either:)

  10. Add me to the list of little girls with worry dolls!! I loved them. Especially how MINIATURE they were, yet still detailed. Fascinating litle things! I wish I could still find mine!

    Oh, and the poem was a favorite line? "Dennis the Mennises!"

  11. I'm a keeper of sentimental "crap" too! Boxes, and totes and a foot locker full. You're a girl after my own heart...right down to the bad poetry. lol! Remind me to tell you about my Ode to Calamine Lotion. ;)

  12. Hilarious. I say keep it. I am pretty sure I had a worry doll hair clip at one point. My favorite line is the "whaling boat crew". What? How did you know about whaling boats.

  13. As previously discussed, I am so much the same way! Wow- what I found to be utterly fascinating what how much your memories touched the fringes of my memories, too- I remember that rhinestone elephant (I think, wasn't it a gift from Grandma Young?) and those worry dolls from the Science Center (gosh, I need to go back to that place- it has been far too long!).

    I think the oversized penny was from that epic Family Reunion in 1986 (remember, when we had to take the train?)- they used the oversized pennies as medals for winning various events (I have one or two pennies just like that)- I think I remember you winning the balloon-shaving competition...

    I love the Fiddle Faddle card (also the Dr. Durkovich one from the first shot :)- do you remember that when it was called Fiddle Faddle, it was just Mom and Monte Belknap? Sometimes, I vaguely wonder whatever happened to that family...

    And the poem reminds me very much of the poems written by Jack Prelutsky (and considering that he was a published poet for children, that's pretty impressive!).

    Loved the trip down memory lane. If I can ever get the current items in my life organized, I really should take time to go through some of the old stuff stored in various boxed on high-up shelves in my closet...

    Thanks for sharing!

  14. How ridiculously amazing and cute and special that you have that. AND thought to do it at TEN! lol

    Thanks for sharing.


  15. You better not throw that stuff away. Have you seen my treasure box from my childhood? I think you have. Elise - Monte is the violin professor at BYU! Kirsti worked with him last summer at Summerfest. They have a bunch of kids - 8 or 9 I think.
    The Kennedy half dollar is probably worth a few bucks nowadays - maybe.


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