Most of us have one: a trunk, hope chest, decorative box, or, even a can. Into these, we store “precious” things.
My son, John, uses the U.S. air force Academy box provided its cadets. Gina keeps hers in a cedar chest. Gretchen, a tin container.
Mine are in a 1840’s wood trunk carried from Sweden to Rush City, MN., by my great, great grandfather John Westlund. It is cherry wood and carved with his initials next to the huge iron lock. The key is made of iron and is four inches and made of iron. It is hidden away in the secret compartment of a jewelry box given to me by Fred Hauflin who made it as a Christmas gift.
We put things in these containers but seldom, if ever, do we take one out. It is a HARD task to face taking something out or to declutter one. Looking through my truck, I found a collection of diaries. They began in the third grade. The little five-year diary was picked up after a few entries and began again in high school.
That’s when I really picked up journal writing. I happened to read a few pages and learned that I was l09 pounds and I hated that boys would call me “red.” I am working after school and on Saturday at Silvers Dept. Store in East Des Moines, Iowa, tagging product in the basement and selling shoes upstairs on Saturdays.
I go to at least two double-feature shows a week, take piano lessons, name the boys who phone, walk with me between classes in the hall, or come to the house to wipe the dishes I must do as my chore every day.
I love it when my Dad brings me a new recording, or when I hope to make the East High Quill yearbook staff. I am to be a junior so both to-be juniors and seniors are eligible to write an essay. At an all-school assembly, I am named to the staff. Although I am happy, a certain other girl is not happy that I’ve won and she didn’t.
It’s below zero a lot in Des Moines and my walk to school is over a mile so I stop in a corner drug store to warm up. I’m glad I get l’s in history. I learn I might like to be a reporter some day. My typing score is 36 words per minute without error (when I graduate, it is l00 wpm).
For a while, it felt like being l5 years old again.