Posted tagged ‘Slide Rule’


August 28, 2014

The title of this post could have a question mark.    In preparation for our carpet installation I’ve been going through everything in my house,  every shelf,  every cabinet,  bookcase. . . .  and that’s my constant question:  What’s in here?     Oh!  What’s in here!!

SAMSUNGInside of this old cabinet I found three black rectangular boxes.   The one on the left contained my slide rule!!!   I found it, at last!!   Many happy memories with that slide rule.    I remember when Hubbie bought his first “calculator.”     It was very expensive, but he thought it was justified because he taught Accounting at the time.   I never liked a calculator.  I was much faster with pencil and paper  (or slide rule)  and Hubbie and I had some interesting “races”  with columns of figures.

I don’t know.  Maybe he never got the hang of using a calculator.   Ha!    When you do math with your hands  (pencil or slide rule)  you’re really, really doing the math, and the mind is far faster than trying to get electrons to jump into the proper place,  doing the math for you.

The black box in the middle is my piccolo.   That was kind of fun too.   Both of those boxes have been “lost” for a long, long time.

But the box on the right….   I don’t recognize it.    I don’t know what’s in it.   It has a little thing on the seam that I think is where you’d open it — if your fingers were strong enough.   I can’t get it to move.    Whatever is inside is well-protected.

Son will  do it next time he visits.

They say it’s a good idea to move to another home every  so many  years;  the interval varies.      The happy result of such moving is that you have the opportunity to become reacquainted with everything you own, and you are forced to select what to keep and what to throw out.     Sounds like the goal is to pare down your life to the bare minimum.

I think “thinning things out” is just a minor goal.

Much more significant is that when you have to move all your things,  whether to a new place or to the same place, as in my case,  what you will be doing is retrieving your past.  As Son told me recently,  “if you don’t remember some things,  they don’t exist for you anymore.”

When parts of you are disappearing from memory,  it’s not your belongings that are thinning out,  it’s you.


I came across one old box that contained all kinds of greeting cards, used and unused.   I’m normally not a,  uh,   “methodical”person, so I poured everything on the floor and began sorting them out, new cards to be sent,  old cards received.  I read every one of those cards.  I enjoyed every one of them – again.    I appreciated all my friends and the time they took to write something inside their card.   I’m glad I’ve saved these, because it’s like visiting again with good people.   My life is fuller.  I haven’t “lost” their kind words.

But there are other kinds of cards:

SAMSUNGThese are some of the sympathy cards that we received when Hubbie died.

Please know that the extra effort you take to write in someone’s card, in your own hand,  is felt by the bereaved, deep down in their hearts. And the cards are sometimes saved and read again, and your kind words give strength and support once again.

And it brings back hard memories —  of course.

Memories that you don’t want to lose.

“What lies within”  is sometimes a very, very important part of you.

It’s a big chore to move your stuff around,  but don’t try to remove too much of the “stuff.”