When I was a young adult, going out into the big bad world as young adults do, I took only what would fit into my little hatchback and left the rest in my parents' garage. This included toys, cassette tapes, records, costumes, and theatrical programs from shows I had been in. These items meant a lot to me but I just didn't have room for them at the time - a tiny, SoCal studio apartment, with a roommate. I managed to rescue some of these items on various visits to my parents' house, but the majority of my stuff was destroyed in a flood a couple years later. When I got the news, I cried. Then I told myself to forget about them, that they were just things. I had a few photos. And I would cherish the items that I did manage to rescue.
Fast forward to the internet age. Several years ago, I was browsing online vintage and resale shops for unusual gifts and decor items, when I came across a toy identical to one that became a victim of that earlier flood. My heart raced, my mouth opened like a guppy wanting food, and I actually squealed. I thought I had put those lost items behind me, but I never realized how many strong memories were attached to them. I showed hubby this awesome toy I used to cherish as a kid. He didn't seem very impressed, but he still has most of his important childhood stuff so he understood my attachment. And guess what he surprised me with the very next holiday? Yeah, it's not actually the one I had as a kid. But it looks like mine so my heart is satisfied.
I'll never be able to replace the handmade costumes or the mix tapes that flood took from me, but I've got those songs on my MP3 playlist now. And thanks to social networking, I reconnected with a some old theatre buds, who emailed me copies of their programs. The commercial items come up on websites now and again. The only downside is that others are scavenging for their childhood memories, too, which has led to some bidding wars and made the items go up in value. But that's what a wishlist is for, right?
I now own several of those destroyed items, those precious childhood tangibles that I once thought were gone forever. I know the old "you can't take it with you" is true. But I may as well enjoy myself while I'm still here. And I'm having a blast reliving some of my favorite childhood memories. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a bid to check on.