Bill caught the humor long before my pea brain did. When I told him that I'd deposited two dozen boxes out in the box stall, he said that was a good place to put them. Duh! Yup, it's a pretty appropriate place to store boxes all right. I had put in my order with my sister Barbara a couple of months ago.
"I'll take all your yearbook boxes," I told her. She promised to fend off any other teachers coveting cardboard storage containers when the annuals arrived and she'd save them for me. Except for a few that she needed for her own purposes, Barbara gave me about 35 Walsworth Co. yearbook boxes over the course of two weeks. And, without thinking, I stored them in the barn box stall, which today is empty.
Every single one of those SHS Monticola yearbook boxes has since come from the barn to the house to be filled with the contents of the Love house and the Love's lives. There's definitely a lifetime or two of golden memories in them there boxes.
Yesterday, Willie's childhood years went from his walls and bookcase into the yearbook containers. Seems just as fitting as their temporary resting site in the barn that yearbook boxes would serve as containers for the mementos of childhood, adolescence and early adulthood.
After all, the years of Young Willie are represented well inside those containers with all his Rolling Stone Magazine covers from the wall, the posters of "Michael" of the Bulls, a pewter cross given as a First Communion symbol, the "Will and Deb" poster decorated with yellow and green ribbons for a wedding rehearsal dinner in 2001 and the Spokesman Review In-Life front-page color photo of Willie, Romain, Alana and Deanne wearing their tie-dye T-shirts.
Also, packed away is another front-page photo from the Cedar Post high school newspaper, entitled "Newest Bulldog." Willie, with his sagging baby jowls, is being propped up by Mom and where the cutline offers of long list of expectations for Young Mr. William E. Love III. At 29, he still has time to complete the list, especially for his two terms as President of the United States.
Across the hall from Willie's room, Annie's walls are bare. Her younger life is packed into boxes too. She did that by herself a week ago. Her closet is now filled to the brim with boxes of old annuals, books, her hubcap collection, assorted music boxes given each year of her youth, the First Communion wall hanging and all those posters of Hollywood actors/movies, the 1997 Bulldog football team, Kurt Cobain at his wildest, etc.
While organizing her mementos, Annie even brought me a check found under her bed. Ironically, it was written a year ago yesterday by my sister. Speaking of beds, I haven't bent over to see if more boxes or maybe a wastebasket will be needed for what lies beneath. Seems those areas always provide an assortment of treasures and trash.
The yearbook boxes are full. Now we're filling up the whiskey and Kokanee boxes donated from Schweitzer Conoco's box bin. Yesterday, Michelle generously opened the door to the bin and told me to take my pick of flattened cardboard containers.
So, last night Bill started filling boxes. He began with his bookcase but took a break to thumb through the dusty photo albums of kids in cherubic stages: Willie hugging his baby sister Annie, Annie climbing on the antique rake, the kids running through the fields with their golden retriever Pupper, the kids standing with those "gone dog" English Setters, Bogey and Julie; Willie on a blanket at three months with a pair of ruffly "girlie" panties, Annie throwing rocks along the shore of Priest Lake.
I told Bill that packing those boxes can be hazardous for the emotions. It's best to not look, to not think of the days so long ago. It's best to just grab the piles, stuff them in the boxes, and tape them shut, and label the contents. Those frequent breaks taken to remember all those cherished moments of life can slow down the moving process, but they're oh, so sweet.