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Des Moines, Iowa
USA

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old stuff

Geoff Wood

Last Sunday, when Hope and I were at my uncle's house in Des Moines we picked up a truck load of stuff. Not just any stuff, my old stuff. My folks are making a big move and thus are trying to minimize their stuff. That means pulling every box out of their attic and garage that had my name on it and that was enough to fill the bed of the Silverado.

Hope is in Orlando for work so I had this evening to my self to reminisce. I made it through several boxes that included mostly junk and clothes. Using CSI-like forensics, I've concluded that I packed most of these boxes right before I left home for college (November 1996), though I found a few random items are from graduation (December 2000).

The stuff ranged from Boy Scout merit badges to t-shirts I won at the bar. From high school dance pictures to the stamp collection I never really started. There were my sketch pads from freshman year of college (not many remember that I was once a design major) and a poster for the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie (Kristy Swanson was so hot). Some trucker hats from before they were called that and boxes of baseball cards.

I've always enjoyed writing and found lots of hand written letters. Remember pre-E-mail communication? Most letters are from girls - friends of mine going back through middle school and high school. It's like stepping back in time to read them now. One was from my friend Marsha, telling me she decided to attend Iowa State and major in sociology (she's now finishing doctoral studies in psych & soc at Arizona State). One was from my friend Mandy telling me about problems she was having with some guy - last I knew she was a freshman at Northern Iowa (but that was '96 and I'd guess she's moved on). One was a letter I wrote to Stephanie but never sent. She was crush that I first met at church camp in 7th grade. It was from the the summer between middle school and high school and I was very impressed that my friend Todd had his license (I told her I wanted to get a Chevy Blazer when I turned 16 - that turned out to be true).

I was able to condense the truckload into a few boxes. Some stuff will go to Goodwill, lots of stuff to the trash. But the best stuff will go back into storage for the next ten years or so until another big change prompts me to dig it out again.