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Field Notes from Grandma's Part 2

June 21, 2017

Even though it’s this first day of summer, my mind has been on winter. 

 

Coats specifically. 

 

See I used to play this game in New York when it first got cold called- What’s in Davey’s Pocket?

 

Maybe some of you have your own version of this game? It’s where you stick your hand into the pocket of your winter coat after its summer hibernation and see what crazy things you find. 

 

Anyone? 

 

Just me? 

 

Moving on… 

 

I used to discover all sorts of things, buried in the holes of my pockets. I’ve found movie tickets, ATM receipts. A ruler. The ruler was in there for years actually because once I found it, I could never bring myself to throw it away. There was chewing gum, pencils, pens, old set lists from my stand up shows. I used to wonder what someone would think of me if they found that coat and all they had to go on was the stuff in my pockets. What life would they piece together from the scraps? 

 

As my mom and I were going through things at my grandmother’s house we kept finding old newspaper clippings and handwritten notes in her filing cabinet. There among the old maps and Farm Bureau statements were these little pieces of paper that she had read and wanted to save. There were bible verses and inspirational messages; things she read that had meant something to her. As I was looking at them, I realized that these were her version of Memes. That if she had been 30 years younger, she would have been sharing all this on Facebook. Articles and quotes there among the friend requests and birthday wishes.   

 

I found those clippings refreshing. It was nice to know that my grandmother was open to things, that she was searching for meaning; and that when she found it… she saved it. 

 

Several times.

 

I figure if something made it to the filing cabinet that means she must have seen it the first time, displayed it in some way shape or form, decided to take it down and instead of trashing it- filed it. And because she decid

 

ed against throwing this thing away at least twice, it was speaking to me today, decades after she clipped them. 

 

I wonder how people are going to go through my belongings? Instead of pouring through filing cabinets and desk drawers, are they going to go search my Facebook wall and look at my measly Twitter account? Are they going to peak through my Instagram feed to see what my they want to save and what they want to erase? Are they going to hope to find an old plug to fire up an old computer, and after they laugh at the old technology, read through these old things I’ve written?  

 

That sounds sad on paper, but maybe it won’t be. I’d be fine with ancestors finding out who I was that way. 

 

Better than the alternative. Better than my coat pockets. 

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