family, life

For Keep’s Sake!

Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days. ~ Doug Larson

A few posts back, I blogged about the tons of stuff I found when we packed to move. For a moment, I wondered if I was a hoarder like my ex-neighbor, but it was too organized for that. I still can’t face, that I may be a pack rack.

I mentioned that I’d be writing a future blog about the keepsakes I found, and this is that post. Are yearbooks considered keepsakes? Check out the three junior high yearbooks I kept below (some names have been blurred out or erased).

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Yes, that’s middle school, and don’t pay attention to the year. Keep in mind, I was the youngest kid in my class. Those books only seem old because I changed it to black & white (the color gave it fuzziness).

So, who looks at those pictures in a yearbook anymore, right? But, what about all those memorable notes from friends inside? The photo below shows high school signatures in one yearbook, and I have six more (including the three above).

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Who are these people? I don’t remember half of those names, so why do I even care to keep them? Is it worth it?

How ’bout diplomas? Should I keep those?

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What about old keepsake letters from loved ones?

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Inside that box above are letters from my dad after I first moved to Florida. He really missed me in those early days. There are also letters from my Nana. She died in 2004. How could I part with these?

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What about letters from my college friends (above) who went away to school while I stayed home? Some of those people I vaguely remember. There are also letters in that box from old boyfriends.

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When I was eleven, I had a pen pal from New Zealand. Her letters are above. In those days, to connect across the globe, we did it the hard way and wrote longhand. Maybe she’s out there somewhere in cyberspace. Wouldn’t it be cool if she found my blog?

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Can you read what it says in red marker on the box above? Yes, I know it used to contain old dot matrix, continuous feed paper, (which may have been taken from my hotel job back in the day). Those “notes” inside that box are not letters. It holds something even more historical than the box itself … old fashioned text messages.

opentexts (800x364) wmIn other words, they are notes we passed from desk to desk (above and below). They date from 7th grade to 12th grade. Most are not signed, so I have no idea who wrote many of them.

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Take a closer look and see if you can read the ramblings of 9th graders (above). Such philosophical talk about boys, boys and more boys. Did I mention I was boy crazy?

Oh, and by the way, I still have the two dozen diaries I mentioned in another post.

Am I just keeping these things for keep’s sake? Should I rid myself of them? I can’t stop thinking about how fun they are to read.

Now that I moved back to my hometown, maybe I should try to contact old friends and have a note-reading party.

Do you keep any letters from loved ones or friends? How about letters from any old flames? Are you old enough to remember passing notes in class?


17 thoughts on “For Keep’s Sake!”

  1. Inspired questions to ask yourself about personal keepsakes. An important skill I think each of us can follow is to be able to take the knowledge of keepsakes as an event and then write a journal sentence that captures the keepsakes soul in your own words. It’s sad that people aren’t taught knowledge process skills to deal with valuable family keepsakes. The value of keepsakes increase when future relatives go looking for family identity from the past. Why do things become valuable? Because most of these personal items end up being thrown away.

    A skill any person can use is to be able to take your knowledge of the keepsake and present it digitally to future family. That way the journal becomes a timeless record of the event behind each keepsake. If any reader would like a journal process that uses a knowledge process then please your welcome to download my Family Event Journal on my Soul Assets website. (

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  2. I remember passing notes in class and I still have some from my best friend in college. We would pass notes between classes. Thanks for reminding me of that! Great post!

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    1. It was a fun surprise when I found them as we were packing to move. I knew I had saved yearbooks, but not all the other stuff. Thanks for stopping by, Seyi.

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  3. If you still find them fun to read, why not keep them? We didn’t have yearbooks and I don’t have any notes that were passed around in class, but I have a whole chest full of letters and greetings cards…

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    1. It’s nice that you have those letters saved, Andrea. I wasn’t sure about keeping these notes & letters, because I didn’t even know I had saved them until we started packing to move. They were hidden in an attic corner. Now that I know I have them, and I’ve received so much support on keeping them, I’ve put them in a more convenient place so I can read them on occasion. Thanks for sharing what you’ve saved.

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  4. Having known someone who lost all of those childhood mementos in a flood, I would say hang on to at least some of it. As long as you have the space for it, it’s not hurting anything, and you may be pleasantly surprised when you peruse the contents.

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    1. That’s a shame that your friend lost so much in a flood, Joy. Thank you for sharing this perspective on it. I didn’t know I had kept so much of it until we started digging out to move. It was a nice surprise. Now that I know I have it, I’m going to check them out on more occasions.


  5. These keepsakes are priceless πŸ™‚ I get the inclination to streamline possessions… actually I don’t really! I see where people feel they should but… if they are happy memories and you have room, keep them. Time passes, and you may feel differently, strongly one way or the other, later.
    I too have old school diaries, yearbooks etc, and when my school reunions roll around it’s nice for us to take along a reminder of that time.
    I hope you get together with some old friends to laugh over those notes πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks for the fresh perspective on keeping these things, EllaDee. I still have my lifetime friend whom I’ve known since I was a baby. Aside from her, I’d have to search those people out again to find them. Not too difficult to do with technology these days. Glad you enjoy some of your old keepsakes, too.


  6. This is a tough area, and I have no words of wisdom. I parted with some keepsakes like these a few years ago when we did a spring cleaning, but I kept a couple plastic bins worth of others. I never know whether to hang onto them or not, but when I go to toss them, I find I can’t. Guess that’s my answer in and of itself. Luckily, I’m not too sentimental so I don’t have all that many keepsakes to begin with.

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    1. That’s the word that describes how I feel about these things … sentimental. Except, not so much with my yearbooks, but definitely the letters. Thanks for sharing, Carrie.

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  7. Ha ha! Your photos of keepsakes look like mine, Lori. I would keep it all! Just two days ago, I pulled out an old yearbook to look up a picture. As for the notes passed in class, yes, I still have them. I could never part with those.

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