Have you saved every letter you ever got and every photo you ever took? It seems we have, boxes and boxes of them, moved from house to house, stored in attics, garages, rented storage spaces. We moved 21 times in the last 40 years, although we did spend 23 years in one house. We’ve discarded so much in the process, but these boxes moved each time, with the idea that… Well, it’s hard to remember the exact idea that made these items worth saving.
Going through them now, discarding letters from people I can’t remember, wondering what to do with letters from the dead, I do find random pieces of our history, like this, the receipt for $25 the first month’s rent on the first place Larry and I lived together, a moldy, decrepit and perfectly wonderful float house on Cowichan Lake in Youbou, BC. We rented it from Mr. and Mrs. Gold.
Looking at this receipt brings back that month, March, 1969, living on practically nothing in that drafty cabin with its smelly oil stove and gorgeous setting. I remember the shyness of first living with someone, listening to Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, Cream, the Chambers Brothers, Dylan–all new to me, learning to add cinnamon to French Toast, friends visiting from California, various adventures and misadventures.