Down the Lane: Snow days are made for ‘digging out’

Normally in Kentucky we have had some very snowy, cold days by this point.

I know I may sound a little bit odd to some, but I welcome these days because they are what I call my “digging out” days. I like to do this on snowy days or very cold days when I do not think anyone will be stopping by to see my mess.

My whole purpose in digging out is to get rid of some things and to give things away to help my family out when something happens to me.

I have also wanted to get rid of some clutter I have accumulated.

As I mentioned in my last column, I am making some memory boxes for my grandchildren. I had no idea what memories I would conjure up by doing this.

Since I have an album I fill up from January to December each year, I have pretty much relived my life this past week.

I have almost accomplished making two complete memory boxes which meant going through hundreds of pictures and trying to decide which ones to include on the boxes.

As a result of this I have found myself just staring at pictures and reliving memories.

One day, I sat an album in front of my husband and we laughed and talked of all the fun we used to have when we camped down at Fort Boonesborough State Park and beyond. We have camped from New York to Florida and as far west as Wyoming and South Dakota.

Some of those stories have to go in another article.

We never camped lightly and would set up our campsite like we would be there for the year and would decorate for each season.

It is amazing to look back at all the people who have been a part of my life.

Looking back at our camping friends who came from all over Kentucky made me realize our camping group alone amounted to hundreds of people we did not know before we began camping.

Our group that we named, “The Good Times Bunch”, brought us much laughter.

These people became our lifelong friends, and many of these sweet people have passed on. It has made me realize even more “life is just a vapor.”

Looking back at the pictures also made me realize how quickly someone’s life can change — from the pictures of our grandchildren as newborn babies to now our oldest grandchild is 30 years old and our youngest is 11 years old.

Not only did they change, but I went from a dark-haired slim lady (I remember thinking I was heavy at the time) to a gray-haired, heavier, older lady.

I remember wondering when they were little babies what they would look like as adults.

It seemed adulthood came too quickly and made me weepy at times.

Looking at my granddaughter Stephenie’s picture, I saw such love for her from her daddy’s eyes. Every picture of the two of them showed so much pure adoration for his baby girl.

Unfortunately, he died from lung cancer the year she graduated high school.

Though my daughter and he divorced when Stephenie was younger, he remained a great father to her and never once did his love for her seem to wane.

He and my daughter always kept a good relationship with one another. Even though they had divorced, we still thought of him as our son-in-law and he always knew we loved him.

I had to think of all the money I have spent on pictures which could have easily funded me a trip to the only state I have not visited, Hawaii.

I can honestly say I am still glad I took pictures throughout my lifetime. I have to credit one thing to my former mother-in-law, Lucile Pace, who told me as a young bride to her son to always write who is in the picture on the back of the picture. That was such good advice.

I remember her telling me, “You may think you will remember their name, but you don’t.”

I was reminded of this as my husband and I looked at so many pictures in the one album we shared together, he would say, “Now, who is this?” I would then look at the back of the picture and be able to tell him.

The funny thing was most of them were pictures of some of his own relatives. Usually I knew, but if he did not think it was right, I was so glad I had written on the back of the picture.

There were many times I did not recognize the person either, I should admit, so it helped me out a lot also.

I just want to add that some other fun things to do when the weather is bad is to play cards, checkers, read a book or invite someone to your house if you do not want to get out.

I just need you to know if you get into cleaning out clutter you just might cause more clutter as I seem to do when I am trying to clean things up or do a good deed.

I am terrible at staying with one project before I decide to do another one at the same time.

I did this yesterday. In the middle of going through pictures, I decided to clean out a closet.

Are there any of you like me? I am striving to do better in this new year.

Then again, if there is a big snow in Winchester, who knows what I may conjure up next week.

Hopefully, another closet will get cleaned out and another memory box will be finished.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.