I am a pack rat by nature (note to self: blog on origin of phrase pack rat? lol). I was taught this skill by example (Ma). My Mother kept everything. She also hoarded OTHER people’s stuff (I have worked the past year to mail pictures and documents to people who she kept things from for whatever reason). When she passed away I cleaned out her kitchen cabinets and found spices with “Best Used By” dates from four decades prior. They had not lived in that house for that many years so that meant she carried expired spices from one house to the next. ((chuckle)) I am not THAT bad, mind you. Bad, but not that bad.
Side note: When they moved into the house along Rt 612, Daddy and I took advantage of that moment and threw away TONS of stuff. He said “If she hasn’t seen it in the past five years, it is not going to the new house.” For years after that she would say, “I had one of those (insert random item) once, you and your Daddy must’ve thrown it away in the move.”
I have started to go through her old cedar chest (now eight years and change after she died) and am inventorying and/or looking more closely at the contents. I have used a number of items as supporting documentation in my genealogy quests. I have found some real treasures and a few heartaches – she not only pack ratted happy thoughts, but landmark sad ones too (I think this may speak to her ability to carry a grudge for a lifetime). Some of the best finds have been in a couple of baby books (think: tracking the first year of milestones reached by an infant/toddler). Last night, out of one of those books fell these:
So the item at the back, with my stats at birth, is a brochure St Peter’s Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ gave to new mothers. It explained formula, how to bathe a baby and how to clean glass bottles. I find it interesting that there are no references to breast feeding. I know it is a formula brochure but you would think there would be something. Inside of that booklet was the card that was attached to the bottom of my bed while I was in the nursery, just minutes old. The nurses put the card in the booklet and gave it to Ma and she put it in a big “let me track my daughter’s progress until at least 14 months, not the five years as the book says” progress book.
I wonder if I could go to St Peter’s Hospital and visit (or stalk past) room #52? Is it still numbered that way even? I would love to see where I spent my first few days of life.
Side note: My doctor’s name was Scully. Which begs me to ask: am I part alien like Daddy always said?
If you are interested what the booklet said, here are the pages: