Rainy day project brings lovely surprises

Rainy days can lead to all sorts of rainbows. Photo by Norman Schimmel

It’s funny how being home with cabin fever during a giant rainstorm will inspire you to do strange things. As the sound of the rain got louder and louder yesterday, and then the thunder followed, I knew I had to invent a few indoor projects to keep me occupied.

As I walked past my bedroom closet, a thought hit me — maybe, after all these years of just throwing stuff in the back and on the shelves, I should actually clean it out and see what’s still viable. Some of this “stuff” had no meaning to me at all; just junk that I obviously couldn’t part with. But, I knew going in that I would eventually be assaulted with memories and I would have to deal with them, which is probably why these items were so well hidden.

I began at the front, organizing my scarves by color and setting a few aside for Goodwill.  That was easy enough. I moved on to my extensive collection of outdated photography equipment, which certainly brought back years and years of wonderful memories. The digital age has usurped all my equipment but I will save it for nostalgia. And maybe, if stores still sell film, I’ll get a roll and take my SLR to the beach to shoot a few sunsets.

Moving slowly, I reached the corner of the shelf, and  found the box I had been avoiding for so long. It’s a nice square box, made of wood, and it has my name hand-painted on the cover. I remember making it at summer camp when I was about 9 years old. Inside the box is a colorful collection of my mother’s summer costume jewelry, all of her favorite fun pieces, which she wore to coordinate with her sundresses and to look “smart” when she and my father went out to dinner. It has everything from coral and white beaded necklaces, to cameo brooches, to burgundy glass earrings, and a few tarnished silver bracelets that were squeezed in between the rest.

And, suddenly I saw it. And I had an epiphany, plus I was too stunned to move. Tucked away under one of my mom’s necklaces was the white-and-silver ice skating pin that I had been looking for since my childhood. It was the pin my parents bought me when we went to see the Ice Capades at Boston Garden. It was our annual tradition to sit down front and enjoy a spectacular performance, usually of a Disney story, where the girl was always a pincess dressed in beautiful gowns, and in the end she always found her prince.

This pin is a priceless memento, a reminder of how much I loved ice skating, but most of all, how much I loved sharing my joy with my parents.