A tatty old box full of memories

Yesterday I began the traditional New Year clear-out. You know, the one where you use stealth to remove the toys and games which graced previous Christmas stockings but are no longer deemed fit for play, then take them under cover of darkness to the charity shop?

Anyway, as I rifled my way through the things we no longer need with ruthless efficiency, I came across this. It was rammed inside a plastic bag (bag circa 1987 by the looks of it), its insides spilling out into the once-protective-but-now-essential bag.

This was my mother’s Scrabble. It is the Scrabble board on which I learned the game. The board upon which my mother introduced me to her masterful word-play and grammatical dominance. The place where I came to understand the strategy of triple word scores and the biblical importance of the dictionary.

To me, this ridiculous shabby old box, replaceable in a heartbeat, signifies our annual camping holiday and Christmas. Each passing year would bring the same game but a fresh new set of vocabulary and higher score, until eventually I could hold  my own against her magnificence.

I placed it in the charity box with a nonchalant shrug. “I really should get rid of this old thing, ” I announced to my husband. He just gave me a look and said “OK, if you want to.”

Today I have taken it out of the bag, photographed it and cried. It’s a keeper.

In some small way, this tatty old board game is the reason I am writing this Blog today. Throw away a piece of  my mother? How could I?

family stories

17 responses to “A tatty old box full of memories

  1. Sounds like there is too huge a legacy there to give away. It’s hard deciding what to keep isn’t it? But that sounds like a keeper to me too :)
    By the way so lovely that our paths have crossed, thanks for joining in with little legacies and your lovely comments, I’ve been a bit slow to catch up over Christmas, but look forward to visiting more often now. This is such a fabulous project x

    • Thank you millions for the kind words. Great to bump in to someone with a passion for family nostalgia now and again!!!

  2. I love your post. I played scrabble with my Granny who passed away last year. I would not be able to toss it out either. If you ever want to, you could turn the tiles into a keepsake pendant necklace. Thank you for sharing your family story. I have a weekly anything goes linky that you are welcome to share your beautiful writing in, Fri-Monday.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and being so very friendly!! I will indeed visit you and join your linky! Feel free to take part in mine, which started today -“Life’s a Journey”! Helen

  3. It’s comforting that there is still a tangible link there with your mum. My mum passed 2010 after a long degenerative disease so for the best part of my children’s lives, they never really knew the “real” granny. She loved art and history and bizarrely, my daughter’s favourite read is the Horrible Histories series and her particular aptitude at school turns out to be art & design. My brother and I have been untouched by such creative genes and my husband’s side are much the same).

    • Wow, it must have been hard having your mum there, but not really there. I certainly felt desperate to preserve mum’s memory so that she’d be more than just a dusty old box of old-fashioned, irrelevant black & white photos to my kids, but it’s not easy to make them interested. In the end we just have to save all the memories as we make them, in the knowledge that one day in the future our kids will thank the heavens that we had the love and foresight to keep their childhoods safe for them. Thanks so much for sharing and stopping by, Helen.

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