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Shredding Away the Past

The other day, when I reorganized the closet, I found a shoebox that contained canceled checks from 1997-2003.

Do you remember writing checks for the grocery store, doctor’s office, and hair salon?  Those were the days before debit cards.

I thumbed through the checks before feeding them through the machine.

Memories rushed to mind.

One check was for Chicky’s gymnastics lessons.  She made it through one round before deciding it wasn’t her thing.  Chicky has always been active, and you have to wait a long time for your turn on an apparatus.  She did look cute in her leotard though.

I saw a check for her first travel soccer club.  Oh boy, the angst we went through the first year she tried out (at the ripe old age of eight).  We sat in the car in the rain and waited for the coach to post the roster.  We rejoiced when we finally read her name and treated ourselves to dinner out.

Another check was for the baseball league that Rooster played for.  He has always been an adorable child and was even more so in that uniform.

I remember the last season he played.  His team was, in all essence, the Bad News Bears.  On paper, they stunk.  But something funny happened as the season progressed.  Those little guys gained confidence.  With the Mr. pulling pitching duty (it was Little League coach pitch), Rooster’s team made its way through the playoffs and beat the #1 stacked team.

As everyone knows, although those teams are supposed to be formed via a draft, politics wins out, and a super-team “magically” appears.  Rooster’s team beat THE team in a thrilling game that kept us all on the edge of our seats and left us without our voices and new friends as we hugged everyone around us when the last runner made it in.  Such a fond memory…

I smiled when I saw the checks for my former nail salon.  We didn’t have much money since I was a stay-at-home mom, but the Mr. allowed me a small indulgence…my bi-weekly nail appointments.  I had a standing appointment that coincided with the Mr.’s payday.

I loved my technician.  She was a sweet girl who executed her craft well.  She rarely let me do anything that would make me look trashy, keeping my nails medium-length.  She did allow me a bit of fun sometimes…snowflakes at Christmas, orange nails with Halloween decals in October.  It used to drive the Mr. insane.  It was my way of throwing off my serious side.

Interesting, too, was the sight of the checks used to pay various bills…phone, cable, car, and utility primarily.  Most of the bills have increased over the years, and a couple of others have gone down.  Gotta love inflation (not)!

Checks to the doctor’s office made me smile as I remembered the practice that took care of our family.  The Mr. and I saw the male internist, and the kids saw the female pediatrician.

A funny moment happened one Sunday at church.  As we got up to leave at the end, I saw both doctors sitting beside each other  and thought to myself, “How wonderful that one invited the other to church.”  What a way to share the gospel with a co-worker!  As we chatted with them, we discovered that they were married!  The wife had kept her maiden name, so we had never made the connection before.  We had a good laugh at that.

My cell phone check of $48 plus change reminded me of a time when I used my phone simply to make calls, and I didn’t talk on it all the time!  Only business people had Blackberries.

Checks to the elementary schools had notes indicating field trips, school supplies, or fund raisers.  Ahhh…I did love their elementary school.

The kids’ teachers were wonderful.  Rooster benefited from having an older sister as Chicky “auditioned” teachers.  As each one passed muster, I added her to my list of requests for the boy.  He followed in her footsteps, and we were blessed to be with each teacher twice.

The barbershop checks bring to mind a poignant memory.

One day, I took Rooster to get his hair cut.  Chicky went with us.  On the way, the kids and I somehow got on the topic of the Challenger tragedy.  I have absolutely no idea how our conversation turned to this.  I told them how I had been in high school when it happened, and we were all glued to the television in the school library.

As Rooster sat in the chair getting his hair cut, a TV played overhead.  The news was on, and it was doing a live telecast of the reentry of the space shuttle Columbia.   We, along with millions of other people around the world, watched in horror as the shuttle disappeared from view, and the newscasters reported that the shuttle had broken apart, killing all inside.

The timing was eerie given the conversation in the car only minutes before.  I was not a news junkie and had not been aware that the shuttle was landing that morning.

One small box of checks.  Seven years of memories.  Another fun trip down Memory Lane.

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Today…July 11th…is Free Slurpee Day!  Head over to your 7-Eleven and take advantage of this offer!

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