Hey, girlfriends: what do you call trinkets and other mementos that remind you from sad times in your life?

Well, I coined a word for them — “miserabilia”. Like so many other words, it comes from the Latin — “misery” or “miserable”.

Okay, I lied about that one. Still, some of us still have them in drawers or jewelry boxes, somewhere, never to be worn again.

Necklaces, bracelets, earrings — even rings.  We happen onto these relics from “other lives” while we are rummaging for something else:  loose change or  forgotten $100 bills.

Yeah. Those.

So, what do you do with them? Wear them, anyway, thinking, “They are mine. So, what the heck?”  Hold your breath and pitch them into the  “give-away” pile? Sell them at garage sales? Relegate them to deep, dark drawers. Find a way to turn old into new?

And what about those “selfies” of you and ol’ “Mr. Wrong”? Before my husband and I married, I exorcised those suckers as fast as my finger could delete, delete, delete and freed some space to store a lifetime of happy memories with my “Mr. Right”.

Yes, some memories are worth re-visiting. Other memories — and trinkets — are best forgotten, in favor of  newer and happier ones with your soul mate.

So, ladies, what did you do with baubles from other beaux?



Album Collection
Album Collection (Photo credit: maddenman2000)


I’ve always believed my fiance was a hottie. Yesterday, he was absolutely suh-mokin’! Let me explain.

For months…no, years…since I moved into my home, I have kept the door to the office — my “messy little secret” — closed. It is not just an eyesore; it’s a purulent wound. This morning, I gathered the courage to rip off the bandage and expose it to the air…and to Von. Respecting my wishes, he never has opened its door without my permission. Meanwhile, I have dared not enter the room without a hard-hat, goggles, rubber gloves, and gas mask.

“I’ll look in only when you’re ready for me to see it,” he assured me.

You see, for only a short while after I moved into my house was this room liveable. Soon after, it became a temporary holding tank for things until I decided where I really wanted them to go. Memorabilia, photos, old bills, books, especially, stacks of L.P.’s, provided by my radio-announcer father, Chem Terry.

“Sell them on Ebay,” some suggested.

“Tried Craigslist?” asked others.

Both, I’ll admit, are viable ideas, except these albums are not simply albums. They’re what Daddy represented: music of the 1940’s and 1950’s. According to my mother, he begged her not to sell his record collection.

Now that she is gone, I have inherited Daddy’s records. Although I bought a turntable that converts L.P.’s into MP3 files, it would still take forever to capture every single record.

Since August 2006, when I moved into the house, I was pressed for time, as I had recently started a new semester at school, so I wanted to slam-bang the whole moving process together as quickly as possible. When Sundays rolled around, I stashed boxes of stuff in the garage. Out of sight, out of mind. Troublesome mail also found its way upstairs.

“I’ll deal with this tomorrow,” I told self, dusting my hands. “Not to worry.”

But when I had to don riot gear to brave the chaotic cubbyhole at the top of the stairs, I knew I needed help. My son and grandson from Sweden were due to visit me soon. Knowing that if Tam laid eyes on that room, he would feel like putting “Mama” in a home, I took a big gulp and started tossing stuff into trash bags.

This morning, when I let Von come up and see it, I pointed out the chief concern: “skyscraper” stacks of record albums that made the room an obstacle course. It is not the first time he has tried to help me with this problem. About a year ago, we bought a dozen bankers boxes from Sam’s Club. Seemed like a good idea, but the weight of the records soon caused the boxes to collapse.

Today, at Lowe’s, my big sweetie bought me two tall, wire book-shelves and eight plastic bins large enough to hold these cherished records. Before he returned home, he assembled the shelves and helped me store the albums into bins and stack them. While I am still not finished, the room is at least liveable. All I need to turn it into a state-of-the-art office is a hot-plate for coffee, a small fridge for Cokes, a vending machine for snacks, a futon, a hot tub…..