Buried Treasure

IMG_2045After nearly two years, we’ve finally painted our condo, and are going to unpack the last moving boxes to put up art that has been languishing in storage. Each box is a bit of a surprise since we failed to write the specific contents on the outside. We pull out a piece, freeing it from paper and bubblewrap, and there’s the “ah!” of recognition along with the flash of memory.

A framed picture of the family on the kids’ first trip to New York City. We’re smiling and the kids are goofing around. Somehow I’ve completely masked my fear that we might lose sight of them in the throng of Times Square.

Water colors painted by my father-in-law. These are precious family heirlooms that we’ve had in every room of our various homes, depicting laundry lines, boats, kid’s faces pressed to a window, rows of houses.

Art fair finds that continue to make me smile: a trio of quilt squares, a super-close-up of a water plant, and a multi-media collage of the stone tower in Rockford Park to help us remember Wilmington.

A lovely picture of birds made from intricately cut paper – a gift from our Vietnamese exchange student/daughter.

Pen-and-inks and acrylics my husband has made: beautiful works that were created on our dining table. After finishing most of these, my husband would ask our daughter to tell him which way to turn the canvas – which way it looked best – before he’d sign in the corner.

Of course, the challenge is to figure out where to hang everything. We have open wall space, but don’t want to crowd too many things together. And which combination of things look good on the same wall? Our inspired idea was to put up a shelf or ledge where we could lean many pieces, and potentially rotate the selections. After making it through the installation process of measuring and leveling the two shelves, we are thrilled with the result.

I’m aware that there are other boxes I am not unpacking. Photo albums with everything from black-and-white prints of my grandmother and grandfather, to slides depicting my youth, to my children from birth to high school graduation. Sometime after that, everything seemed to shift to digital. It would save a lot of space to have all these photos scanned, but those treasures may need to wait for another spring.

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