The memories! A walk down memory lane.

memories and retirement

We are retiring, today I started packing up my home. The memories were playing in my head while I’m packing and taping the bubble wrap, so many years of saving things like little snippets of our lives.  My husband and I will be moving from our villa we’ve been in for 9 years to our smaller villa by the sea.  We built this home to our specifications, so we could totally enjoy our life and entertain. We certainly have done that. It was our dream 30 years ago but the pathway there took a lot of work, now, it’s time to reap the benefits.

A little history

My husband will retire in about 6 months from his lifelong career as an airline pilot.  I met him when I was still flying with a US carrier in London and my life has not been the same since.  We had an apartment in Cairo and then built a place in Sharm El Sheikh, the home of all the Peace Conferences, and while he was flying I ran a live-aboard diving boat.  We built that so we could share our love of scuba diving and the Red Sea. We sold the boat after 10 years and moved back to Cairo, an apartment for a year, a townhouse for two until our villa was ready for us.  During all the craziness, his company offered to loan him to an airline in Korea.  We moved to Seoul, Korea for 2 years and had so much fun.  It was easier for me, I had flown to Seoul for so many years I was familiar with the culture, he was a duck out of water. (But that’s another book)  A few years later, after we sold the boat, he decided to take an opportunity to work in Abu Dhabi, in the Emirates so off we went for 2 more years.

Needless to say, we’ve traveled the world.

memories and travel

Back to reality

So now it’s time to downsize and it’s a real challenge.  We have collected things from all over and so much he brought from the US and there isn’t enough room for it all.  Parting with it will be difficult but a lot of it will just find a new place in our smaller home.  One good thing is we hope to go back and forth between Egypt and the Florida whenever our hearts decide to change scenery. So much will be taken to the states so I can keep our personal memories.  Packing everything is becoming a real thought-provoking task.


The memories music can bring is amazing so here I sit with old 33.3 RPMs in their original jackets and wish I could play them.  My husband and I both have old ones that were our favorites so we’ve kept them all these years.  Glen Campbell’s first album, Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Tom Jones and of course, Johnny Mathis’ Christmas album, these span the years of high school, nursing school and “stew” school when they were played every day, all day. Keep them?  Then I move to this huge container I have all our music CD’s.  The ones we’ve played as a couple over 30 years, keep or throw?  Something inside me makes me think I should keep all these things, but in reality, why? You can download them onto your computer whenever you want. You can listen to them, in excellent sound, whenever you want. Technology is amazing!

Purple tights and petticoats

Now to go through about 2 drawers of “nylons” and socks.  Well, this is fun, wow, when did I wear these? I can’t even remember the last time I wore a petticoat or half-slip. I remember buying one of them in Europe when I was there on a layover because I forgot to pack mine.  Funny, it was in England and I was all of 21. Let’s see, 69 now minus 21. Oh hell no, that was 48 years ago and I still have it?  Way in the back I found a pair of red pettipants, remember those?  We had a new uniform that was red and very short, we wore high boots and when you reached for something from the “then” hat rack,( now overhead bins) you’re behind would be hanging out.  These were the answer to our problems. I can’t believe they have come with me from the US to Egypt and many moves in between. I don’t think I ever paid attention before. The stories they could tell. What fun times, single, traveling the world, meeting new people and we thought life was rough then.  Ahhhhhhh

Now to get rid of any tights or nylons with holes or runs.  Did you ever have 2 pair and when each one had a “run” in them, you just cut off that leg, then you had two pair that matched and you’d wear them together to make one good pair?  Well, it saved money and it worked just fine.  But, but, a pair of opaque purple, as in purple, tights sitting in the corner of the drawer.  Wow, just wow, I remember I bought them in about 1968 when I was taking my parents to Europe and I wanted to be fashionable.  They were, went with a short skirt and vest in the same color purple and a light violet blouse with an amazing scarf.  I wanted to be very fashionable, 60’s and all. And I still had them and they are in mint condition, you guessed it, I’m keeping them along with a red pair, just in case.

More Clothes

And what about those bell bottom pants, would you believe I have my favorite pair and have not worn them in forever?  Bell bottom jeans now have higher waists I think, mine are very, very low but we never let our midriff stick out.  We bought blouses that had snaps at the crotch area to keep them tucked in and a great belt.  Wonder if I could still pull it off?  Not throwing those out either.

memories     memories

I’m looking at my shoe collection and although I don’t have any left from the 70’s, I do have platform shoes from a few years ago.  Throw or keep, a big question, why does the younger generation think it’s their new style?  We started them way back when and they are back in fashion again.  Keep! Just have to hold on to husbands arm when I walk in them or there goes my knee. Lol

My last bikini, turquoise with ruffles my sons helped me pick out. There is was at the back of the drawer hiding. I think it’s afraid of me. I remember buying it with my kids, I had just started dating my future husband and was traveling to the Red Sea with him for diving. One of the big things we had in common when we met.  I needed a new bathing suit so off we went.  At that time my boys were 7 and 9 and let me tell you, I’ve always trusted their honesty when it came to what I wore.  Well, most of the time.  After trying on many suits my kids decided Mom needed a bikini like everyone else. Mind you, I was 40 at the time.  They actually picked it out and off we went to the changing rooms.  I put it on and stifled my laugh while they were giving me the thumbs up and telling me it was perfect and Emad would love it. After trying to see myself through their eyes, I decided, why not? I bought and packed it. When we got on the dive boat and I took off my cover, Emad was just smiling away and I realized, it didn’t matter if I didn’t look like a swimsuit model, what mattered was that he was in love with me, my sons were right and I was one lucky lady.  I still am, after all these years and I still ask my sons their opinions.


Time to go through my “junk” drawer

All the little pieces we collect, they are missing from somewhere but I certainly have no idea where.  They’ve been in there for years, like close to 20. I have moved at least 6 times in the last 29 years and apparently I kept putting that little basket away thinking I’d get to it. Today was the day. I found a note my youngest son, Adam, threw down the stairs when he was punished and he realized that just maybe he was wrong.  An apology by airmail, I’m saving it for when he has his own kids. Bobby pins?  I keep buying more and they disappear, I now have a whole new stock of them.  My airline name tags.  All of them, maiden name, married name, maiden name with ex-name (kids wanted me to have the same last name and finally married name again. Wow, those name tags spanned a long period of time in my life. They are still a keeper and will join Emad’s when he retires in a shadow box of our careers. Someone please tell me where all the keys come from? Where they never used?  I’ve seen really cute décor made out of keys, like a big heart for all your homes and cars you shared, on Pinterest. I admit, I decided to save them to do something like that but realize now, I have no wall space, I have too many memories on the walls as it is and it’s never going to happen. Throw.

The kids

Every year at Christmas time I love looking at decorations that remind me of my grandmother and my mother.  My grandmother made angels from styrofoam egg cartons and gave them to her 20-some great-grandchildren.  I received two and still have them.  I’ve had to repair them a few times but when I put them on the tree, I always think of her and the love she gave to everyone she knew. An amazing grandmother she was.  My mom gave me some handmade ornaments with daughter on them, how do I get rid of those?  You just can’t. And the ones my sons made in school, the day they came home and handed them to me with such pride.  They always had a special place on the tree. What they don’t know is that they still do, every year I put up my tree in Egypt and they are far away in the states but they are with me. As my mother and grandmother are.  All of these may look old and worn but you just can’t replace them, they are keepers.  Besides, they always seem to fit in any theme I choose for my tree! Amazing!

I’ve gone through pictures over the years and shrunk the size down, how many pictures do you need of the kids and the Grand Canyon or scuba diving in the Red Sea? When my parents ended up living in a nursing home I had to clean out their home and I remember all the old pictures and albums and slides my dad had.  The VHF tapes of their travels. I saved a few for my sons, along with some family history and gave most of the travel tapes to the nursing home to share with others.  And I threw out so many photographs. They were important to my parents but not to me, it wasn’t my life, and I learned that our pictures are in our minds and hearts.  How often do you look at old pictures?  Do you need the clutter?  Just take a cell phone picture of them and send them to the cloud, then send the login information to your kids and let them keep or delete them.memories

What’s next

So now it’s time to close another chapter of our lives and work on another dream and make more memories and even more stories to share with the grandkids.  I wonder where life will take us next? Where has life taken you after retirement?  Or better yet, what are your dreams for 70 and 80?

I’m off to unpack boxes now and then have a nice cold glass of wine to watch the sunset.

2 Responses to “The memories! A walk down memory lane.

  • Oh my dear, I’ve done it! It’s so very difficult. When I did it, I too, got lost for hours looking at small sentimental things,and wandering in my memories. I had to also do my mother’s house and my sisters house. It is a huge undertaking,not only of physical labour, but though provoking,memory strewn ,almost anxiety.

  • Thank goodness we have fun things to remember along with the sad…

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