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The hosts of “The stuff you missed in history” podcast routinely do episodes titled ‘Unearthed” in which they report on various things ‘dug up’ as it were. I am doing similar digging by sorting through the boxes I brought back from Michigan. I feel like an archeologist going through a tomb.

I am currently going through two brown accordion files found in a drawer in the basement. They are filled with assignments and artwork I did in grade school. They have not seen daylight in fifty years.* It is sweet and bewildering why Mother saved this stuff. Perhaps Spo-fans who are parents can explain for me why mothers squirrel away these elementary school essays – so they can be found fifty years later? I admit I appreciate her doing this. It is a bit painful reading these rudimentary papers most have red ink corrections in the margin. There is a program from 1974 of the 6th grade choir performance of the songs of “Charlotte’s Web”. I still recognize most of the names of my schoolmates. The program says I sang a duet with Charlie Thomas who later in life became my first boyfriend – cause and effect?

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I now have the ‘family chopsticks’ a collection of 10-12 plastic sticks once white now beige with time looking like ancient ivory. They have sat in the silverware drawer all my life. I have no recollection of us ever using them. On them are four Chinese characters. I have never stopped to ponder what they say. If anyone knows Chinese I would be grateful for a translation. Perhaps they say “Wan Kow carry-out” as that is where my parents always got their to-go Chinese.

I got the album with my baby photos. They start from the get-go. The photos go to pre-adolescence when they suddenly stop for unclear reasons. Perhaps Mother lost interest in the project or she had other albums to do. On the first page is my natal wrist band spelling out my last name in pale blue beads the size of peppercorns. There is a shocking revelation here: Mother said I was lucky as I was born on the 7th day of the 7th month at 7AM in the morning.  The birth certificate say 654AM.  Dear me! My life is based on the lie and all is ruined!  I may have to impale myself on the chopsticks.

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*One tome is a collection titled “Poems I like” which included at the end some of my own. I don’t remember writing these. Another is a cookbook, fabulously decorated and written in earnest. It is humorous and humbling to see signs of being light in the loafers at eight years old. 

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