Thursday, January 5, 2012


Holidays.  Or is holi-daze?

Just barely are the Thanksgiving leftovers cleared out, then comes the company Christmas party.  The hostess armed with Ziplocs and enough food to feed a small town, insisting, "Take this home, I'll never eat all that.  This will just go to waste.  Take some home."

So I do.  A plate of deviled eggs. Half a lemon chiffon cake that she knows my husband loves.  Crackers and salami and ham and dip and...   Leftovers.

The day before Christmas Eve, I'm at the store.  Buying food for the relatives that will be over.  Crackers and little smokies and carrots and cookies and dip...  Leftovers

New Year's Day, a stop at my Uncle's for a family gathering to greet the new year.  With food.  Ham and crackers and, well, yeah, you get it.  Leftovers, sigh.

But, there was one more thing.  An old box.  Filled with old papers.  A picture of my great, great grandparents.  Copies of birth and death certificates for relatives I've only found while researching our ancestry.  Names I'd not been able to find.

A guest register from a funeral seventy some years ago.  A wedding registry from as long ago.  Newspaper articles, copies from one hundred year old archives, telling of the death of my great grandfather.  He owned a tavern, among other businesses.

An envelope full of birth congratulations, with the sympathy cards that came less than a year later when the infant that would have been my aunt died.

Bits and pieces of lives begun and ended.  Bits and pieces of lives remembered.  Leftovers.

Well, the new year is here and the holidays are behind us. Speaking of “behinds”—how about those holiday leftovers? The food, the sweets, the bills-to-come… it’s that time of year where we all try to set a plan in motion to “toss out” all of those leftovers.

Story Dam


  1. But, but... the box of leftover documents and papers? That's where this piece really gets cooking!

    I'll take ziploc bag of these thoughts home with me!

  2. @Cameron
    My uncle sent that box home with me. I said I'd make copies and get it back to him. He said "No. You have them now."
    Going through that box when I got home? Amazing!

  3. Very poignant. My grandfather was the keeper of our family archive. I think my cousin now has all the geneology papers. I can imagine there are so many wonderful stories found in that box.

  4. @Tara R.
    Thanks for stopping by.
    I was honored he chose to let me be the one to have these.

  5. What wonderful leftovers! Delicious treats for the mind instead of for the waistline :)

    This was very nice. I quite enjoyed it

  6. Wonderful. Did you really discover these things over your holiday? Or was this piece fiction? Anyway, I totally loved it. :)

  7. Beautiful piece. I can imagine you have gone through that box again and again since you've brought it home. To hold history in your hands is priceless.

  8. @Carrie
    Yes! It was so interesting to see the old papers and info I didn't know.

  9. @Amanda
    Yes this is non-fiction. My uncle sent that box home with me. I've been researching the family tree for a few years, this filled a couple empty spaces.

  10. @Donna
    It's amazing, names and stories. I love it!

  11. I do love the way you twisted this from food to memories. It's those leftover memories that are really going to get us and sustain us in the end. What a beautiful response to the prompt!

  12. Wow. You had no idea he had all that stuff? Or did he not know you were doing the search? Genealogy is always so interesting!

    How fitting for the prompt!

  13. @SAM
    Thank you! This was really one of the best gifts of the season.

  14. @Brandon Duncan
    He'd tried to go through it with me last year. But there were interruptions. This year he just handed it to me before I left. Most of the family knows I'm doing some research.
    But I had no idea there was as much there.

  15. Leftovers.


    I don't know what made you select this particular post to share with us in the #StoryDam chat tonight, but I think there was some *higher power* at work to ensure I read it...

    I live in a house of leftovers. In some way, my house is even a leftover. My mother died just as I was about to move out, get married and begin a new life. How do I turn away from a beautiful home bequeathed to me? I didn't. My husband moved in and, over the years, I STILL haven't evacuated all of the leftovers.


    You can only gain sustenance from leftovers for so long, then they grow mold, get old and could actually poison you if you dare to consume them.

    Isn't it interesting how writing about things can provide such a clear perspective?

    I think it is time that I take a look around at my leftovers and get rid of those that have past their expiration.

    Thank you.

    1. Nicole, I'm glad you liked it. I too live in the old family home. There are things here from my parents and both sets of grandparents. I brought my 30+ years of life away with me 3 years ago when I moved in with the husband to help my mom out. She passed shortly after.
      I've often made the remark I live in a museum of dead relatives' stuff. I'm slowly cleaning out and taking space for my own stuff.