The first thing that came to mind while we were making that long drive home from closed up Florida to our Indiana home at the start of this isolation were those bins in the storage area. They have sat unopened in the corner by the furnace since we moved to our dream house in 1998. As the space became more and more cluttered with paint cans, boxes of ball jars, discarded comforter sets and carpet remnants, the bins were forgotten.

Purging is a winter project and even before we became snow birds, we spent at least a week a month traveling somewhere warm. (Skiing vacations were cold, complicated memories) So, naturally, I would find any excuse not to tackle that tedious job. There were days, though, during those weeks in the sunshine I would wonder about the contents of those bins. Were they memorabilia from the restaurant I owned, the kids school papers or sports trophies, sentimental pieces of clothing or yellowed pages with important headlines? I couldn’t remember.

Yvonne Ransel lives in Bristol and occasionally writes essays for The Elkhart Truth.

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