Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What Happens When You Clean Out Your Underwear Drawer ...

I haven't done much today. I got Julia out the door to her last day of class/finals this semester. She is quite sleep-deprived. I did my morning chicken-check. I read a long article on facebook by an oppressed Canadian. Then, I decided to clean out my underwear drawer because I could no longer close it. The drawer was placed on the bed and emptied of its contents.

Beneath the lingerie (I use that term loosely), I found a thick layer of letters and cards. Under the undies is one place I tend to store letters I can't bear to throw away. Most were letters from my mother, an old-fashioned lady who prefers hand-written correspondence via the USPS in spidery script.
My mother is a prolific letter-writer. I could not reread them all. You can see we lived in Iowa and in Alabama. Most of the mail spanned 1999-2002. One paragraph pertaining to six-month old Julia was especially dear:
Adam calls my mother's handwriting "chicken-scratch," and can't decipher it. I, however, love reading our secret code :) Can you read it?
Speaking of Adam, I found a Valentine Day card I sent him one year.

I signed it, "I'm happy to be your cavegirl."
I also kept a few slips of paper from the children. For some reason, they persist in believing that I, their mother, am also the Tooth Fairy. I've instructed them for many years in the lore of the True Tooth Fairy, who lives in a large white castle made of children's teeth, far in the north. They often wrote to her, and if she didn't take their letters with her then I kept them for posterity.
Ah, darling Julia.
Peter was much more straight-forward. On the outside:
 And inside, a curt request:
I also kept a sketch Julia did when she was very young. The date is Dec., 2002, so she was not quite 3-and-1/2 years old.
In my opinion, she was already showing skill for form and movement. She's always loved birds. She's still doing art. For a final project in her British Literature course at the local community college, she did a 4-panel art piece based on their study of the movie Interstellar. Here's her finished product:
The colors are more vivid in person, and please pardon the carpeting beneath it. She laid it out on the floor. Here are the individual panels:
 The metallic orange was added last night and really makes the image "pop." She also edged all four canvases in that same paint.

Julia has two bad habits as an artist. First she does not sign her work. Thankfully, this time she did. Second she undervalues her work and will give it away to any stranger at the college who asks for it. It's rather frustrating to watch her stay up night after night, working on something utterly cool and fascinating, and hear her say she gave it to a weird guy in the student center wearing elf ears and leg warmers. ((sigh)) I'm glad to say I convinced her to give this piece to her English teacher after submitting it as the assignment. Hopefully he'll take good care of it, or give it back to her if he no longer wants it. I do have quite a bit of her work, but it's all from 4 or 5 years ago, and none of it this large. Now she focuses on sci-fi work (as the above) or on bizarre things like a girl cyclops wearing a ballet outfit. What never changes, however, is her talent and her dedication to her art. I can't wait to see where it will take her.


  1. I love to see old letters, even from someone else's mother! And the recent 4-panel piece by Julia is beautiful! Who wouldn't want to keep that? But she is wise to not hold on to what was, to be ever making new things. You are right to be proud of her.

  2. That is an amazing drawing for a 3 year old and the space art work is priceless. I kept everything my daughter drew at that age. She did an amazing picture of a lizard in nursery. The Head Teacher was watching (unknown to her) and couldn't believe his eyes. She went on to be very good at art and now works in film editing. I use my undies drawer to store the soaps that I usually receive at Christmas.

  3. It's really something what lies underneath all those undies! I CAN read your mother's script and I like it! And of course, who doesn't love a child's letters and art. Julie is VERY talented.

    So my question is: Did you use the Konmari method of folding to organize your lingerie drawer? I LOVE this method and have kept it up now for over a year!


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