Childhood Memories Friday: Briefcase

Childhood Memories Friday

briefcaseHere we have a briefcase. I got it in 1983, when I won a trip to National 4-H Congress in Chicago. I won for my achievement book in home management (uh oh, I guess I have no excuse for a messy house, huh?). I spent many hours during the 1980s creating 4-H achievement books. Basically, they were like a portfolio. I listed almost every activity I’d ever done, and then included photos and an essay as well. I competed a year or two before finally winning in one category for the state. It was a great feeling!

So, I missed a few days of college my freshman year to attend Congress (I still remember asking a couple of professors if they could record their lectures so I wouldn’t miss them – ah, the days of tape recorders).

Each achievement book category had a corporate sponsor, and mine was Beatrice Foods. If you’ve never heard of them, don’t worry – I hadn’t, either. A quick search reveals that they’re no longer around, having been broken into parts and partially remaining today as ConAgra. Beatrice Foods sponsored a breakfast for their state winners, and it was there that they presented us each with a briefcase. With our initials on it.

briefcaseSo, here’s the dilemma. The briefcase sat at home in my closet for awhile. It moved with me to Birmingham, for my first job. It moved back home with me. It moved with me here, for my next job. This entire time, it has sat in the closet. I just cleaned the closet last week and got it out to dust it, and I wondered:  why am I keeping it? It’s heavy. It’s not vintage – just 1980s. I suppose part of what keeps me dragging it from house to house is the fact that it has my initials, but really, is this enough to keep it? I’ve never used it (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a teacher carry a briefcase; large cloth bags work better).

Anyone out there with the initials SB want a circa 1983 briefcase? Any suggestions? Is it time to part with it?

And on a related note:  do you have any item that has followed you from residence to residence for no real reason?


8 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Briefcase

  1. I would certainly KEEP IT!
    I have the correct initials. So does your one daughter.
    When I have something special like that – I study in my head until I figure out a valid solution and there is one.
    On a side note- I’ve been told an only child starts first grade carrying a brief case.
    I gave Dad a brief case for college graduation. He left but the brief case stayed with me. I keep my contest winnings information in it. I used to get it out a lot. Now – not so often.

  2. I am a sentimentalist! There is no way in the world I would get rid of that briefcase. Why not use it to carry music when you go play somewhere? If not, display it open with music in it or something like that. If I can have an antique egg carrier in my dining area with books filling it, you can certainly find a use for it. If you keep it long enough, it will become an antique! My vote: KEEP IT!

  3. OK, I vote to keep the briefcase also, especially since you do have plenty of room for it. Maybe you can keep your notes/rough drafts for your Church book that you have begun to write. Just a thought. And guess what? I have a very large satchel type real leather brief case left over from my college days at Huntington University in the 1960s. I carried tons of books and notebooks around in it for 3 years then, and I have never used it since except for storage. It is sentimental for me because it cost $80 way back then, which had to be a big sacrifice from my Mother one Christmas. It is very sturdy and will never wear out. I love the medium brown camel colored covering! Now it holds things belonging to my late son Carl that I cannot bear to throw away.

  4. Mr. L has a briefcase. And I’m not quite sure sophie would like that. You can try asking….or selling it on ebay…

  5. I just find it amusing that an award for home keeping would be a briefcase! At this point in my life aim feeling overwhelmed by stuff, so I would get rid of it. However, that is just me.

  6. Since you are considering it, I would either find a good use for it or better yet, get rid of it. I bet you would never miss it! You could even take some last pictures of the girls and the briefcase so that it would live on in your memory.

  7. I am a big follower of the theory “when in doubt, throw it out”. As I am getting older (I’m at the ripe old age of 44 now) I am spending more time taking a critical look at what “stuff” I have in my house and why I keep it. I’ve always been a “minimalist” at heart, and don’t like to have a lot of knick knacks, etc around my house; but it became more important to me when I started working with a comany that served the 60+ generation. (I’m also an UBER optimist and a glass half full gal!!) One scenario that each and every one of us will face at some point in our lives is 1) downsizing our homes due to kids moving on, our own age or heath 2) and this one we will all experience is death, and what do we leave behind to our loved ones, both in the realm of a “will” but also how much “stuff” do we leave behind for them to have to sort out and deal with. (I swear I am NOT trying to be morbid about this) I saw first hand how overwhelming it was for sons and daughters, spouses, etc, to go through and look at all the belongings that their loved one had left on this earth. So many photographs left unlabled, so that they meant nothing to those who were viewing them for the first time. Boxes of odds and ends that must have meant something or been of value at one time, now left to be thrown away or carted off to Goodwill. And the few things that were discovered to be of some value, either sentimental or monetary, were usually lost within the massive amounts of boxes and bags and other mixed memories that were now being “escavated” by loved ones left behind. I tell you about all of this because now, I make a point at least twice a year to go through all my closests, garage, boxes, etc and I take a good hard look at exactly what I have, why am I keeping it, and who is it really going to benefit? I now take the time to lable my pictures, tuck notes with the few sentimental items that I have chosen to hang on to so that one day my daughters will know what it is that they are finding and just in general take a mental and emotional inventory of what I have an why I am keeping it. I have to say that was a time consuming process the first few times I started doing it, and I had to start off slow (just one room at a time); but now I truly look foward to doing this, and find myself feeling so “free” emotionally and less cluttered in my mind and also in my small closets 🙂 Yes, I am only 44, but you just never know…I could get hit by the champagne truck tomorrow 🙂

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