I’ve been spending some time clearing out the remnants of my youth from my grandparents’ house. Thankfully, I’m not close to being a certified hoarder, I’m more of a “toss it in a box and figure out what to do with it later” person. Obviously, it saves times when putting things away but means it’s going to take longer when going through it all again.

The items ended up at Grandma and Grandpa’s because there was no room at my parent’s home to store a lot of items from my younger days. It may have started because my brother decided to put some of his childhood mementos up there and my sister and I decided to follow suit.

I’m trying not to be overly sentimental about the going through the boxes stored in the upstairs bedrooms of my grandparent’s house; mostly because for anything I want to keep I have to find a new place to store and my apartment can at times barely contain my current belongings.

Going through the containers is a bit like opening a wrapped gift – you’re not quite sure what’s going to be inside. Except, the contents are probably things I don’t need. But, I did discover a pleasant surprise when I found the lock box I had in college in a large plastic container.

When I shook the metal box I could hear the familiar rattle of loose change. Apparently I decided not to remove anything from the lock box before storing it away — there were still two crisp $20 bills in the cash drawer along with a palm’s worth of change.

My guess is that the money was left over from my grandpa’s weekly $20 gift to me. Each week during my senior year in college, he would give me a crisp $20 bill that I could spend while going out with my friends. Sometimes, I imagine how much money I would have saved if I didn’t spend this cash. Then again, how many memories wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t used it to go out with friends.

I’d like to think 23-year-old Amber was looking out for future Amber who would obviously be delighted to find some bonus cash. I also think younger Amber really should have emptied out the lock box and tossed the metal container instead of stowing it away to deal with at a later date.

But wait, there’s more in the bin.

After fearing my yearbooks and elementary school classroom photos had been destroyed, all were found in excellent condition in a large plastic container. So were the pictures and souvenirs from my high school visits to Disney World, also thought to have been lost much like the socks that go into the dryer but never leave.

Of course, it wouldn’t be fun to write about what I found without disclosing the more embarrassing discoveries, like the pocket folder filled with celebrity pictures clipped from magazines or printed from the computer that I hung in my high school locker. Several members from the cast of Dawson’s Creek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer graced the interior of my locker. What can I say – the WB (a precursor to the CW) had programming aimed at high schoolers who felt the need to overly dramatic teens and destroying monsters. Please, keep your laughter at this revelation to a dull murmur.

Among the collection of books from my elementary school days was one about the cast of Beverly Hills 90210. So was a copy of “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I knew I had a copy of Harper Lee’s novel, but since I didn’t have it at my apartment I thought I’d resold it. This was one of the hidden treasures among the boxes.

And for proof I was an odd tween look no further than the séance conducting kit that I’m assuming was either purchased from a store at the mall or somewhere on State Street in Madison. I mean, what 10-year-old doesn’t need one of those?

It’s going to take more time to go through the rest of the containers and I’m sure I’ll find more things to not toss. But I’m crossing my fingers for more cash to be hidden among the relics of my childhood to young adult era.

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