With no place to go but home, I've attended to several projects around the house and yard, which I'd not gotten around to. These projects include: reading back issues of our Home Group magazines; sorting through the junk mail; planting new trees and shrubs in my garden; power washing the back porch and cleaning out the attic.
In between projects, on lonely nights, I avoid the T.V. Instead, I often sit in front of the fire staring into the flames sipping my bourbon. It's been a chilly spring which has extended the fire with bourbon season. "Sometimes I sits and think. Sometimes I just sits."
Access to the attic in my old house is a pull down rickety ladder that steps up to a narrow opening in the ceiling. The attic is dusty and dry, with a low overhead and a dimly lit light bulb. It was packed to the ceiling with old boxes, records, big plastic bags filled with toys and stuffed animals and a steamer trunk full of Halloween costumes.
There were also photographs in frames, wrapped in newspaper, which my mother gave me over 20 years ago. I had never opened these and didn't even know what was in them.
After wrestling boxes, bags and the trunk down the ladder, I spread it all out over the guest bedroom floor. I opened the wrapping around the photos. There was a family portrait of my sisters and me; a picture of my grandparents on their wedding day and a black and white sepia tone photograph, likely taken around 1935 of my great grandfather Andrew Crozer Reeves.
I never met my great grandfather Andrew Crozer Reeves, but I knew we had something in common. He was a publisher and so am I. He's on my mother's side, her mother's father. But guess what Andrew Crozer Reeves was doing in this photograph?
He is dressed in a three piece suit, with a pocket watch chain hanging across his vest. He sits on a wooden chair, his elbows resting on his knees, his hands clasped. He wears nice cuff links. He has a handle bar mustache and wire rimmed spectacles.
The room is dark except for the light from the the fireplace, where he sits staring into the flames. There is a glass of bourbon on a small table next to him.
If you've got no place to go but home, visit your old house attic. Be careful on the rickety ladder and watch your head. Maybe you'll find family treasures you forgot you had.