I opened a time capsule today. It wasn’t an intended one, but it sure took me back in time about 12 years.
The capsule was in the form of a cheap, white plastic bag that was buried inside a cardboard box that once crated a microwave.
I was looking for a camera lens box that had important warranty information on the lens. I opened the large microwave box, sitting atop a wardrobe that my grandparents once owned, thinking maybe it contained a bunch of smaller boxes. Instead, I found a hodge-podge of decorative tins and other reusable containers, and the plastic bag.
For some unknown reason, I’d stashed the cards from my 30th birthday in this plastic bag and then it ended up in this box in our basement.
The most interesting part of this find is the story that it painted of my life then – on Aug. 6, 2001 – and how that moment in time highlights what has happened in the world and my life since. That’s the point of time capsules, right?
Finding and reading the cards made my mind go back to 2001 and all night I was thinking, “If I only knew then what I know now…”
I thought it would be interesting to share the inventory of the bag along with commentary.
Then: A birthday card signed by about six of my immediate coworkers at Raytheon Aircraft, my first job in aviation and my first corporate public relations position.
Now: Well, I quit that job about two weeks after getting that card! I wasn’t happy with what I was doing at work and turning 30 made me realize life is too short to waste it doing something you dread every day. My last day was Sept. 7 … I was celebrating my new freedom the next week by visiting friends and family in Columbia, Mo., when 9/11 happened.
Then: A birthday card from my mom and stepdad, Charles, signed “We love you!”
Now: My mom passed away in 2006. I still get a card most years from Charles, and he usually puts a sticker or six on the envelope and that makes me smile.
Then: A birthday card from my dad and stepmom, Pat.
Now: One of the few actual cards I get in the mail today comes from my dad. I love getting that kind of mail.
Then: A birthday card from my oldest brother, Roy signed “Have a good one.”
Now: Roy died in 2003.
Then: A birthday card signed by my nephews Cory (11) and Zach (15). It cracks me up that they felt the need to sign their last names too :)
Now: Cory graduates from Mizzou next spring. Zach is married, just bought his first house and is graduating in just a couple of months from Columbia College.
Then: A birthday card from my in-laws, Toba and Fred.
Now: I still get a paper card from them and they always make dinner for me on or around my birthday.
Then: A birthday card from my Aunt Linda and Uncle Skip.
Now: My aunt passed away in 2009 and my uncle in 2011 – both from cancer. How is it that I still remember their phone number but I can’t remember my current bank login and password?!?
Then: A birthday card from my long-time, close friend Dave, who I went to grade school with but didn’t really become friends with until the college years.
Now: We went from texting every day to no texting or talking at all. Remember that rule about not loaning money to friends. Yeah, I thought our friendship was strong enough to prove that wrong but it wasn’t. It’s a good rule.
Then: A birthday card from my college friend Jodi that included an invite to come visit her in Springfield, Mo.
Now: Jodi still lives in Springfield, and I went to visit her several times there last year. I’m meeting her and our friend Kim in Kansas City this month.
Then: A birthday card from Morgan, one of my longest Wichita friends.
Now: Morgan still gives the funniest, craziest birthday cards and gifts. And she mails me really funny postcards throughout the year.
Then: A greeting card to my dog from my mom’s cat with a written inscription of “Astro: love ya!” and signed “Sampson.” I think we both know who really signed the card.
Now: Both pets have passed away.
There you have it – the contents of the time capsule 2001: The Year MeLinda Turned 30. Oh, and there was a Mizzou garter in there too. That might be another blog post …