Letters written to me from a pen pal--a soldier in Operation Desert Storm--when I was in fourth grade. Stacks of letters from grade-school friends I haven't seen or talked to in years that were written to me when I spent summers in Fairport. Promotional materials I sent away for concerning the Pillsbury Doughboy, worry dolls, stamp collecting, Cabbage Patch Kids, New Kids on the Block. Congratulatory cards on my acceptance to college; Governor's School; graduate school. Birthday cards for my 20th, my 21st, and many more. Postcards from people whose last names I couldn't remember.
All of these, as well as stacks of mail from family and friends, have been stored in shoeboxes in the attic for years--twenty, approximately. Tonight, a swift triage whittled the letters and cards down to one large boot-box that can be slid easily under my bed. Ancient history, all of it; some well worth saving, most not. I can't come home without feeling compelled to do at least a bit of excavation; and more remains.