“Regrets, I’ve Had a Few…”

“…but then, again, too few to mention.”

What, if anything, would you have done differently in your life? – For what I knew at the time and the opportunities that were open to me, I think I made really good choices. I don’t know that I would change any choice that I’ve made. Sometimes it took a while for me to realized that the outcome was what I really wanted, and what was my destiny, but generally, I’m pleased.

What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were young? – I wish I hadn’t been so brain-washed by my high school’s emphasis on “College Prep” as opposed to “Business” courses. Of course, in those days, “business” courses for girls were typing and bookkeeping, and, if you were really determined and dedicated, shorthand.

My life would have been VERY, VERY different if I had realized early that I love to type, and I love bookkeeping, and I love organization, and I love business. Instead, I spent 30 years trying to be a teacher and a professional Girl Scout and a Director of Christian Education. I finally learned that PEOPLE are not my thing – facts and figures and charts and lists are my thing.

What have you thrown away in your life that you wish you hadn’t? – About the only thing that’s gone that I wish I still had wasn’t thrown away – it was lost. I had a silver dollar from 1888 that was Gankie’s good luck coin. He carried it in his pocket all his life and it was worn almost completely smooth. It was even noticeably thinner than a mint condition silver dollar because so much of the silver had worn away from rubbing against the other coins in his pocket. I had a silver ring that held it, and I wore it on a silver chain as a pendant.

During the summer of 2006, Al and I went to a conference in New Orleans. He was being presented with an award at a luncheon the last day of the conference. We had already checked out of our hotel room, and after lunch we changed clothes in the restroom for the ride home. Apparently, I didn’t pick up the necklace after I changed my blouse. About 50 miles and an hour later I realized I didn’t have it with me and we turned around and went back to the hotel. We searched all over the restroom, in the trash, under the sinks, and everywhere. I questioned the staff. No one remembered seeing it, and I never found it. A couple of months later Katrina inundated New Orleans, and the Civic Center, and the hotel where we had stayed. My keepsake is probably at the bottom of the Mississippi River now, but I still grieve over losing it.

What have you held on to that’s important and why is it important? – Because we’ve moved so often, and cut down our possessions so many time in anticipation of moving , I don’t have much except an old shoe box of mementos from our honeymoon, some old photographs from Al’s family (most have been scanned, digitized, and the originals disposed of), a few old papers and diplomas from Mama and Papa and Al’s family┬áthat I keep for genealogical purposes, and some jewelry.

I have an antique starburst pin in old gold with seed pearls and a tiny diamond that Mama gave me on my wedding day. It came to her from her mother and grandmother.

I also have an ancient cameo set in gold filigree that Miss Robbie gave me that had been in her family for ages.

What “junk” have you held on to and why? – As I said, I haven’t held on to much. I supposed the keepsakes from our honeymoon would qualify as junk (I don’t think even Al would remember much about them).

Our Christmas tree ornaments and some of our decorations would probably qualify as junk, but I keep them for memories of good family times in the past.

There’s one thing to be said for moving every 3 or 4 years – you learn to let go of “stuff” before you get too attached to it.