Monday, February 2, 2009

The Box Room

We all have family idiosyncrasies that we continue in our own families...I mean, we do, right? Because I sure seem to have carefully packed up and moved several of ours into my adult life.


And I respond, in a voice filled with logic, "Well, you just never know when you might need a good box."

To explain this compulsion, I went all the way back to growing up on the farm. We had this amazing basement, full of somewhat finished rooms intended for various purposes: The Canning Room. The Pool Room (pool table - which had so many books in shelves around the room that it was difficult to get the correct shot, and the room could have just as well been called the Library). Dad's Office/pantry.

Then there were a couple of random spaces: The Way Back Closet (which seemed to be filled with mysterious remnants of past lives, including a huge bag of pine cones.) and The Big Room, the main room at the bottom of the steps. It contained 2 large chest freezers and innumerable bunches of dried flowers. At various times it also may have also had a calf being bottle fed and a sofa.

And then. Underneath those basement steps, just off of Dad's Office, there was The Box Room. The quantity of boxes seemed to fluctuate a bit, but the lowest point, when you could actually see the floor in some places, was just before Christmas. As we opened gifts, we were reunited with some of those old friend-type boxes - the ones that turned up every year. It was oddly comforting.

But that endless supply of boxes had other benefits, too. Need a Valentine's Day mailbox? Or a Halloween costume - like a robot? Or need to wrap an oddly- shaped birthday present? You could always find the exact box for your needs, whether it be a small white jewelry box, a check box, one from Schwan's man, or the box from Dad's newest pair of boots.

Part of my association of a warm, loving, household is that box room. Is it any wonder that I am trying to re-create that same feeling -albeit without my husband's complete knowledge or approval?

Because you just never know when you might need a box.


Ruth said...

it's things like these, saving and hoarding carboard boxes, which make me think we already have a small carbon footprint thanks to our parents' scruples.

Lyz said...

I comfort myself with the knowledge that boxes over a certain size get recycled - as do those too beat up to warrant "saving".

But wouldn't this count as the Reusing part of the Three R's?

Noel said...

I also come from a Box Culture. My current practice of Box Culture ways is to keep my boxes in my special places where the females and the beta male of the herd seldom tread: my portion of the Dungeon Proper, the Man Cave, the attic above the Man Cave. I thus can practice my ways with minimal disruption. I even have boxes which could be sold for money on eBay.

As for Reduce-Reuse-Recycle, boxes are made from renewable resources (unlike plastic bubble packs), can be reused, and in Fargo, either go to recycling or to the landfill where they decompose and are harvested as methane to make electricity. Boxes are Good.

Anonymous said...

And boxes too big for gift boxes are handy for; putting on the garage floor to soak up the crud that drips off your car, using as floor pads when you have to lay (lie?)on the garage floor, putting down before you change the oil on your vehicle and my favorite, target backers.

Lyz said...

Aaron would add - painting splat mats. The ones for all the garage uses come off of the recycling pile.

Aaron said...

Oh man Liz, the memories... going into the back room and the way back room was like going on an archeological dig. One day we just ransacked a box full of DJ's clothes from the 70's. Crazy good times.

Suzi said...

I wish I could have a box room. Mine are either in the garage or on their way out to the garage. Often times, before they reach the garage, they are grabbed by the kids for play. And then they get wrecked and sit there until I toss them. I have to be sneaky to get them to the garage without being played with and smashed up.