I hear a thump as the attic stairs hit the floor below. I hear a squeak as someone climbs the stairs. The footsteps are moving in a manner that makes me think the person they belong to is exploring all the corners of the attic in search of something in particular. What could they be looking for this time? Last time they were searching for old photo albums. I know, because there were two of them and they were talking. The time before that they were trying to find a quilt made by a relative during WWI. I know this because again more than one person was in the attic. This time though is different; no one is talking. I assume there must be only one person in the attic. What is he or she looking for? I hope it is something inside me. I have not had anyone open my lid for a long, long time. I am afraid my contents have been forgotten. I can hardly remember the excitement when my lid is raised. I have forgotten how it feels to have fresh air enter me and the stale air leave. It has been a long, long time since anyone got excited about my contents.
Over the years, new containers have been placed in front of me and I have been pushed further and further to the back of the attic until I could go no further. At one time I was valued by my owner. I contained his personal items when he served his country in a foreign land. I was opened and closed constantly and my contents were necessary. I felt useful and important. Then, my owner brought me to this house, my contents were emptied, and I found myself in a bedroom at the foot of a bed and filled with blankets in several colors. They always smelled fresh. A lilac sachet was placed inside me. Oh, I loved smelling so nice! I was opened and closed just often enough to make me feel I was still important to my owner. Then, one day I was emptied and moved to the attic. I was empty at first, but then my owner started putting square and rectangle boxes of all sizes inside me. No one came to look inside me. The sachet was replaced with moth balls that over time lost their use as the smell, thank goodness, became less potent.
Today seems different than other days. I hear containers being opened, closed, and moved out of the way. The footsteps kept getting louder. The footsteps kept getting closer to me. The next thing I know my lid is opened and fresh air pours inside me! I had forgotten how it felt. Then, the person the footsteps belong to lets out a, “here is what I am looking for.” The voice belongs to my owner. He has not forgotten me! He starts rummaging through the boxes, takes three out and closes my lid with a loud bang instead of carefully like he did in the past. His footsteps I hear going down the attic stairs, but I do not hear the pull-down staircase close. The footsteps come back up the stairs, but this time there are two sets of feet walking across the floor. They keep getting louder and louder. They stop next to me. I hear my owner say, “Grab the handle on the side next to you and let’s carry this old relic down stairs and make it useful again.”
They wipe me down inside and out. They wipe down all the square and rectangle boxes that have been hiding inside me and carefully put them back. I find my lid being opened and closed several times every day. Not just by my owner, but others of all ages dig inside me, select a box, slam my lid (which I have gotten use to them doing) and return the box to retrieve another time. I now sit in a prominent place in their family room. I feel loved and useful again.
You might be wondering what my owner wanted that I contained and why he found me so valuable after all these years. It seems there was a period of time that people had to stay home. Families were forced to spend time with each other. I contained games; not games to be played on the computer or another electronic device. My games required people to sit down together at a table and look at each other and talk to each other face-to-face. If you are around the age of my owner, you might remember games like Chinese Checkers, Sorry, Clue, Monopoly with paper money and Scotty the dog as one of the playing pieces, and Tiddly Winks.
My owner always says, “things come around in full circle” and board games and an old military trunk, at least in this house, did!