A 29-year-old Box of Secrets

So today I was going through some boxes of Steve’s that have been in the garage of every house we’ve lived in. I’m not getting rid of things, I’m simply looking for a connection.

Inside a box filled with old photos, art supplies, and nick-knacks I found a cardboard box that looked familiar. Across the top was written “STOSH–Private Do Not Open.” I immediately recognized it as a box he carried in the trunk of his car until we got married. That box came from me.

Shortly after we got together in 1989, Steve left to work on the Mammoth Ranger District. It was his first job working for the Forest Service and he was going to be gone for the entire summer. No, he wasn’t working as an archaeologist. He was working as a volunteer interpreter–which meant he gave hikes, wrote permits, and ran the Jr. Ranger program. He was given a dorm room to live in and earned a whopping $18.00 a day!

Because I was already in love with him, I made him a care package. It was filled with lots of little things to keep him remembering me.

Here is the letter I included in the box:


Enjoy all these things of mine and please think of me.

Pop Tarts, kool-aid, sunflower seeds–Things I know you like.

U2–My inspiration 

Musical Notes (nick-knack)–My talent & dreams

Koosh & Silly Putty–Toys to keep your hands busy

Whale–Very special stuffed toy that sleeps next to my pillow

Tissue–Delicate thing that smells like me

Water Gun–When the pain of missing me has driven you to suicide, you can shoot yourself and still be around

Anything else you find is just for fun.

Love, Nancy

When I opened the box this evening I found that it was filled with every letter I ever wrote him. Some were from back in 1989, and some from more recent dates. He also kept every card I ever gave him.

At the bottom of the box was the silly putty. When I opened it I found it to be exactly as I had given him 29 years ago.

Did he love me?

Yes, he did.

Silly Putty
I used my finger, 29 years ago, to carve “I Love You” into the putty. He never squished it out.


One thought on “A 29-year-old Box of Secrets

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  1. Fantastic Nancy! What a beautiful soul you have to share these intimate treasures of your life with the rest of us. It helps me connect with a greater humanity by seeing the commonality between myself and others.

    Liked by 1 person

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