It could be a dust-provoked headache generated by old newspaper clips and a basement storage room that hadn't seen the business end of a dust rag for quite some time. Or it could just be from the seemingly never-ending task of deep cleaning and purging.
For those of you who weren't fortunate enough to be around when Tommy Roe released his song, "Dizzy," in 1969 (insert slight sarcasm here), it's a line from that hit, which occupied the No. 1 slot for four weeks.
I liked the song well enough that I forked over some cash for the album of the same name. As I've been sorting and cleaning in the office, I found the album occupying some real estate among the predominantly Barry Manilow and Carpenters discs:
I'm so dizzy, my head is spinning
Like a whirlpool it never ends
And it's you, girl, makin' it spin.
You're makin' me dizzy.
Of course, I have no turntable these days, so I had to pull it up on YouTube.
And the piles of paper (and other stuff) I've sorted and Randy has carried out of the house is "dizzying" in itself.
As I was going through yet more file cabinets and boxes crammed with dusty newspaper and newsletter clips, I texted my kids. In all honesty, I was feeling a little blue.
They didn't "know" me as a newspaper writer, and later, as an editor of the Focus (lifestyle) section, I told them. Brent was a baby when I quit the full-time commuting, and Jill was almost 3. I wrote a twice-a-month column, "At Home with Kim," for The News for several years when they were small. I also freelanced for a public relations firm in Hutchinson, writing copy for several quarterly newsletters. (These were in addition to the Stafford Main Street newsletter and The Messenger, the church newsletter which I am still doing when there's not a pandemic going on.)
But I hired a babysitter when I'd go for interviews for the newsletters, and I did most of my writing when the kids were in bed at naptime or the evening.
As I looked through story after story, I realized my kids just saw me as a Mom, and later, as a part-time school secretary and community volunteer.
I wouldn't change any of that. My most important job ever was being a Mom, and the other roles dovetailed nicely with that mission. But before I tossed all of the articles, I wanted them to know that I was pretty good at the newspaper/writing gig, too. I won plenty of state awards and even a few national awards for writing and editing.
... Just because you're throwing away the physical reminders of your work at The News doesn't take away from the achievements you had and the hard work that went into it. ..."Brent echoed:
... I agree that you should take pride in what you accomplished and the people and stories you amplified. It's good to know and remember. Throwing out a box of papers doesn't take away from that."
How'd they get so smart?
During one of our phone conversations, Brent asked me about what stories brought back the most memories.
I interviewed a Goddard science teacher who had been in the running for the Teacher in Space job that eventually went to Christa McAuliffe. I talked to both he and his wife by telephone about their impressions of McAuliffe during the workshops and pre-flight receptions. Even that day, he was ready to apply to be in the next teacher in space.
My favorite series for Wesley Towers was interviewing World War II veterans for a story that ended up spanning several issues. It required numerous interviews with our nation's heroes, as well as a lot of reading and research. I then wrote a series of stories, which became a living history lesson for me. So was a story about residents who had celebrated their 100th birthdays and a series about residents with Hutchinson businesses whose children had carried on the legacy and were still operating on Main Street and other storefronts in the community.
And you know what? My kids are both pretty good writers, too.
(This post is more for me, so that there's some record - somewhere - of my writing career ... since I threw away most of this stuff - SIGH!) Maybe the soundtrack should have been "Memories" - not "Dizzy.")
We've lost count of all the trips to the trash pit, and I also sorted through some other tubs and boxes in the basement, plus did a long-overdue closet purge. Randy and I had dental hygiene appointments before harvest, and we ended up taking both the car and pickup to Hutchinson so that we could leave the car at the shop.
We filled both vehicles with goodies for Goodwill. I texted my family:
I guess it was bad for the car in line behind me, but it's good for my basement storage area, and my kids are thrilled that I've gotten rid of some stuff. Thanks Covid-19? Hmmm ... I'm not sure I will go that far!
True confessions: I haven't done much (any?) sorting since harvest. Maybe posting this is my motivation to get started again.