Treasures Buried in Time and Boxes

The scraps of times gone by are hard to let go of until the memory is forgotten. Left to linger in dark lonely recesses of a closet, such treasures remain silent, waiting to be rekindled in the heart of an inquisitive explorer.

Mom and I sit at the dining room table going through boxes of old photos and newspaper clippings retrieved from closets and drawers and found in between pages of the big family bible. There is something about the photos of Grandma Maggie as a youthful young mother with Grandpa Thurman and Mom by her side. The eyes communicate survival and a solemn sense of pride and loyalty. Photographs are not like that anymore.

Chipping away at the layers of generations buried in time and boxes, we find fabulous black and white photographs of the lives before me as well as photos and other memorabilia of my brother and I when we were little. Mom kept report cards, artwork (if you can really call it art), and newspaper clippings of every time we were mentioned in the community happenings. One of those clippings is perhaps my first published writing, a poem about Halloween. I must have been 10 or 11 years old when I wrote this. Reading the words so thoughtfully crafted decades ago brought a genuine smile to my face as resounding laughter filled the dining room.

Keep in mind that we all have to start somewhere. My poem was printed in The Belle Plaine News in the mid-1970s and is prefaced by the journalist saying, “Following is an original Halloween poem written by Tammy Scott with no help from her teacher.”

A particularly amusing statement. The poor journalist was probably at a loss for words of praise for this poetic wonder and this was the most positive comment that he or she could muster. Or my teacher requested the clarification to ensure everyone knew she had nothing to do with this literary arrangement of thoughts into words.

Either way, brace yourself, here it is:

Halloween to Me

Halloween is fun to me,

Because of all the treats to see.

Halloween is laughing at each other’s ghosts and witches,

And watching people stumbling in ditches.

Halloween is saying “trick or treat”,

And seeing ghosts in white sheets.

Halloween is meeting your friends and saying “Hello”,

And then saying, “I have to go”.

Halloween is eating your candy when you get home,

And looking at your windows which on them are foam.

Halloween is just plain fun!

But the next day Halloween is over and done.

In all honesty, I do not remember writing this poem. In spite of my brain’s misplacement of the memory, I am certain the project was undertaken with resolute earnestness. My nature requires that I enter assignments with sincerity, and I doubt this circumstance was any different. And no, I do not recall what the foam on the windows thing is about.

I am not sure if this was my first literary piece for public consumption or not. Several boxes of photographs and newspaper clippings await exploration. More treasures may yet be discovered that predate this poetic masterpiece. Time will tell unless the sands run out before the remnants of my heritage can be retrieved.

Today’s treasure is walking down memory lane with my Mom. A journey enjoyed moment by moment with smiles, laughter, and a lot of tissues. Special moments cloaked in the disguise of insignificance often drift by without screaming for attention. Be mindful of the hourglass. In the infinity of time, life’s conclusion is out there.


Tammy Hader
Tammy Hader
Tammy Hader has no writer’s pedigree. With a BBA in accounting from Wichita State University, numbers are her history. The CPA exam was passed, because that’s what accountants are supposed to do, and thirty years later her accounting life ended with the desire to journey down a different career path. The compass turned toward words to create a new legacy beyond spreadsheets. Her nostalgic writing reflects on the past to explain the present and shine into the future the light of lessons learned. Growing up in a small Midwestern town, influenced by relationships, choices, consequences, and situations, her life is not unique. In her stories, you will recognize reflections of your own past, understand how you arrived at today’s version of you and gaze with her across the bridge into the future.

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  1. Tammy — brought back memories of my mother burning a piece of cork and then applying it to our faces – after it cooled – so that we would look the part of freight train-weary hoboes. Not to mention the bags of candy we secured. I don’t remember being accompanied by a parent as we went house to house. You didn’t have to worry about that back then.

    Sweet piece, no pun intended.

    • Thanks, Jeff. I think pun may have been a little bit intended. LOL.

      We weren’t afraid of receiving homemade cookies and popcorn balls back then either. Halloween was so much fun. Quite different from the way Halloween is going to be in 2020.

  2. Loved your poem, Tammy, and the guts it took to publish. I often wonder who would put stuff in the local newspapers and why?

    But even more, looking at old photos and having an older person open up about memories from yesteryear, sometimes exciting stories one had never heard before, is a treasure that resonates strongly with me.

    • Thanks, Charlotte. Glad you enjoyed the poem. Walking down memory lane with my Mom has been enlightening for me. And yes, she has shared perspectives I had not heard before. I have no doubt today’s moments will be treasured memories for me to visit later in my life.