I spent my afternoon in the garage. We recently bought some shelving to help us organize the last messy area of our new home. As I got to the bottom of a pile, I came across a stack of old paperwork and receipts. And as I got to the bottom of that stack, I came across something unexpected: all of the receipts from our honeymoon.
I believe we kept them because we wanted to convert the currency and tally up our expenses once we were home. We never got around to doing that, and the receipts naturally disappeared from our sight and were moved halfway across the country with us.
And while I briefly toyed with the idea of working on this project — after all, I have plenty of time on my hands these days — I soon found that it would be impossible. Some receipts were fading, but most were blank. They didn’t look old, though — since they were kept tucked away, many of them looked pristine. The only thing visible on most of them were the watermarks — reminders of where we had been or eaten, but with no evidence of what we actually did or ate there.
I’m used to coming across fond memories stuffed in boxes or piles. But this was new: a suggestion that something near and dear to me might not have happened at all.
I initially came to my computer to write about that experience, but soon found myself looking through photos of that trip. The receipts may not have been a reminder of what we had done, but a reminder to connect with that which hasn’t faded.