Sunday, October 30, 2011

What's Behind the Closet Door?

Saturday morning found me at home, merrily minding my own business, getting assorted household chores done. When it came time to vacuum, I opened my amazing walk-in hall closet (one of my favorite things about this house) and reached for the Oreck, only it was stuck behind something, and, in an effort to free it, I not only knocked something off of a shelf, but it landed squarely on my big toe. Ouch! That really hurt!

I started to just close the door and walk away (vacuuming could wait), but I realized it was past time to do the mature thing—clean out the closet! About once a year, it comes to this. (Can anyone else relate?)

So ... after bringing in some boxes from the garage, I proceeded trying to choose what would go and what would stay. And therein lay my downfall. Decisions, decisions. I know my attic is a museum waiting to happen, but I’d forgotten what a little pack-rat I’d become on other fronts. Like this hall closet, for starters.

Here it is Sunday evening, and I'm still wading through piles of stuff, sorting, deciding, murmuring and, more than once, coming close to gnashing of teeth. You see, here’s the deal. The longer you keep something, the harder it becomes to part with it—sentimental things, I mean. The sentimental value only increases as the years go by. That’s one reason I haven’t tackled the attic yet. I know what’s up there—almost everything my daughter ever wore as a baby and toddler, including all of her shoes until she started Kindergarten. And then there is almost every toy she ever owned, including bikes and trikes and Little Tikes, not to mention all of the Barbie paraphernalia. See?

But back to the hall closet. One of the most interesting things I discovered in my two-day excavation was what a busy bee I was in my teenage years.

Just when you thought my talents had been exhausted, would you believe I used to be quite the little artist? Sketching. Painting. I wasn’t all that, but when I uncovered what might be enough sketches to fill a small gallery, I spent a few minutes remembering what it was like to be so, so young. Some of the memories made me laugh out loud, while others, not so much. But they're all my personal truths, and I embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly.

In the end, I opted to stash away the artwork of my youth for another year ... or two. My reasoning? It isn’t taking up much space. Does that count?

That said, and if anyone is still actually reading this, would you like to see some of my artwork? I thought you might. (hehe ... not!) My sketches were done either from a photo or, on occasion, freehanded. The earliest ones are dated 1969 (still wet behind the ears, I was), and the latest are from 1975, which seemed to be my busiest and final year of sketching.

Let the show begin!

This is a sketch I did of my mother, from one of her photographs as a child. 

Did I mention water colors? Hello!

Did I mention oil painting? Hello! My mother really loves me this I know because when I gave her this trio of paintings, she hung them above the piano for several years straight. Nothing like a mother's love.

And just when you thought you'd seen it all, I even painted a piece of driftwood. In 1974, I went to a flea market in Mississippi and found a booth selling just plain old driftwood pieces from the coast. I bought this piece, then painted a little Southern landscape on it, complete with a white picket fence. It hasn't hung on my walls in many a moon, yet I can't seem to part with it, so back into the closet it went.

And there you have the "Dayle Collection." If all goes as planned, I will show you more stuff from behind the closet door in a later post. (Think Tammy dolls and GI Joes.) Until then, I've still got a pile of stuff to sift through.


  1. How fun seeing your dear sketches and art work! I know you had fun going through these and remembering a time long ago.

    I have my Tammy doll too. Doesn't seem that long ago that we played with them, does it Dayle.

    Sweet going through the closet with you this evening :)

  2. Um . . . would you believe . . . I could have written this post?

    Truly - except for the Oreck and a few set changes, I totally have the sketches collection - and copious quantities of oil paintings (5 years of private lessons then the theatre swept me off my feet) and my writing collections, too! Your sketches have a similar look to mine - children with chubby cheeks and from the back in quaint clothes - sort of like the greeting card illustrations that, more than likely, inspired us at the time - very '70's.

    I have a Memory Box Closet in the basement - not the attic (set change). It holds many of the items you mentioned of your daughters. I have my son and daughter's things - waiting for the time in their life when they can appreciate them. My mom kept a good deal of my treasures and when I was in my late 30's I came to truly cherish these emblems of my youth - and wanted to share them with my children.

    Now, many of my toys I use in speaking displays when I do nostalgia programs. Some, are just kept in boxes - for sentimental old me.

    A great post, Dayle - something I think many of us in mid-life can really identify with - and chuckle with wonder - where DID the years go?


  3. Wow... what memories that must of brought back!!

  4. this is certainly a reminder to me that I have yet to clear out my closet!
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. You are such a good artist.

  6. Can I relate to the stuff you save? Oh... yes. That's exactly the kind of stuff that's my downfall. The problem is that as much as I'm trying to purge away, I remember the joy it brings to find the treasure, years later, and stroll down memory lane.

    As for your current artistic treasure finds, I think they are so good that they would be cute to frame and display. You could put up a few favorites or a few at a time and change them up periodically. They are REALLY good, you know.

    You just have no idea what this bumblefingers does when she tries to sketch something. I can't draw a circle without tracing a plate.

  7. WOW...I am totally impressed...the sketches are really good. You have to keep them! There really is nothing like Memory Lane. It is one of my favorite places to go... : ) And yet, I will confess I have ruthlessly tossed. I have one book stuffed full of various things for different years for all of my kids, and their baby books. Other than that I have boxes and boxes of photographs that ANY DAY NOW I am going to sort through and divide for me, and one for each kid. Have a good day!

  8. You are quite an artist!
    If you moved as much as I did, you'd find a way to part with some of those things. I finally condensed my children's baby clothing and shoes into one box each. After a while, it was the only thing that made sense. But it really is fun to go through old memories like that.
    Have a great day!

  9. Ha! I love this post because I've moved so many times that I could never hold on to all these treasures. "THEY MUST GO!" That means into the moving truck or to the Salvation Army.

    These could be framed! Precious and lovely. Of Mother is my favorite.

    FLY Lady says, "Never get out more than you can put back in two hours." Oh, boy....

  10. I'm very impressed! How I wish I had such talent...I would want to pursue it for sure.


  11. Hi Dayle....Well my gosh, you little artist you! I think you were darned good! The little girl on the swing is my fave! She could be on a greeting card for sure.

    And that last painted piece that you bought? Dayle! Just hang it up somewhere. It's so cute. How about on a bathroom wall? It's even got a little duck and , my gosh, another little girl on a swing! Too cute to be put away in a closet.

    Take care, girlfriend! Susan

  12. Wow...okay, and why are you putting those away again? Those were great!

  13. Dayle,
    Oh my I can so relate. Closets full, attic full, under beds full...I start to clean out one area only to sit and sit going down memory lane and not getting one thing accomplished. Oh, tomorrow is another day, right?

    P.S. Love your sketches - you are really good!


Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle