Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Giving Back

Looking to Give Back

'Tis the season for long waits at return counters, cringe-worthy weigh-ins and the crafting of resolutions.

It's also that time of year when we look to support our most beloved organizations while also reducing our taxable income by making our last charitable donations for the year.

At the Ball house, this means a few frigid hours of me bending over boxes in the garage in attempts to figure out which of our belongings can go and which can stay.

Most of what we give each year is clothing. Somehow, though I don't remember having clothes in quantity during high school and college, each year I discover yet another cardboard box full of size-six short shorts and size-medium shirts from American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch and Lord knows where else.

Regrettably, Momma ain't a size six anymore. Since I feel I have a better chance of finding a size-six person shoved and gasping for air between the cushions of my couch than ever being one again, I figure it's time to get these clothes to folks who can use them.

On my way back to said couch after last night's rummaging session, I found this box:

Looking to Give Back

And two others just like it, all full of the books of my youth.

Looking to Give Back

See? Full House: Indisputably my favorite show when I was in elementary school. I loved DJ. I wanted to know her. I wanted to be her. I strived to be like her in any way possible.

Maybe I still do. But you won't hear me say it.

Looking to Give Back

Looking to Give Back

Ah, Little Golden Books, how I loved thee.

Ah, pre-Elmo Sesame Street, how I really, really loved thee.

Looking to Give Back

It's She-Ra!

Looking to Give Back

Castaspella - what a name for a heroine. By the way, I didn't color this page.

Looking to Give Back

I did, however, color this page. I was always a color-inside-the-lines kind of girl - at least, when it came to coloring books, that was true.

Speaking of coloring inside the lines...BSC, coming through!

Looking to Give Back

That Claudia - always the malcontent. "No one understands!"

Looking to Give Back

My husband asked me this same question once, way back in our early days. I called the folks in Arkansas to see if they still had our marriage license on file. They did. Then it was true: I'd married a man who'd never seen Fraggle Rock.

I forgive him - and myself - a little more each day.

Needless to say, he had no idea what a Wuzzle was.

Looking to Give Back

My husband's parents wouldn't allow him to read Goosebumps. Too scary, they said.

Looking to Give Back

Of course, I read them as fast as my parents could drive me to Wal-Mart and hand me the $4.95 to buy the latest copy. Those Goosebumps books were must-haves, even if they did give me nightmares.

Looking to Give Back

Even the title of the series had goosebumps. What person who grew up in the '90s doesn't remember standing in the young adult fiction isle and running a finger over these letters? So classic.

And who could forget these:

Looking to Give Back

The Boxcar Children! Go ahead. Squee.

Our son, who is in desperate need of a haircut, couldn't bear to see these books boxed up and hauled away forever.

Yeah, that's the ticket - our son couldn't bear it. I could, totally. I'd be fine. My son, though - he's just too young for this kind of heartbreak. I have to protect him, you see.

Looking to Give Back

Now my old books are strung all over our living room, awaiting imminent destruction. I will try in vain to protect the relics of my childhood while attempting to share them with my offspring.


This is why we can't have nice things.

If you're looking to make a donation to a worthy cause while unloading what's become superfluous in your life, Trisha Swindle over at has a nice list of places that could use your donations, and Holly Wall at Tulsa Business Journal put together a great story last month on local charities looking for your gifts this season.

What causes are close to your heart today, the day before the last day of 2009?


Mom Mayhem says: said...

I did squee over a few things in this post! =D I think it's totally rad to reminisce about all those great 80's/90's stuff! Loved Full House,Blossom,She-Ra, and so much more! And your husband sounds deprived not knowing about Fraggle Rock or Goosebumps?!- I even have a Goosebumps DVD I thought would be good to watch for Halloween- Maybe not the best idea for a 3 yr.old though. But,yeah you should definitely keep all that stuff for- your kid of course ;)

Brett McKay said...

Box Car Children!!!!! Ahhhhhh!!! I was a die hard for these books. Every time we got those tissue paper Scholastic Book orders I was checking every single Box Car Children book they had. I even had the official Box Car Children cookbook.

Trisha said...

Stop what you are doing and immediately head over to and buy the entire collection of The Fraggles. Your marriage may depend on it.

And thanks for the linky love:)

Elizabeth & Chad said...

Love this post! Totally brought me back to my elementary and middle school days!

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