Friday is our last full day at the rental house, and we have begun getting our stuff together. There isn’t a whole lot here at the house; most of it is still in storage in the U-Box. As I was gathering my stuff, I ran across a few objects that had me asking “why on Earth did I bring this with me?” And I’m not just talking about from Minneapolis to Austin, but from Carpenter to Madison to Shakopee back to Madison to Burnsville back to Madison to St Louis Park back to Madison back to Burnsville back to Madison to Bloomington to Eden Prairie to two Minneapolis residences and soon two Austin residences. These seemingly random, mundane objects have continued to travel with me, while greater, more significant objects have been left behind, given away, or thrown out.

1. Cheap Kaleidoscope Toy: I bought this for like a dollar in the Black Hills in 1991 on a family vacation. This tiny finger-held device is really not very entertaining to play with today, and probably wasn’t much more so 20 years ago. Thousands of toys and souvenirs have come and gone, but this kaleidoscope remains.

2. Tag Team, “Whoomp! There It Is” Cassette Single Sleeve: The story behind this is rather dumb. Jordan bought this cassette tape single of the 90s mega-hit “Whoomp! There It Is” and refused to let me borrow it to make a copy on my tape recorder. I snuck in her room one day and took it, made a copy and put it back, and she was none the wiser. But one day she heard me listening to it and FREAKED THE F&#@ OUT. The tape is probably very long gone, but for some unknown reason the sleeve to this single–not even the full album, mind you–remains in my possession. Side B, by the way, was some sort of remix.

3. High School Spanish Class “Get Well Soon” Card: When I broke my leg sophomore year of high school, the girls of the WLHS Spanish II class took it upon themselves to make this amazing card for me. It appears to feature me as a breasted naked man on steroids wearing some sort of boot on my leg. The front of the card features a flying cat taking me to the hospital by some sort of air ambulance. I believe Marianne, Kyla, Victoria, Angela, and a few others were the brains behind this. Aren’t you impressed, girls? It’s still here and in virtually mint condition 13 years later.

4. 2001 Minnesota Twins Winter Pocket Schedule: This schedule came out immediately following the 2000 season, the Twins’ eighth straight dreadful year. The slogan of “Get to Know ‘Em” was quite appropriate as the team was filled with no-name rookies like Cristian Guzman and Eric Milton, pictured at bottom. This early edition of the 2001 team schedule has been with me since, just in case I can’t find out on who the Twins played on a certain date. But, as fate would have it, 2001 was the year the Twins finally started turning around and had a winning record.

5. Simpsons Desktop Calendar, June 11: I don’t know what year this is from, but this is obviously the June 11 page of my Simpsons desk calendar. It features famed Springfield boxer Drederick Tatum exclaiming “I think he’s a good man. I like him. I got nothing against him. But I’m definitely gonna make orphans of his children.” Why did I save this? That episode or scene means nothing to me. That date means nothing to me. Why did this page get saved while the rest of the year was thrown out? And why the hell do I still have it?

6. 2003 Valleyfair Olympics Silver Medal: What makes it odd that I have this particular medal isn’t that it’s from some old college summer job Olympic games… I mean who wouldn’t keep a prized trophy, ribbon, or medal for an athletic achievement? It’s odd because of the fact that I kept the medal from the year we won second, not the other times when we won first place. Our Games team, typically led by Justin Springer, were always highly competitive and we won first three of the four years I participated. Where are those medals? Who knows. But here’s the year we took runner-up dejectedly.

7. Orange Knitted Wristband: This particular small wristband made of yarn does have some sentimental value, but it’s still amazing to me that I’ve managed to keep it. And the fact that it’s not even packed away in the U-Box, but one of the few non-everyday-clothing items I brought to the house with me. Liz Burke made one for each of the five boys–me, Jason, Craig, Jake, and Feeney–who visited her in Detroit on spring break in 2004. It’s pretty stretched out now… it took a minute to figure out if this was originally a wristband or headband. I feel super bad about this, because I managed to hang onto this wristband from over seven years ago, yet I immediately lost the nice stocking cap Lauren knitted for me two winters ago after wearing it just one time. (I still think it could be in Jason’s trunk.)

And there you have them… seven seemingly ordinary objects in my current possession, each with their own fun stories, yet no great explanation as to why they continue to move with me from location to location. Will we see these items on this blog ten years from now when Lauren and I move to Uruguay? Time will only tell.