The strange things we keep

I have come home to my parents for the long weekend.

It is strange how the land between Auckland and home can feel so familiar. After a week of typically changeable weather Auckland had painted her skies blue for my departure. As I cruised on down State Highway 20 I reflected on how much it had been developed in the last 6 years, just a short stretch through Mangere remaining untouched. Waikato was looking lush and vibrant, with many trees in flower. Things were a bit grey through Awakino Gorge, and the Tasman Sea was foaming as it hit Mokau beach, but things cleared as we left Urenui. I traced the familiar silhouette of Mount Taranaki seen faintly in the West. It grew bigger and bolder as the sky grew more orange. I knew once night surrounded it I would not see it again this weekend.

Whilst I shall return to Auckland in a few days some of my cargo shall not. Before leaving I packed a box full of things to store at my parents. It’s a box full of all those things that I have no intention of taking with me to Korea, but which I have chosen to keep. Being a highly practical person I’m often tempted to do away with anything that has no functional purpose, but there are some things that just shouldn’t be thrown away if you can help it, and the amount of stuff I have chosen to retain shows that whether I like to acknowledge it or not I am in fact rather sentimental.

Being the thorough person I am I took a few pictures to catalogue all my belongings before they got stored away. That way I remember what I have and provide a visual aid should I have to send my Mother in at some point to retrieve something in particular.

Photo albums seemed a given. There are other books too – piano music, a selection of favourite children’s books, and a few local history books including the family tree of my grandmother. There are a few special certificates and awards from school, my marching medals and Girl Guide sashes. A couple of scrapbooks are full of keepsakes from high school road trips and my summer in the States. Then there are a few random nick-knacks like my first pair of glasses, some of my best drawings, old ball dresses and an embroidered piece that won me $50 and made me a very happy 8 year old.

And so there they are. Treasures stashed away in a cheap plastic box tucked away and gathering dust waiting for some distant day when they’ll be granted an airing and some sentimental reflection.


But not all treasures can be stashed away in a box. Scenicpilgrimages home, great dances, and friends that laugh at your jokes can’t be kept forever. All my wonderful Korean adventures can’t be archived in some magical repository. I must therefore resign myself to taking as many pictures as I can and blogging about all my travels so I have some new treasures to add to my box on my return.


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