There are signs everywhere the season is changing, and Fall is coming. The occasional yellow or red leaves I discover on a walk. The timid deer coming closer to the edge of the woods for food. Despite the occasional burst of summer-like warmth, there is a crispness in the air welcoming the need for a sweatshirt like a great big soft hug.
For me, it is also time to clean out summer clothes and put away seasonal items for hopefully another summer. I am always weeding out the old and bringing in too much new. There is one exception to my cleaning habits that I have not changed. My very old, navy blue leather address book. It is full of scratched out addresses, dog-eared and falling apart to the point that I have bound it together with elastic bands.
I’ve grown comfortable with my old address book. It’s like my favorite pair of flannel pajamas, better with time. Instead, I love every little line the written form offers. Moving to a new address book means many won’t be making the transition. It is filled with friends or family no longer a part of my life. Some have simply moved on and others have passed away. There are numbers for doctors I no longer see, taxi numbers no longer in service, pins/passwords for accounts closed years ago. Yet, they are all still there, the people and places connected to my life.
Sometimes, I linger on a certain page and recall my time with them. I take little trips down memory lane while rummaging for a number. I am still enamored with doing things the old-fashioned way. I have never transferred over to using my phone as my address book, nor will I.
With a click of a button, you wipe someone out who was important enough to make your address book in the first place. I’d miss the smell of well-worn leather and gold leaf pages long past their luster. I’d miss seeing the addresses and numbers of my Mother, Father, and other family members and friends who are no longer on this earth. Those pages still bring tears to my eyes when I look at them.
I marvel at my ability to keep good order of some in my book who moved so many times, I had to dedicate an entire page to them. I remember telling one friend, “you’ve got four more lines and that’s it for the page, you are in pencil after that!” If I could find a way to carry around one of those old metal address books I probably would. There is a slide dial on the side for locating the initial of the person you want to look up. Presto, it opens to exactly the name you need. When I was young, I thought that was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.
We seem to live in a world now where everything is so easily tossed away. People included. Click, you’re out. Click, get rid of it. The years of pleasure my old address book has given me is far greater than what I paid for it. It contains a lifetime of people, places, numbers, and notes I made connecting me to those who I was fortunate enough to be connected to. It may be the source of my contact info, but it is also my book of gratitude. Grateful to know and have known so many who are sacred to me.
File me under “R” and take time to remember someone who was special enough to be in your address book.