I’ve spent part of the past few days in the basement going through boxes of old manuscripts, speeches, articles, and correspondence. Talk about a stroll down memory lane! I can’t get anything done because I keep stopping to read this or that and in many cases I find myself bringing folders upstairs to the office so I can spend more time with them. Maybe some old idea buried for twenty years might stimulate me to try a different approach. Even if that doesn’t happen, it’s just fun to see where I’ve been and what I did along the way. I even found traces of my youth: cigar boxes filled with my old mineral collection and empty cocoons from my insect collecting days. I’m dying to show them to you on an upcoming post.
One folder was marked “Tabitha.” I knew at once who that was. In 1984 I was scheduled to speak at a school at Fort Leonard Wood near Rolla, Missouri. A girl sent me a note to say how sorry she was that her family was moving to another location and she wouldn’t get to meet me after all. Tabitha was in 3rd or 4th grade back then. We communicated for sixteen years. No matter where her family was stationed, New Kentucky, New York, Germany, Alaska, she managed to keep my address and send me cards and notes, which I always answered. By the time of our last exchange, Tabitha had married and had three sons. I’d lost track of her and often wondered where she was and how she was doing.
Yesterday I searched for her on Facebook and found her! I sent her a note and she responded. If nothing else has been accomplished in the basement this week, rediscovering Tabitha makes it a success.