White Trash

There’s just no room to deal with creatures of culture with the same creativity.

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Not too long ago, in the dead of winter, a very old lady in the far northeast said to her heirs, “Be careful cleaning out the attic”. The children thought she was just senile about her old stuff scattered around the attic floor. But one daughter paid close attention, opening every envelope; carefully looking for remnants of the old lady’s life.

There are times when we, also, find ourselves having to clean out our own “attics of life”. The things we once thought had value are now not worth the paper it is written on. Those times appear to be when the writer of those messages are little more than “white trash” themselves.

Looking back, I’ve begun to comprehend the value of some people that I once held to a higher standard. Then I discovered the memories stuffed in my attic weren’t worth keeping. Trying to keep records of importance end up, next to the Christmas ornaments, I see they are only there taking up space.

There are people in your life that fall into the same category. Collecting dust and taking up space, the world is inundated; too much “white trash” you never pay a bit of attention to anymore. There’s just no room to deal with creatures of culture with the same creativity.

Discarding memoirs of irrelevance becomes a necessity as our minds are cluttered with unnecessary objectivity. So I pray, God, is there purpose in white trash?  Like a mosquito that bites you behind your leg, it escapes when your attention is elsewhere. Useless as a gnat, “white trash” serves no purpose.

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So, I clean out my attic, hoping I can find something of value just like the young lady cleaning out her grandmother’s attic. She found a $4.00 framed, farm landscape painting. But….do you know what was on the flip side, hidden from view?? An original copy of the Declaration of Independence!

And as for me?? I just keep grabbing trash bags throwing out debris…much like the “I do’s” that didn’t. The senseless “white trash” that people become, rotting in the minds of loved ones – gone.


Author’s Note:

This is a true story of the farm painting. The Declaration of Independence was folded up into the size of an envelope and perfectly preserved behind a painting which was purchased at a Pennsylvania flea market in 1988.

You may read about this interesting story at this link:



Yard Sale

…..the value on the memories was priceless…..

The day after, my best friend came over to see if they could help. Bewildered and helpless, not knowing where to start, we sat on the edge of the bed holding each other. Sobbing, we remembered all the good times.

This was going to be very hard; everything around me reminded me of him.  My world seemed like it was collapsing; I had no idea what I was going to do with all the things that meant so much to us. All those memories – the keepsakes of places we shared, birthday gifts and cards, didn’t mean much anymore.

Friday, in the pouring rain, I knelt in the mud and kissed your casket, whispering, “goodbye for good”.  In pain, I left you for the last time. Trembling and wondering, like the rest, of what was normal, has now changed. The limousine ride gave little relief – soaking wet!  I needed to change and get out of these wet things.

Early Saturday morning, after sorting and boxing, I walked to the edge of the drive. I stuck a sign in the ground, “Yard Sale”. Yes. All our many years of th97SJR9YA (2)matrimony, and a week later had turned into a yard sale. Sadly, the value on the memories was priceless, even though the little tags said fifty cents and all items in the box were a quarter.

The next day I went to church. I thought I sinned – selling your stuff; but as I was comforted by the congregation singing. There was, somehow, a peace in His presence.

I returned to your grave, reverently praying. I thought about how much I’m going to miss you. For what it’s worth, I grossed $357.60 – not very much for all the love we shared together.

Now, on our anniversary, I am going out to dinner to commemorate your life. There will never be another you! With sadness, I look back at all our many years of love, now only resolved to not much more than a “Yard Sale”.


God has somehow blocked the hurt within the heritage that shadowed a little boy’s childhood.

Last night, I sat in the most unusual place, and wrote my pastor a short story. It wasn’t so unusual for me to write where I was, but, thoughts came as I reflected back. Looking at life, like headlines, seemed to put it all in perspective. There, the highlights of my life, were dampened like a Saturday shower at a baseball game. God has somehow blocked the hurt within the heritage that shadowed a little boy’s childhood dreams. I’m not alone as I’m sure there are who have lost their parents. For all who can relatDana's dade, I write some memories…….      

Divorce, an act of closure, should never pertain to a child’s recollection. Children, somehow, seem to be a denominator in the equation. At the age of five and left alone, my parents fought amongst themselves. Like pawns on a chessboard, I was disposable. God is nowhere to be found except in our home at bedtime. Their selfish ways dictated their priorities. As a young child, I faltered in the melee, trying to break away as life frustrated me.  But history repeats itself.

My father’s father, a great man, bore a child of great vision that died too young to see his own grow up. So, alone, my soul was a dormant cavern where sharing memories were non-existent. I, lost in life and rejected by most, was perceived as slow and a little retarded. Dyslexia wasn’t even known as a word yet. I would sit in the corner and play with my toys and fantasize what it would be like when I grew up. I entertained myself throughout my early life. 

Mom remarried in the same church where my father’s name was engraved on the gold plated shovel that stands quietly in the vestibule. At eight years old, my little legs shook as the pews filled to watch the happy ceremony. My older brother and I looked on and wondered what happened to the man we called “Pop”. The voids stood tall and the childhood gap, between this and that, left little to be put in a scrapbook. Memories now fill an old man’s life with loss. The holidays and tree trimmings are a mere shadow against the window. Looking back, as pain remains, we must endure from generation to generation. Life has no reverse. 

On this day, I celebrate a man who gave me the inspiration to go on without him.  “Happy Birthday Pop”, who passed away at the tender age of forty-two.  I look to God; not to ask why, but instead, “thank you” for the brief moments I’ve had to remember the father who, once, was in my life. He is now an angel sent back to anoint my direction.  God has, undoubtedly, brought me the strength to go on a journey driven only by faith.