Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Treasure in the Attic

I have long suspected that my husband has a picture of Dorian Grey in the attic – well not exactly Dorian himself as that wouldn’t really work, would it?

I have not read the book, but I have seen the film where Dorian Grey commits all kinds of crimes, leads a less than honourable life and the picture in the attic takes all the depravity leaving the man untouched and beautiful.

I am not saying that Joe is a low life criminal and there’s a picture in the attic soaking it all up. What I mean is Joe is just as young and handsome as he was the day we married. He hasn’t aged. I tease him about a Dorian Grey picture in the attic – but there is no such picture.

I know this for sure because the contents of the attic are spread across a number of rooms in cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes. Some of the boxes might have been in better shape when they went up however many years ago, but are a little less sturdy now.

A man landed on the doorstep a few weeks ago asking if he could look at our loft insulation. I am not actually sure if he went into the loft, or just poked around the area near the door. It’s not an accessible loft. The ladder is a few rungs short of actually reaching the door and loft itself is an obstacle course of hot water tanks, beams and boxes.

He came back down with a page full of measurements and informed us that the insulation was way below the minimum and that we were entitled to a grant to pay towards adding a few more inches. The government may be clawing back the pennies in other places…but not in people’s loft insulation. Of course we would have to move the boxes out, or neatly pile them in a corner somewhere and they would insulate round them.

Neatly piling them into a corner would require one of us going into the loft. It was actually far easier to stand on the top step if the ladder, and reach in to extract them.

I thought it was all Donald’s stuff - our lodger from way back who was a photography man. We have boxes that never made it up the ladder into the attic of his car collections and his artwork given to us instead of rent money.

The boxes were all our stuff…and such stuff.

Joe’s old stereo system was up there. He has a collection of records that no doubt he will start revisiting now.

A box of folders from his college days has his notes on his business management and economics courses.

Another box of folders, this time mine, contained my old Gospel Outreach scrapbook – a commentary of life spent knocking doors and asking people if they were saved! It was a real trip down memory lane. I looked much younger then, much slimmer and looked like I was having fun.

There was also another scrapbook, less pages, covering just a few months. It covered our early days of dating – when Joe and I started to go out together! So cute…

And there was a box of letters. I don’t write many letters today, but then, sometime back in 1992 I was a prolific letter writer. A number of months ago I had sent a cyber blood hound into the cyber world to see if it could track down a pension account I had opened a long time ago and lost track of. I had opted out of SERPS, the teacher’s pension scheme and set up something else. I stopped teaching and closed the account and the scheme and I lost touch. I thought I ought to look for it, hence the cyber blood hound, but the scent was long gone.

Tucked in among the letters was a bunch of brown envelopes – my long lost pension scheme was less lost than it had been. I had an account number and a last known address and a tidy little sum sitting doing nothing.

So…attics…well worth looking into the boxes up there! Who knows what reassure you will find?

Finding lost treasures reminds me that there are other treasures that I need to dig around to find. The words given to me by God through sermons and quiet times are sometimes like my lost pension scheme with its tidy little sum of money sitting around doing nothing. God didn’t intend His word to do nothing, but to work for Him and produce a harvest.

“Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.” (Matthew 13:52}

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