Spring Cleaning – Treasures from the Past

My last spring cleaning blog was written 6 years ago on 19 March 2006 (See 2006 Blog: Nostalgia). I love spring cleaning. It is like opening a time-capsule. There are so many things to rediscover – my life, my tokens and my past.

Since the day I left Singapore for Shanghai, we have vacated our apartment and moved our stuffs to my in-law’s place. My mother-in-law has been very kind to allow me to store 40 boxes of my belongings/junks in her living room. (Honestly, it was unsightly and Felicia did a great job to conceal the boxes.) Last week, I was back in Singapore to celebrate Chinese New Year with my family. Felicia and I decided to clear those boxes. It is time to unpack, thrash or sell those old junks. Well, I am accumulating another 40 boxes of stuffs from my stay in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

It is rather strange to do “spring-cleaning” on the 1st day of spring. And to most Chinese, it is inauspicious (a common taboo) to clean the house on the first day as it will drive the Fortune God away. Well, that was what I did this Chinese New Year – breaking the taboo. We spent the first 3 days of the Chinese New Year clearing out all the junks. My in-laws weren’t around and this was the only free time I have to spare. (We didn’t let her know till today.)

Instead of the planned 1-day cleanup, we took more than 3 days going through all those mementos. Those boxes were precious time capsules. They were priceless recollection of my most beautiful memories. Box after box, I “rediscovered” so many long-forgotten tokens of my life. My student works, my wedding photos, my toys and those old newspaper clippings.

Elkan was as excited as me. He was only 2 when we sealed the boxes back in 2006. He has never seen these things that his dad and mummy owned. Lucky for him, I was a avid toy collector. I have a big collection of his favourite Marvel (X-men, Spider-man) and Toy Story figurines. Those toys were at least 15-year old. Nope, there wasn’t any priceless heirlooms (gems and watches) for my boy. I passed him all my toys and a complete hard-cover 1995 edition of Tintin comics.

I found many hand-written letters and gifts which I have sent to Felicia during our courtship days (1992) and her university days (1997-1999) in Australia. Back then, there is no Facebook, FaceTime or even Whatsapp. I used to send her letters and my cartoons weekly. It took 1 week to reach her. It was slow but precious. Reading the letters and seeing those cartoon cards again made me realized how much our lives have changed over the years. My gosh, we have been couple for almost 20 years! Those were bitter-sweet memories.

While our loved ones were busily visiting friends and relatives during the first 3 days of Chinese New Year, three of us were at home revisiting our own pasts. It was an unique reunion and bonding time for 3 of us. Especially for Elkan. For the first time, he got to know so much more about his dad and mum (and the drawings his dad drew for his mum). In the end, there wasn’t much junks to throw. Just lots of stories and memories to share with my little boy.

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