Back when I was nine, my grandfather had his front steps replaced. I remembered it more than I thought I would. We were spending the weekend up at their house, my mom and aunt and I. He had retired from the telephone company so like all good company men, he had a few spare parts lying around. This a time capsule was born. and sealed in the steps of the house.
It turns out the new owners 30 years later, decided it was time once again to replace the front stairs. The mason has discovered our time capsule and called the neighbors over to investigate. It seems that they feared it was actually my grandfather’s ashes! Assuring them it wasn’t the neighbors scooped it up and sent it off to my aunt a week before Thanksgiving.
I was so excited that it had been returned to us and we took advantage of the holiday gathering to open it. Which wasn’t an easy task. My grandfather spared no expense it sealing it up good and tight. The younger cousins were beyond excited to get it open to see what was inside. Once we did get it open, it wasn’t quite as exciting. Most stuff really only had meaning for those of us who put the stuff inside.
A beer can, some recipes, a golf ball, a newspaper clipping about my grandfather’s golf tournament win, my aunt’s driver’s license which shouldn’t have yet expired by the date shown on a letter I wrote. My contribution was a trading car from the movie E.T. and a letter explaining the movie, you know, in case no one had ever heard of it! And a few other pieces.
The most remarkable part of the whole experience was the feeling of the presence of my grandfather in the room. I don’t normally feel those sorts things. Sometimes something fleeting… But this was strong and powerful. It was a nice visit from Grandpa Frank!