I’ve been shredding mountains of papers, including foothills of ancient tax records, aged bankbooks from when banks used actual passbooks, receipts for various long-ago purchases.
One peak in this mountain range seems to be medical. Those EOBs (Explanation of Benefits from the insurance companies) tell stories of their own. I found:
- records from my early troubles with asthma
- the hospital statement from Amigo’s birth. He was a bald baby boy back then!
- the doctor’s prescription for my maternity leave when Amigo was born
- another prescription from the same doctor, this time suggesting a leave of absence for fatigue and gastritis. This doctor would eventually put the pieces together and diagnose my first depression.
- Amigo’s early health statements, decorated with handwritten notes about where to go and what to do next.
I learned a few things.
- Those colorful coated paper clips really do last a long time.
- Ordinary paper clips do eventually rust.
- A single staple might go through a paper shredder, but multiple staples can cause jamming.
- Our new-ish shredder is one tough appliance. I just wish it had a bigger drawer so it could shred more before signalling “Full! Empty me now!”
I shredded checkbook registers, a few old checks, and bank statements. And I said to myself:
- Did I really choose these checks with a teddy bear pattern?
- Did Chuck grimace every time he wrote one?
- I shopped at Wal-Mart? These are old, old, old check records.
- My handwriting was certainly neat back then. What happened?
- The insurance company we had back then put us through the wringer. Did they train their customer service people to be rude, or were they naturally nasty?
But those are stories for another time, in another venue.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the homestead known as the O.K. Chorale, I just keep shredding, shredding, shredding.