The handprints on the glass are quite visible and are probably something that should be Windexed and squeegeed into oblivion.
But it has been a year and I can't bring myself to clean them away.
The handprints on the window of the door at the bottom of the stairs were made by great niece Maija and my great nephew Jacob last July when they traveled from Rhode Island to spend Pioneer Week in Negaunee with their old auntie. They came to visit with their mom Marga and their dad Jim so Marga could attend her class reunion and they all could spend time with me.
Time that seemed to pass in the blink of an eye.
Of course, there are many photos that were taken during that visit and those are indeed precious. But those sweet little handprints are a daily reminder to me of the darling kids who stayed here for such a brief time 12 months ago.
Bad housekeeping to let the prints remain, I know, but sentiment is overruling common sense right now.
Those kind of reminders grow more dear to the heart as the years fly by.
Photographs, ticket stubs, cards, and other trinkets could add up toward hoarder territory if one isn't careful. But glancing around my apartment, these items are memory stirrers.
On the shelf that lines my dining room, there are photos from the many years of my life. My mom's mother, Grandma Jenn, is in one. She's a tiny girl, maybe 4 years old, clutching her mother's hand. Grandma Jenn died when I was 13 but I remember her clearly as a gray-haired lady. Seeing her youthful photo makes me wish I had asked her more about her childhood, which was marked by much tragedy.
There are photos of my parents, on their wedding day in 1946, and getting ready to head to Wawonowin in July of 1980, the last summer they spent on earth together.
A snapshot of some of the Negaunee Class of 1991's guys at their senior prom is in one corner: My nephew Maxx's friends a great bunch.
There's a cat figurine my friend Delilah gave me rather recently and some ceramic sheep people gifted me with through the years.
There are all kinds of tokens which stir all kinds of memories, most of them happy.
Which all means I should be able to wipe those handprints from the window. But I haven't. Not yet.
Jacob just turned 6 and Maija is nearly 8. However in the blink of an eye, they'll be in college. So I won't feel guilty for allowing the prints to linger, reminders of the awesome time we had while they were here last year.
And hope-stirrers that soon we'll all be together again to make some more memories and leave some more handprints, on hearts even more than windows.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.