Spending a Legacy in Office Supplies

After someone dies, you know if someone close to you has died or you attend estate sales, the families are left with a pile of the effluvia of daily living in addition to the fine china, the antique buffet, and the savings bond worth $25 that is not worth putting through probate. In my family’s case, I have inherited a number of office supplies. Yesterday, I used a number of those heirlooms.

My mother saved every notepad ever given to her as a fundraising come-on or as a piece of swag from someone who performed a service for her. Because I could see the utility of such notepads, I carried out a file box full of them with her name at the top and, sometimes, handwritten notes to herself on them. I have a drawer full of them:

The notepads

I hate to get rid of the little scribbles in her handwriting, because her handwriting is now a fixed, limited resource, and every sample lost will go unreplaced. Although I’m melancholic and maudlin, I do let those go.

My mother’s only been gone for two and a half years now; my Aunt Dale has been gone for five or six, and I still have a pile of her office supplies. Report covers? Got ’em! A metal stand for a reference-style book or catalog? I don’t know what I’ll use it for, ever, but I still have it. Come to think of it, I don’t know what she would have thought she would use it for.

But the box of 500 number 10 envelopes? I’m still working on it, mostly because one uses so few envelopes of one’s own these days:

Dale's envelopes

And as I prepared to send out a number of review copies of my novel, I needed a mid-sized sheet of paper to handwrite notes to the recipients on. Preferably one without my mother’s name at the top and the name of a questionable charity at the bottom. Fortunately, I have some sheets left in the steno pad I also got from Dale:

The steno pad

Just simple little things, little office supplies, but reminders of my ancestors. Well, my mother and my aunt, anyway. Both of them would be pleased that I was frugal and thrifty enough to save these things and to use them. And, probably, to remember the sources.