March SOL #5


Day 5 of the March Slice of Life, the daily  writing challenge hosted at “Two Writing Teachers”. Well over 200 are taking part.

While at the library yesterday picking up my reserved books, I did some picture book reading. I have joined ReFoReMo – Reading for Research Month – a study of picture book throughout March.I want to improve as a picture book writer and ReFoReMo is a great learning tool.

One picture book really intrigued me. The grandfather in “The Matchbox Diary” (written by Paul Fleischman and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline) tells his  young granddaughter aabout his life through the small objects he has saved in matchboxes.(here is a link to a teacher’s guid for a study of the book)


It got me thinking about the objects I have saved in a small tub that sits on the top shelf in my closet. I took it down and looked through the photos, items and small mementos that I have saved. There were stories for each and I spent a while going through the tub.


Here are some of my favourites.

Envelopes of teeth from my children. I still have several of those. I was struck in particular by one  envelope – my daughter had written she believes in the tooth fairy.


3 small photos of my children – 20 year old at least. So precious.


A medal of my father’s. He was only 17 when he signed up and joined the navy. He was injured as well but survived.He never spoke much about his service and in fact I did not know about his medals until after he died, at the young age of 49.


Beaded hair piece from the NWT. I went north for my first teaching job and loved it there. My oldest was born in Inuvik and I spent 3 years teaching there. An experience I have never forgotten.


Cards from my husband and my daughter. I save these. Recently, my brother sent me a few things of my mother’s and one was a card I gave her when I was 7 or 8. My mother obviously did the same thing!


Yes I am a collector, but I have tried to contain it. These are special to me and certainly have a story to tell.

What would your `Matchboxes`hold ?


12 thoughts on “March SOL #5

  1. I love that book and I several boxes of things too. I actually wrote about my high school notes yesterday. I also have the kids’ last pacifiers – they were very attached, and various notes. I love the letters to Santa. Hmmm, I might have to get some of these things out when I need an idea this month.

  2. Oh you make me want to go through my box to see what treasures I’ve placed I there over the years. Thank you for sharing your memories with us. 🙂

  3. I had to open up a document while reading this lovely post because I want to check out the research program and the book you mention. I’m working on a research picture book idea for my students (seniors) as part of their senior project. Also, the book, which I haven’t read, reminds me of Daniel Handler’s “Why We Broke Up” and a passage from William Faulkner’s “Absalom, Absalom!,” which is my favorite Faulkner novel.

    • I wouldn’t have noticed it but it was standing on a shelf at the library and I was intrigued by the title and cover. Serendipity. I’ll have to check Handler’s book – haven’t read it.

  4. I love this book! Boxes with tucked away bits of memorabilia are priceless because of the stories they hold. Wonder what my son will discover when I am gone and he is sorting through my stuff.

  5. It is a beautiful book & I’ve often wondered if I should have my students do the project, Beverley. I love seeing your own special objects. I have a little cedar chest (like a jewelry box size) that holds special things, like the kids’ baby teeth. I love seeing and hearing about your father’s medal & the hairpiece-special indeed!

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