Friday, March 12, 2010

The Memory Project

Family Outing at the Gardens
Family Outing at the Gardens
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
The theft knocked the wind out of the New Zealand Conger sails, but the family is gradually putting ourselves back together. Fortunately, we still own property in the United States for which we maintain rather pricey property insurance. As a result, it appears that monetarily we are going to be able to fund a shopping spree to replace our valuables. The emotional hit is harder to take. My rational mind recognizes that on the scale of things, this isn't that tremendous. We have a 'net friend who had a car stolen recently, another who lost her house to a bank … which is just another form of theft... and a third who nearly lost everything in the economic downturn. One of DrC's new colleagues fled his home country with a few bills in his pocket and the clothes on his back. By this measure, we are doing well with an embarrassment of riches and things.

Yet, it hurts to lose those precious items that we'd gathered over the years of our cruising. Arguably, Mera and Aeron lost the most irreplaceable items. Mera lost three years of diaries, and Aeron lost her keepsake box. Yesterday, the girls hit on ideas for how to make their hearts whole again and recovery their valuables. I'm ashamed to admit that in the interest of distraction, I've been letting them watch the tele (bad mommy). They got the idea from the Jonas Brothers. In a recent episode, the brothers accidentally destroyed their parents' home videos. While they couldn't replace the videos, they lit on the idea to recreate the key moments. The Jonas brothers reenacted scenes from their childhood at 3, 5, 7, 14, and then clipped the scenes together into a video. The new video wasn't the same as the old one, but their mother said that somehow, someway it was better.

So Mera and Aeron are undertaking The Memory Project. For Mera, we are going to select and print between thirty to fifty pictures from the past four years. Mera intends to paste these into a journal and write everything she remembers about the time and events that took place around that photograph. If this were any eleven year old other than our Marvelous Mysterious one, I'd say the project was doomed. Those who know Mera well, however, no doubt agree with me that all this one requires is that I get her the photos, the pens and the journal before her desire cools.

Aeron's version of The Memory Project, however, requires your help. She decided to harness all the offers of help and good will and support sent over the past few days. Aeron's keepsake box contained small, monetarily insignificant bits gathered from the top end of Vancouver Island to Zihautenejo. There were painted shells and smooth worry stones, tourist town maps, postcards and event tickets, hand made crafts and pictures from boat kids everywhere, and little touristy items from Mexican markets. The most monetarily valuable item in the box was probably a 50 ($4USD) peso painted turtle from a market in Mazatlan, the most personal a polished shell from Skylar of Ocean Blue. Each item reminded her of a place or a person.

Aeron is asking everyone to send her replacements. They don't have to be the same… they don't even have to be similar. The point is that the new items, letters, postcards, bits of kid work… well they will all represent places and loved ones. Nothing should really cost anything… a bookmark from a local bookshop or a map of the marina your boat is in, a postcard, or a cheap knockoff Huichol key chain, a bracelet wound of Spectra or a stray plastic Mexican train marker, a little fan or a bead bracelet made by the kids on your boat. Anything really that comes from the heart, arrives with a note to Aeron from the sender, and reminds us all of our trip and the wonderful people we met.

And mind you, this is everyone... not just our cruising friends in Mexico. Aeron collected stuff in La Connor, Nanaimo, Seattle, and San Francisco. She went to every national park in the Southwest gathering detritus the whole way. My little magpie knows a 1,000 people; It seems every one of them touched her heart somehow, and she memorialized it with something that would all together fit in a space smaller than a bread box.

You can send these letters and bits to one of the following three addresses:

United States
Suellen Jost
The Memory Project
224 East Ranch Road
Seattle, WA 95825

Club Cruceros de La Paz A.C.
APDO Postal 366
La Paz, B.C.S.   Mexico
ATTN: Don Quixote (Dean Conger)

New Zealand
Manukau SuperClinic™
PO Box 98743
Manukau City
Manukau 2241
New Zealand
ATTN: Module 6 - Ophthalmology, Dr. Dean M. Conger

Our Magpie
Our Magpie
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
Those sent to Mexico or the United States will be gathered into a bundle which I'll pick up in late May. For those in the cruising world, please pass on this request to our friends who do not get online very often.

I want to thank everyone again for the outpouring of support. Combined with carbo and retail therapy, the messages have helped us enormously. When all is said an done, we are a very lucky family.


Sarah said...

I must say that you have some pretty cool kids. I will for sure send something along. Just in case Aeron has any requests from San Francisco let me know, otherwise I will just use my imagination. I really hope that you will report on how the memory projects come along. It will be interesting to see what the power of the internet brings to Aeron.

Toast said...

@boatmama While we were in San Francisco, the girls visited Ghiradelli, Fisherman's Wharf, the Exploritorium, and Angel Island. Any time of map, postcard, ticket stub, or other bit from those places would rock. I also think Aeron had a BART ticket with 20 cents left on it ;) That would work too.

Toast said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Buenos dias!! What a tragedy - I can't imagine the loss of Mera's diaries and Aeron's keepsake box...both invaluable.
I have tons of fun things for Aeron - rocks, shells, tiny Mexican farm animals (I'm building an ark!). I will mail them in May when I return from Peru.
Off to Galapagos on Monday!!
Love to all...

Jim and Heather on Meerkat said...

I don't think you stopped in Ventura, but I know I can find something from Mexico. Ohhh... I just thought of something good I have on the boat.
We love your kids...

johanna said...

When I read to the kids what happened Skyler was almost in tears. We will be making a little something up for the girls and will try and send it down to La Paz. Please give the girls a hug from all of us. We miss you guys and take care.

Tad-n-Tina said...

Tad & I will be dropping a little post envelope to the clinic in the am. :o)

hotspur said...

Hola Congers... just read your Blog this morning to catch up on your progress and I am so sorry to hear that your lives were impacted by loathsome thief. Give the girls big hugs from us and tell Aeron that Carolyne will be sure to find the perfect items to add to her new treasure box. We'll probably leave our offerings at Club Cruceros... if we can get this engine started and get over there before next Christmas! Would photos of DQ in the Sea last season be desirable... if so, I could post them somewhere in the next few weeks or so. BTW, I was on your subscription list before you left La Paz... now I'm not. What's up? Do I need to do something... it's so much easier for me to go to a blog site when I get an email alerting me to a new post. Take care and big hugs... Meri and Crew
formerly 'Windfall'/ sv Hotspur

Unknown said...

Y'all are my heroes.

Just thought I'd mention that.

Unknown said...

Also, just to follow up - we're printing the pics from back when you & Mera visited us in 2007. We'll see about sending them to you, and perhaps a couple other goodies, Real Soon Now.

inklenaomi said...

Congrats on getting the memories back!
I'm sending you an envelope from Minnesota for the girls.


saltyone said...

Hey guys welcome to NZ , not `an all bad place'
So glad you got the stuff back from the bad guys.
Best wishes

Anonymous said...

Hi, This is the Merry Lee. We have nice pics of your family with Bay Wolf in Isla Ixtapa. Our home was burglarized in 1984. It takes a long time to recover from it.
Lets us know if you would like us to email you those pictures.
Mary Lee and Lewis

Sachi Itagaki said...

Hi there - we're happy to contribute - did Aeron get the e-mail from Romi with some photos I found? Romi would love to hear back from Aeron to my personal e-mail. Also, we have some agates and shells from Isla San Francisco where we rendezvoused (as well I'm sure some photos from Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa) hope you get to see south Island as well - I had a great month there (albeit over 20 yrs ago...) Take care, Sachi, Miya, Kirk, and Romi (SV Bay Wolf)