Though she was a career secretary, Mother detests filing, and today she had to sift and sort through myriads of papers in search of That One Important Document That We Need. The pull on her was visible, and she is determined to be finished tomorrow so she can move on to other things that she finds infinitely more fun. Like organizing the bed linens, for example.

I love the papers. I love the feel of paper so old it’s brittle and the signatures of people I’ve known like my daddy and granddaddy. Love to read and see how things fit together. I find answers to questions I didn’t even know I had.

Mother finds nothing about papers nostalgic or interesting, though she does consider the shredder the best $85 she’s ever spent.

Decades ago, I created copies of our God Forbid Book (as in God Forbid you ever need this information, but . . . ) I created years ago, filled with all the information the kids might ever need to know. That’s now been replaced with a scanned version stored in the cloud to which the children have been given directions and access. There are still plenty of papers for them to wade through, though. I’d never deprive them of that. . .