The Cambrian

Word of Mind, Word of Mouth: Exploring the cyber attic

Iknow that an attic is defined as an area that occupies space under a pitched roof, but that makes it a perfect repository for large amounts of stuff one rarely looks at. It’s funny, but I only just tonight realized I have two attics at my house.

They look different, but both hold memories of bygone days. It’s recently come to my motivation that they both need cleaning out, for safety reasons if not for making space.

The traditional attic is in my garage. I live in an older, rather funky house. That said, picture termites sitting around their dining table (rafters and floorboards on the menu) munching away, dropping 12 pounds of finely granulated poop a day on my work table, sewing machine and other tools below in my studio.

My paranoia about Legos and Lincoln Logs tumbling, make that “crashing,” through the ceiling makes me think twice about putting one more ounce of weight on the bowing beams. Do you know how much a 25-gallon plastic tub of “Goosebumps” and “Railway Children” books weighs? Why am I keeping this stuff? I guess because my mom kept my stuff so I feel obligated to keep my kids’ stuff.

I dream that maybe someday, grandchildren will want to know what their dads played with, wore and read as little tykes. Maybe they’ll come over and get to play with Micro Machines and Hot Wheels cars at Nana’s house (my house!). Perhaps my boys will sit around and reminisce with their kids the imaginary scenarios that played in their heads while running those dinosaurs through the daisies.

But what about the other “attic?” Sitting at the computer (probably trying to think of what to write), I started poking around the bookmarked websites. What are in these folders, lying dormant? “Kids?”

I’ve had a computer for maybe 15 years. Well, I’ve had three computers in that time. Which means, stuff has gotten transferred twice. Oh, places I would direct my boys to when they were in want of computer time (remember when it was the boob tube? Now it’s just a smaller screen).,,

While I still believe it’s better for the brain to pick up a book , these were good resources for instant answers to such pressing kids’ questions as “why do feet stink?” and “how long is a giraffe’s tongue?” (18 to 24 inches). But seriously, my youngest is now 17 years old. Is he still going to want to know how to sing “Aba Daba Honeymoon”? Mmmmm—well, I still do.

And so I sort and almost toss or delete, images and links to those bygone days when a mom just had to know how to make “gak,” or thinks her first grandson will look as adorable in the one piece “suit” as his father and uncle did. For now, the computer links are to financial aid and the baby blankets might wind up at a football game over our laps. But I’m holding out hope ….

Editor’s note: Dianne Brooke filed papers Friday, Aug. 6, to run again for a seat on the Coast Unified School District Board of Trustees. As it is The Cambrian’s policy to treat all candidates equally, offering none any greater access to readers than others, Brooke’s column will not appear again until after the election on Nov. 2.

E-mail Lady Tie Di, aka Dianne Brooke, a member of the Coast Unified School District Board of Trustees, at,

or visit her Web site at