Things I found while going through my son’s room after he left on his mission

Some of you know that my son left twelve days ago (not that I’m counting) for a two year mission for our church to Bogota, Colombia.


These are some of the things I found in his bedroom in a seemingly never-ending attempt to clean it out.

Two dozen swords. (He was always one to be well prepared for the zombie apocalypse.)

47 pens and pencils (proof he’s a writer’s son)

Dirty clothes. (He knew I’d take care of them.)

A box full of matches, lighters, and a vial of alcohol. (What was he doing with these?)

A book entitled “The Beginner’s Guide to Lock Picking.” (Um, why?)

A pencil torch (I don’t even know what that is.)

A bullet (Was he living some sort of double life I didn’t know about?)

A book titled “Hand to Hand Fighting in Close Combat.” (I’m really hoping he didn’t need this for his mission . . .)

Approximately 200,000 magic cards. (Okay, I didn’t count. I didn’t even try to be accurate. The point is, there are boxes of these things. I’m not sure which should bother me more–the fact that he had a bullet sitting on his dresser or that he obviously spent way too much time and money on this game.)

A dozen classics such as The Great Gatsby and The Song of Roland (I’m pretty sure he had these for school classes. I’m not sure if he liked them or was just too lazy to get rid of them. Probably the latter as they were all up high in his closet.)

11 books that have to do with the scriptures, the gospel, or missionary work.  (These were laying around the room in various places, so I’m pretty sure he was actually reading them.)

Notes he’d taken about gospel subjects. (Ahhh! How nice. It’s enough to make me overlook the dust and matches.)

All of his gymnastics stuff. (I will have to hug the memories out of them before I put them away.)

Oddly, the room still doesn’t look any cleaner than he left it. Sigh.



  1. Tiana Smith
    September 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I knew the basics to lock picking … Strangely, this usually comes up in my writing. I guess my characters are all nosey(sp?) people.

    • Janette Rallison
      September 23, 2013 at 11:50 am

      My son was probably just doing research. Yeah, that’s the story . . .

  2. Britney
    September 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Awesome! Congratulations getting him out on a mission. I love the collection he’s built.

    • Janette Rallison
      September 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks! We miss him but we know he’s happy.

  3. Traci Abramson
    September 23, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    I’m impressed that you’ve already started going through your son’s room. I’m still afraid to open the door to my daughter’s.

    • Janette Rallison
      September 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      It’s a long ways from being the office/or guest room/or storage space I planned on.

  4. Eliza
    September 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Good luck to your son! When my brother went to college, I found several bullets, a nineteenth century pistol (fake?), a sword, a ball and chain weapon thingy, some airsoft guns, and a top hat. He’s going to survive the zombie apocalypse in style.

    • Janette Rallison
      September 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      Ha! Guys will be guys, I guess.

  5. Riley
    September 24, 2013 at 10:34 am

    It sounds almost like my room, except I’ve also got a couple of bows (one compound, one recurve), three quivers, extra arrows, five air soft guns plus extra ammo, a set of throwing knives, close to a dozen notepads and journals, enough books (including classics) to cover an entire wall in my room, and an old Japanese katana. Can you imagine somebody breaking into my house? Hahaha.

    • Janette Rallison
      September 24, 2013 at 10:47 am

      If someone broke into your house, they might think twice about doing it again!

  6. Rebecca
    September 24, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Sounds like your son and my husband would get along way to well. I just stashed all his Magic cards under the bed in boxes – I don’t even want to know how much money he has spent on this game. And swords? Now that’s just awesome, he and my husband could compare collections.
    Congratulations to you having raised your son right and sending him out to serve the Lord. Well done Janette!

    • Janette Rallison
      September 24, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      Did you hear the news story about the Bishop who went after a mugger with a samurai sword? I totally thought of my son when I watched the news story.

  7. Jasmine
    September 26, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Woah. Two dozen swords?! It’s illegal to even have one sword in my country xD well, not exactly swords.. I think you can get a licence for that but guns are strictly prohibited. Only police officers and those in the armed forces have em. Awh :”( I’m sur it’s hard to see him leave but cheer up hon! And have a great time during your further exploration of your son’s room. I’d love to stay and talk but apparently I have to study. Bye~^^

    • Janette Rallison
      September 26, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      I don’t know why anyone would need that many swords, but you know, you can’t just have one sword from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Apparently you need them all. Happy studying.

  8. Beedubbs
    September 29, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Two things:
    1, I’ve never had a brother (And I definitely don’t have a son yet…he would be as old as me if he were leaving on his mission!), and therefore I never went through the whole how-sad-my-brother-is-leaving-on-his-mission thing. I only have 1 Mormon cousin in the States. He lives in North Carolina. And guess what. He was called to serve in Mesa. We saw him all the time. So not really a sad parting there.

    2, I am a packrat. So I kind of know how your son feels. I keep almost everything! But, my collections consist of things like buttons, candy wrappers or zip ties. Not matches and magic cards….(a little disconcerting…)

    Anyways, good luck to your son on his mission! I’m going to be putting in my papers pretty soon. Maybe I’ll get called to Bogota too! Muy Fantastico!

    • Janette Rallison
      September 29, 2013 at 11:16 pm

      Candy wrappers? In my house that’s called, “evidence”. We get rid of it as quickly as possible.

      That’s exciting that you’re putting in your papers! Let us know where you end up serving!

  9. Annette
    October 8, 2013 at 9:53 am

    I didn’t realize we had sons so close to the same age! Yours will probably be gone when mine reports on Oct 30. This post is pretty much what I know is in my future–including the Magic cards and who knows what else.


    • Janette Rallison
      October 8, 2013 at 9:55 am

      It’s hard–but a good hard. I know he’s doing really well.

    April 27, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Awesome blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little
    lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress
    or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely
    confused .. Any recommendations? Thank you!

    • Janette Rallison
      April 27, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      I’ve been happy with WordPress. Just jump in and start blogging. You’ll get the hang of it soon. (If I can do it, anyone can.)

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