Objects We Keep

Objects & items we’ve owned for years. The objects we cannot let go of. These are the items that hold my fascination. I am convinced that behind each object we cannot let go of, there is a story. There is a reason we cannot let go. There is a memory that means something that we may or may not be able to explain to someone. I’m fascinated by these objects. I have several objects that “fall into this category.” Some objects, the connection is obvious – my mother’s wedding dress and other objects might appear like an object that should have been discarded – my mother’s old battered silver tin that she used to store leftover and lost buttons (invaluable for someone who sewed).

Some months ago, I stumbled onto a TedTalk where the speaker talked about reaching a certain age and wanting to give objects away to people we know and care about. One of the subtopics he referenced is how to share the meaning of an object. I would offer that possibly the meaning has previously been a secret or maybe like my mother’s button tin, the story, the reason of the tin has just never been shared. He suggested telling or writing the story and then gifting away the object. I loved this idea or well to be honest, part of the idea. I love the idea of recording the story of the object. I love the idea of telling an object’s real story not just its obvious purpose or function. I have to confess that I too might not be willing to gift away some items.

At this interesting time in our world, this is something I’d already been thinking quite a lot about. 

I’m going to tell my stories, I’m going to share. I would offer to you, that you consider doing the same. 

Perhaps now we have the time to rummage in boxes, basements and attics. Maybe these are the stories we finally get around to telling. 

One of the things I’ve learned about storytelling is that sometimes people feel stories have to be “big” or “profound” but I’m convinced that most of our stories are more humble and more simple. I think most of our objects hold a memory that strikes deeply inside of us and that emotional connection to an object is enough that these are the objects we keep. 

My Raggedy Ann Doll

Grandma’s Hummel

Mom’s Wedding Dress

Grandma’s Quilt

My Treasure Box from Jean

My Yes/No Medallion

My Holly Hobbie Doll

My Newspaper Writing Portfolio

Mom’s Button Canister