A Keepsake or a dust collector?

Keepsake: a small item kept in memory of the person who gave it or originally owned it.

What makes an item a keepsake? Is it necessarily small? When is it bestowed with the emotional attachment of keepsake? I have a quite a few things in cabinets, on shelves and dressers, on nightstands and in drawers that are what I consider keepsakes and cherished mementos. I also have tubs, drawers, and closets full of things that have yet to be given memento/keepsake status.

University of Arizona cabinet

I suppose this requires defining the difference between collecting vs pack-rat/hoarding.

Collector: a person who collects things of a specified type, professionally or as a hobby.

     Pack Rat: a person who saves unnecessary objects or hoards things.

I have my own art collection which is primarily art from individuals I am acquainted with, for example my aunt,

FAMILY ART

my cousin, my nephew’s best friend, the photographer I met in Greer, AZ, the dear friend who passed away. But I do have things that have enormous emotional value like the old radio from hubby’s grandfather,

or the copper plaque presented to my father-in-law by his community when he moved from Kearny AZ to Soda Springs ID. Also the items from my fathers time as a volunteer with the University of Arizona football team.

OLD RADIO

I’m sure most people place emotional value and attachment to photos. We have a cabinet full of photos. I teased my husband that if there was ever a fire threatening our home it would take his truck to get all the pictures and valuables out of our house.

ARIZONA PIN COLLECTION

Some small things that mean a lot to me are in a little jewelry box from my grandmother. An arrowhead my Papaw found and gave me, the broach given to my Nannie by my aunt, and her costume jewelry pieces I remember her wearing. I also have the shell casings from the twenty one gun salute for my father’s military funeral.

These are things I can tell a story about and share with the generations to come. I am fortunate to be part of a family who are close and value family connections, even if we are spread around the country.

THE MUSEUM

We bought a tall cabinet a while back that has a lighted glass case on top and an enclosed bottom. I call it the museum. In the top part are collectible items we’ve obtained from travels, hubby’s camera collection, and sweet things like a hummingbirds nest, and sea shells.

After living in Japan I have this idea of “space is clean” and order gives peace. Clearing clutter feels good. If there is a place to store something then that’s where it goes!

Are you a collector of keepsakes or a pack rat hoarding things that aren’t necessary? What do you do with your collections?

 

 

Cheers!

-N

 

Remembrance

A couple of weeks ago the oldest daughter of long time friends passed away from an aggressive form of adrenal cancer. The speed this disease took her down stunned all of us who knew her. From the day she told us of this diagnosis to the day she passed was months. This sweet woman is gone from here. Her two daughters will never know her touch except in memories and dreams. Her partner will face days of loss and pain as she goes day by day in the normal living of everyday life without the love of her life. How do we remember Shelley?

My young friend touched the lives of many people who needed housing they could afford. Shelley was the person who made the magic happen for these humans in San Antonio. Her fruitful and memorable life was honored by a video of memories from all the lives she touched, and was shown at a celebration of her life. Her loved ones shared photos and videos, stories were shared along with tears, laughter, and love.

I can only hope others will have memory treasures of me to comfort them.

This Saturday my little great nephew will be celebrating one full year of life. This is a big deal for every human. I’m sure all of us have been to those “birthday” parties for a one year old. They are usually parties for the adults since a one year old has no clue what is up. The birthday kid gets a ton of gifts they can’t even open, and have no idea who they are from. The pictures will tell the story to this kid when they are in high school and the parents want to embarrass them. Is this the best way to honor this milestone in age?

Rather than the typical adult get together disguised as a birthday party, there will be a chance for all of the family and friends to bring letters and other things to put in a time capsule, to be given to him on his 18th birthday. An ideal way to celebrate his first year of life by looking forward.

It’s been a thoughtful time for me as I composed my letter for Bodie. Hubby and I decided to write our own letters to him. Writing a letter to an eighteen year old in the future is an interesting project. What do we want him to know? What advice do we give? Who will he be at that age? My letter was two full pages, and Chuck’s was half a page. Both letters were written from the heart and in our own voices. I am curious what he will think when he reads them. Will we be around?

Remembering is hard when it is because of the loss of a loved one. It is hard when it is from a place of pain in the past. Remembering a future that hasn’t happened yet is one of hope and curiosity.

Memories are the video of the mind.

Cheers!

-N

 

I’m still a hippie

Hippies never age, we mellow. All that peace and love wore us out like the line from a movie says, “how much sex, drugs, fun can you handle?” I remember the sixties and most of the seventies.

I was that skinny girl with long brown hair in the “maxi” skirt swaying to the music. I would escape my family, go to Himmel park, and sit until I was joined by a few cool people with strong bud and we would talk, listen to someone play guitar and make connections. This was my own private world. I’ve never shared it until this moment, written as it were in precious stone.

I burned candles and incense, read High Times and Rolling Stone. I had black lights and plants everywhere. I remember seeing the movie “The Sand Pipers” and thinking I wanted to live there, on a cliff in a cool two story beach house surrounded by art and music.

Funny, I would still like that.

Because my life was rather transient recently my house had a low maintenance feel. Now that it seems I will be here for a couple more years, at least until I can move to a colder clime things are taking on some of the old energy, including me. I have starting wearing the long skirts again, my hair is long as before, but now the plants, candles and incense are coming back.

I love fabric and textures. Smelling old books or plants whose leaves are bumpy or fuzzy. Words that bathe you in feeling whether read or sung. Sensory impact.

A few of those hippie memories are not pleasant. I was taken advantage of for being rather naïve and trusting causing a few scars but for the most part it is treasured in my mind. I was young, open and free, then life intruded and expected conformity and compromise which I gave. Now the circle is almost joined. Open and free are in my line of sight. Instead of being a hippie I have decided I will be a pixie.

-N