Everything around me has meaning or memories. That’s why I keep them. China in the cabinet is from my aunts, grandparents and parents. Although I don’t use the pieces often (mostly because I have inadvertently juggled stemware while washing), I can remember using them when we were younger. When I became single again as an adult, I chose to use my heirloom silver forks, knives etc., daily, and continue to do so. Better than keeping them in a box stored away where they have to be polished before use on special occasions.
I have feathers and rocks, which used to be organized by where I collected them. There were Pacific and Atlantic collections. Somehow over the years, and endless moves, they’ve become jumbled together into a couple of baskets but they still remind me of where I was when I found them. I think I can still tell them apart if I had to.
Most of the handknit items I made for myself have distinct memories. I have the Pi shawl, started when I was near death in the Grand Canyon (well I felt like it anyway) and finished while we were living on our sailboat. I can still remember getting anchor mud on it when I went back to knitting it after I acted as a windlass and hauled the anchor off a muddy bottom. I have at least two pair of socks, knit while caretaking Seguin Island in different seasons. And a summer top and tee shirt as well.
And now I have polished nails. I traveled south to New York City last weekend for a reunion with some of my dearest friends from medical school. We were celebrating a significant birthday for one of us and had a spa day. I had a facial, where at least 20 creams were applied to my face in thirty minutes. Or perhaps one cream was applied 20 times in thirty minutes. Who could tell? Once the first coat was applied, I had to keep my eyes closed. I also had a manicure, which is a novelty for me. Now I can look at my polished nails and remember good times with friends.