Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Improper Poll: When Memory Serves

Along the lines of “when I am old, I shall wear purple,” I’ve decided that I shall buy mismatched plates to use according to my mood. And in an uncharacteristic stroke of luck, I recently ran across a china pattern that my late grandmother had. On sale.  I took it as a sign.

I bought two place settings. Every time I see them, I get a little giggly thrill because I’m instantly transported to my grandmother’s house. The emptier those plates are, the fuller I feel.

Her birthday would have been this week. Or would you say, “is” this week, since the day still exists even though she doesn’t? Go figure—that wasn’t even my question, though I would love to hear how you’d phrase that.  Also, for me the photo is creating the optical illusion that the center part protrudes rather than recedes.  Is it just me?

Anyhoo.  My question is: Do you have something that reminds you of a loved one and just makes you feel good inside?


  1. I think that's a lovely idea.
    I have a work box that my father had made for my mother to store needles, scissors, cottons, wax, tailor's chalk. It has a lid that lifts and four drawers. Every time I open it I'm reminded of them both. My middle daughter loves it and it will go to her in good time.

  2. Jabblog, I can just picture it. Sounds like a real treasure box!

  3. First, isn't the plate upside down? I thought that, then read your post. I am SURE it's upside-down. I guess I'll stare at it for several hours, and get my eyes out of focus while I do it so I can "see" what I need to see. Will you run out and buy me some socks while I'm doing it, and no, you can't go out with Jerry instead of buying me socks. Of course, you can get back at me by not telling me I have a Hitler-like mark under my nose, which will result in me going to a meeting about a new brand (with a lame name) of bottled water looking like Adolf...

    Okay, back on track...I have an unusual shade of blue pitcher that's hand-painted and fragile. It reminds me of a much-earlier phase of my life...

  4. Sioux, I did the same thing, and I just can't make my brain recognize that that is in fact right side up. Took me a while to realize you're referencing that Seinfeld episode with the computer-generated holographic art that was popular in the early 90s--hee hee! Wonder what happened to those posters, anyway? P.S. Glad that pitcher is not brown. And not a jug....

  5. I know exactly how you feel. I have a desk my dad made for his mother when he was in high school. It's beside me right now. And I have a chair my other grandmother always sat in when she was knitting. I also have a corner shelf my dad made for my mother when I was young. All these treasures take me back to times spent with my parents and grandparents.

    —Kay, Alberta, Canada

  6. I have a wooden plate that used to hang over my grandma's kitchen table, engraved with "Give us this day our daily bread." The plate. Not the table. Nothing was carved in her table.

  7. Of course, photos always do. But I especially love it when a wisp of memory is stirred by the unexpected sight of a long forgotten item (usually in an antique store...yes I'm that old) like seeing an enormous old radio just like the one my Grandma owned.


  8. My late mom's birthday is today. Does that work?
    I really like the dish and I can see it face out and face in. Could be confusing when eating soup though :)

  9. Kay, those handmade things are best, aren't they? Because they're so uniquely "them." And made with love!

    Same with Val's plate--sounds unique even if it *is* only a plate and not an engraved table.

    Pat, I know just what you mean. Antique stores really do somehow bring back our antique people!

    Linda, works for me. Is today really her birthday, though, or is that just an example?!

  10. Great idea. Plates should not be boring. Mine are Fiestaware, four different colors, and I mix & match all the time. :) Yes, I agree with you about the optical illusion. And...I have so many things that remind me of loved ones. Too many to name. *sigh*

  11. I guess I should start buying purple clothes then because I already have mismatched dishes. :) My entire house is mostly family bobbles that remind me of someone. I love eclectic. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  12. What a fabulous plate. I love the idea of using different plates depending on your mood. A posh plate also makes a boring, bland meal much more appetising! :O)

  13. I like the idea of mismatched plates. It shows character and originality.

    Lots of memories are tucked away in everyday objects around my house. Every time I use my dad's letter opener that has DAD on it, I remember him.


  14. Wah, I can't see the plate. I'm still wanting to have a set of 12 place settings all different!

  15. I read Sally Jessie Raphael's biography once. She bought four dishes at the Goodwill all the time, then after using them, they would break them, and go buy more.


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