The Stuff in My Office–2

Remember that chotchskie shelf in my office? I still have eight items to tell you about.

OfficeSTUFFblog1Four of them are butterfly art two shiny propped up against the back of the shelf and two flat yellow and black lying on the horizontal surface. The black one is really hard to see and looks more like a splotch against the bottom of the bigger shiny butterfly. The other four items are more interesting, since they all hold memories for me. The painted wooden heart was made by my youngest son when he was in first grade as a Valentine’s Day gift. The flat piece of metal is another key fob, given to me after two years working at the University of Michigan. Next to the fob is a smashed copper penny my husband gave me on our honeymoon. The gold painted wooden shoe was carved by my Swedish grandfather, who when I was five was my favorite person in all the world. I loved him so much that when his visit to our home ended and he was boarding the train to head back to Florida, I was inconsolable. I would not stop crying and wailing until my mother told me that if Grandpa didn’t leave he couldn’t come back. At five I was so puzzled by that piece of information that I shut up instantly, kissed my grandfather and almost didn’t notice when the train left the station. It didn’t occur to me until much later that if he didn’t leave he didn’t have to come back. That’s just one of many memories I have of my grandfather. He was a very special man—told me stories, showed me how to see the small things in the woods, and played his guitar while I sang. He encouraged me to try the new and the different but always in the context of the familiar. Despite some problems we had later in life, I miss him terribly.

Leave a comment and tell me what kinds of stuff you keep to remember your loved ones and the very special times you shared. I’ll have another piece of my office to discuss tomorrow.

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12 thoughts on “The Stuff in My Office–2

  1. Morning Rue! I love reading each of these stories because it’s nice to see how we place the things close to our hearts- in our own special place. : )
    I have a painted rock paperweight my daughter (she’s 40) made me. It’s decorated with flower sequens and glitters hearts and says ‘The Queen of Everything.’ Also my marriage license – charred around the edges after the house fire. Its framed and hangs on the wall to remind me that life happens and we survive. And many, many colored drawings from my grandkids.

    All the best,
    Teresa Blue

  2. Hey Rue, I have my feet propped on a footstool my grandfather made and my grandmother upholstered. But I was looking at a stuffed bear my husband gave me one time for my birthday. It wears sunglasses and sings You are my sunshine. Despite his declatation I had enough bears he always seemed to find one for me. Even a teddy bear necklace with a ruby in the belly (his birthstone) from Franklin Mint.

  3. My grandmother died when she was my age—horrors—but I’ll never forget her. I was the first grandchild on that side of the family, and she used to make doll clothes and all sorts of things for me. I have an embroidered heart pillow she gave me to be a pillow for a ring bearer, which I never used since I’ve never married, but I treasure it more than anything else I own.

    • What a treasure and hopeful place to store memories. Whether you shared the hopes she had for you or not, it’s the hope and faith that are important. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Beautiful stories, Rue. I love hearing about cherished items. Just one of many that I have is a blue and green bracelet. The beads have faded over time, since it was made by my son twenty-two years ago. It has always hung in my car’s rear view mirror. I believe when my son gave it to me, he wanted me to hang it in the car, so it has been passed on to each new car I’ve had…

  5. Lindsay, I’m so happy that you have those memories, and what a heart warming story about your shared love for coffee.. My grandfather passed more than 40 years ago, but he’s clear as day in my mind because of the times we shared. He never had shop tools, but carved everything he gave me by hand. Craftsmanship like that is nearly impossible to find today. Maybe someday you’ll share a picture of that coffee cup. I’d love to see it.

  6. Rue, those are wonderful stories tied with those gifts. My Uncle Vinton Cramer loved woodworking. He worked with the jigsaw until he was 90 years old. He was like a father to me. He made me a bird sitting on a cup of coffee singing its heart out. Perhaps announcing to the world that “Hey, your coffee’s ready!” 🙂

    We both shared a love of morning coffee—and we both agreed neither of us could function without some cups of it. Having this priceless wood sculpture that sits in my office where I can always see it, is important and meaningful to me. He was one of my most favorite people in the world and I miss him terribly (he passed at age 91). But seeing that wooden sculpture he made with his creativity and his own two hands always lifts my spirits.
    Warmly, Lindsay McKenna

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