A Celebration of the Stuff that Stays with You

You don’t know how much seemingly trivial possessions mean to you until you move, and someone (usually your spouse) wants to know exactly why you need to bring random-thing-you-never-use along for the ride! And then you try to explain it, and it sounds so silly, and you might even start to cry. Because while it is still hard to justify, random-thing-you-never-use better make it into the box because it’s just that important to you, and you leave it at that… I know I’m not alone in this, because Joshua Glenn and Carol Hayes created a nifty collection of essays and photographs entitled Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance. The stories are fascinating: from the beautiful cocktail glass that prompted a trip to Morocco, to the “ugly-pretty” doll one woman brought along to the delivery room (that later became her daughter’s favorite toy). They’re all things their owners won’t part with, with all the not-really-so-silly reasons why. Over the past two decades, I’ve moved 13 times. I’ve kept, among other things: A cashmere sweater stolen from my dad’s dresser drawer (now somewhat moth-eaten, but still the clothing equivalent of a warm hug). An apothecary jar with words “methyl orange” etched on it that once belonged to my grandfather, a physician. The woefully out-of-date Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary that I got for a summer writing program when I was still in high school (and has the name of my summer crush doodled on the cover). What possessions have been surprisingly significant to you? What objects will you never part with?

Taking Things Seriously

A Collection of Essays

A Celebration of the Stuff that Stays with You

You don’t know how much seemingly trivial possessions mean to you until you move, and someone (usually your spouse) wants to know exactly why you need to bring random-thing-you-never-use along for the ride! And then you try to explain it, and it sounds so silly, and you might even start to cry. Because while it is still hard to justify, random-thing-you-never-use better make it into the box because it’s just that important to you, and you leave it at that… I know I’m not alone in this, because Joshua Glenn and Carol Hayes created a nifty collection of essays and photographs entitled Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance. The stories are fascinating: from the beautiful cocktail glass that prompted a trip to Morocco, to the “ugly-pretty” doll one woman brought along to the delivery room (that later became her daughter’s favorite toy). They’re all things their owners won’t part with, with all the not-really-so-silly reasons why. Over the past two decades, I’ve moved 13 times. I’ve kept, among other things: A cashmere sweater stolen from my dad’s dresser drawer (now somewhat moth-eaten, but still the clothing equivalent of a warm hug). An apothecary jar with words “methyl orange” etched on it that once belonged to my grandfather, a physician. The woefully out-of-date Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary that I got for a summer writing program when I was still in high school (and has the name of my summer crush doodled on the cover). What possessions have been surprisingly significant to you? What objects will you never part with?

Grommet Launch Conversation

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • joanne
    joanne

    Every day, we tell you a story about a fresh find we think you'll love. But today, it's your turn to tell us about those seemingly insignificant objects that you find significant -- the shell you found on your last family vacation, the porcelain monkey that has been in your family as long as you can remember, the silver dollar your uncle gave you long ago..

  • Jeff
    Jeff
    11/5/2008 12:02 PM

    As a packrat, this resonates immensely.

    Thanks for sharing. Just came upon your blog via a Tweet. Am now following you and I signed up. Looking for some great products and info I can share with my sister and sisters-in-law.

    Keep it up.

  • Jane - Mom Generations
    Jane - Mom Generations
    11/5/2008 12:03 PM

    The paw print I had made of my beloved dog Bismarck, before I even knew he had cancer. It is a tangible reminder of him. I know I can take it out of its case and hold his paw anytime I want. It doesn't bring him back, of course, but it is a wonderful possession to remind me of him always.

  • Alyssa
    Alyssa
    11/5/2008 12:03 PM

    My favorite keepsake is a binder in which I requested for my 20th birthday to have family members write me a letter telling me what their life was like when they were 20. Now that some have passed away, it's a great memento & very sentimental to me.

  • Christy
    Christy
    11/5/2008 12:04 PM

    I moved a lot so I really had to figure out what I wanted to treasure. I have 2 1/2 years worth of letters from my boyfriend (now husband) that he wrote to me when we were apart. He kept mine as well.

  • zoe lee
    zoe lee
    11/5/2008 12:05 PM

    I still have my little elephant that I carried around with me when i was three, and kept it to give to my first child, holes, and all. I loved that animal and it kept me safe :)

  • My First Kitchen
    My First Kitchen
    11/5/2008 12:05 PM

    My grandmother died when I was three, but I still remember her so well. She was a great seamstress and actually sewed a number of gorgeous outfits for her only grandchild (me!) to wear. I still have those little dresses and the sailor suit and the pink peacoat (yes, for an infant) that I can't wait to dress my own daughter in if I ever have one. Way better than Target and consignment sales.

  • carrielogic (twitter)
    carrielogic (twitter)
    11/5/2008 12:06 PM

    I've moved several times and every time I pare down my "mementos" just a little bit more. I've started taking pictures of things so that I can remember them when I realize I don't need that bulky object, just the memory. Sometimes if it's a collectin of things (like ceramic angels that were on my wall as a kid) I keep a few of my favorites but find good homes for the rest.

  • Jeff
    Jeff
    11/5/2008 12:08 PM

    Only count this as one. I commented above, but I keep so much stuff around the house with significance that I couldn't think of one main thing that means something to me.

    I guess the most important thing to me is a little pink teddy bear that I bought when I was in fifth grade. I won $5 for putting a radio station bumper sticker on my bike. Then I took that $5 to the local pharmacy where I bought the bear for a girl....maybe my first crush.

    She refused it and I still have it.

  • Kim
    Kim
    11/5/2008 12:08 PM

    Like, Jeff, I'm a confirmed pack rat. My tiny studio apartment is packed with an amazing amount of stuff that most people would have thrown out in one of the many moves I've made in the last 6 years. But the one thing that always must stay are my middle school journals. Not only are they hilarious to read, they remind me of just how far I've come as a writer, and as a person.

  • CPA Mom
    CPA Mom
    11/5/2008 12:10 PM

    The question would be, what do I NOT keep. What came to mind when I read this was the sweater I have kept from my late husband who died in 1999. It's the last thing I have of his and I may never part with it. I also have boxes and boxes of childhood memories in the attic. One day, I'll go through it all but probably not ever part with it! Of course I have all my children's memories as well - their first hat, etc. Priceless!

  • Chrissy
    Chrissy
    11/5/2008 12:11 PM

    I too am a pack rat. I have kept letters, articles of clothing, and all sorts of little collectibles. I saved a number of pieces of jewelry from my grandma who recently passed away, even knowing that I am unlikely to wear much of it. But being reminded of her is worth filling my jewelry box with jewelry I don't wear.

  • Erica M
    Erica M
    11/5/2008 12:11 PM

    I don't keep things I don't use, but Hubs on the other hand... ACKK!!! I have labeled 2-3 large boxes "Ryan's Sentimental Stuff" and those boxes have remained closed since our marriage, 3 yrs ago!

  • Susan Lindgren
    Susan Lindgren
    11/5/2008 12:11 PM

    Everthing I am a packrat. I still have a lovenote from when DH asked me out in Highschool:) [email protected]

  • Shannan P
    Shannan P
    11/5/2008 12:12 PM

    We live in a home with limited storage, so keeping lots of mementos is out of the question. We do have some of the babies' first things, wedding mementos and lots of pictures, plus a few choice gifts from my mom that I treasure.

  • laura
    laura
    11/5/2008 12:15 PM

    i still have my little pieces of home from when i grew up in pittsburgh...my 1978 terrible towel, my kdka l.o.a.f. card, my school pin. 30 years later my family thinks im crazy to hang on these but they somehow remind me that i am basically a girl from pgh at heart

  • Patty
    Patty
    11/5/2008 12:17 PM

    I have a love letter that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother before they were married in the 1920's. It is a true treasure.

  • Tom Rice
    Tom Rice
    11/5/2008 12:18 PM

    I still have my class photo from Kindergarden. The picture is 45 years old so it's a little yellow but still shiny and bright. My mom saved all of our school pics and now I have them to pass on to my kids. There's something special about a small group of kids with haircuts, sweater vests and smiles, with their entire life ahead of them. It's a keeper!

  • Lisa
    Lisa
    11/5/2008 12:22 PM

    I had a big, white cotton sweater that was special to me because my my grandmother bought it for my dad for Christmas nearly 20 years ago. After a couple of winters, my brother "stole" it from my dad, and in turn, I "stole" it from my brother. It went back and forth among us a handful of times, and "stealing" it from each other became a fabulous family joke. When it became too ratty, with multiple holes and unraveled seams, it was relegated to a life in the back of my closet. So for Mother's Day this past year, we asked a talented Etsy artist (zerkahloostrah) to transform the ratty old sweater into a pair of sweater slippers for my mom -- extending the life of this "insignificant" object, and a happy family memory.

  • Jennifer Dennis-Smith
    Jennifer Dennis-Smith
    11/5/2008 12:23 PM

    I've kept quite a few things, but some of the more sentimental are the poems my husband wrote me when we were dating, as well as the plastic dinosaurs he gave me to accompany one, the address book that my aunt gave me in hopes I would reach out to my father's family, the bows that we used to decorate my daughter's hair (and distract from the IV in her newborn head), and the ultrasounds for both of my kids.

    I also have the quirky drawing that someone did of me (looking a little like Judy Jetson) when I lived in Los Angeles.

  • Deb
    Deb
    11/5/2008 12:27 PM

    My Danish grandmother gave me a small B&G knicknack of a girl feeding geese. I'll always have it with me.

  • Naomi
    Naomi
    11/5/2008 12:29 PM

    I often keep corks from bottles of wine shared on special occasions with special friends... you can mark the cork with date/occasion.

    For those who keep sweaters etc, I've seen that people make pillow covers with them, by using the area under the arms and stitching it into a rectangle - I think that's a great idea for using the item, and keeping it close.

  • Julie Minevich
    Julie Minevich
    11/5/2008 12:34 PM

    I keep everything, but one not-so-serious memento that comes to mind is an old beer bottle... It was used to play my first (and only?) game of Spin The Bottle! Even as a teenager, I understood its symbolism as a token of a timeless American tradition! :)

  • Carrie
    Carrie
    11/5/2008 12:38 PM

    I have a little suitcase that I used as a kid that is full of notes that we used to (furtively) pass back and forth in class and similar mementos. From maybe 5th grade through 12th. Fun (and sometimes a little scary) to read every once in a while.

  • Lori
    Lori
    11/5/2008 12:58 PM

    This book makes me think that it could be a great jumping off point for student writers. I can see any child writing about something that they own that they can't part with for whatever reason. Good idea for a book, or even a short story.

    My husband kept old concert t-shirts for years. He was sick of the pile of them and brought a large stack to a quilter. She pieced them together and he has a blanket/quilt/wall hanging of his old concert tees.

  • Courtney Velasquez
    Courtney Velasquez
    11/5/2008 12:59 PM

    I have a chair that I continue to move with and have had since before marriage that most of the time sits in the office piled with stacks of this and that. For some reason, i can't part with the chair.

  • Katherine
    Katherine
    11/5/2008 1:49 PM

    I have a ceramic mug from my childhood. It has a bird perched atop the handle that is a whistle and the mug says "whistle for milk". The only time that I was allowed to use the whistle was when I was sick. That was the only time my mom would put up with the noise and the demanding nature of that whistle. Can't part with it! I may still need it!

  • Dennis
    Dennis
    11/5/2008 1:53 PM

    When I was young my sister sewed a makeshift tee shirt on my GI Joe For some reason I still have that doll. At the time it angered me that she touched my toy but now it reminds me of how happy he seemed from that day forward.

  • Wendy at Shopping Gems
    Wendy at Shopping Gems
    11/5/2008 2:20 PM

    I just found you from Twitter. I love how your site looks and the information is great. Who would of thought you could have a blog talking about random "stuff" and so many people would be interested? It is kind of like talking to your friend about the latest thing you bought or showing them something cool you found. Thanks!

    Wendy at Shopping Gems

    Follow me on Twitter

  • Crissy | IndieBizChicks.com
    Crissy | IndieBizChicks.com
    11/5/2008 2:22 PM

    I've across the country a few times - getting rid of my possessions is almost a hobby. ha ha But here are the thinks I keep: a bowl and cup my Grandma gave to me on my 1st birthday, a bell that my mother always displayed at Christmas, and a scratch board drawing that my sister made when she was in high school. Little pieces that remind me of home and my childhood, even if I'm living 4,000 miles away.

  • Jen Kanable
    Jen Kanable
    11/5/2008 2:31 PM

    I definitely can relate to this. The last time we moved ( a year ago), we were moving from a place we had accumulated 6 years of crap. Most of it had to be thrown out, but there are items you just can't toss. One of those being my Dad's guitar that is broken but I cannot bring myself to throw it out. I learned to play on it, and he used to play me Beatles songs every weekend. Another would be photo albums and journals from college, they remind me of the good times and also those times when I was conflicted, but never lost sight of who I was.

  • Virginie
    Virginie
    11/5/2008 2:37 PM

    Every time I have moved I take my small, Quimper faience mugs with me. My mother gave them to me and they are perfect for herbal tea and hot chocolate... Invariably one cracks at each move... only 5 left.

  • Jenni H
    Jenni H
    11/5/2008 2:49 PM

    I found you on Twitter. I moved four times growing up and in the process I have saved only a few items. I have my parents' record albums and my small collection of records and 45s which I love to take out and look at the album artwork. I have an original 1970s weebul, some Smurfs and the original Star Wars board game as tokens of my childhood. The most precious items I have are my Grandmother's rosary beads, my family pictures and my parent's wedding plate with a picture of the church they got married in. It is amazing how every day items can represent something much larger in your life and hold an emotional value. You have a great web site and I look forward to visiting for more neat finds.

  • Maureen C
    Maureen C
    11/5/2008 3:21 PM

    A 30 year old Pampers box holds dear memories of my daughters as babies. My husband once threw it out, but retrieved it so I'd stop grieving.

  • Kristie
    Kristie
    11/5/2008 4:16 PM

    I used to be a competitive figure skater, and my mom sewed almost all of my skating dresses. I still have all of my competition dresses. Some are 20+ years old. I'll never be able to part with them.

  • tuesday
    tuesday
    11/5/2008 4:50 PM

    moving often has made me rethink my "valuables". Now I keep only what I really need or has value to me or my children. I tend to keep everything, but I am learning.

    tuesdayef (at) aol dot com

  • Emily
    Emily
    11/5/2008 5:49 PM

    Great comments and stories! This is so cool (and validating!) to read. Next time my husband grumbles as he carts off another heavy box of trinkets to storage, I'm not going to have that frustrating moment trying to explain my logic. I'm pointing him here. (And it's not like I've ever asked him to toss his Star Wars action figures from 3rd grade. Ahem.)

  • Jules
    Jules
    11/5/2008 6:55 PM

    Oh how I have enjoyed reading these stories....what a wonderful and insightful group of people have been hanging out on Daily Grommet....that Pampers box, the chipped mugs, the Christmas bell, the love letters, the concert t shirts, the goose girl. And I cracked up reading about the boy who was mad that his sister sewed a t-shirt for his GI-Joe...and then realized it was my own brother writing. (I've always been a bit slow on the uptake.) Thanks so much and keep'em, coming!

  • Bridget Pilloud
    Bridget Pilloud
    11/5/2008 7:16 PM

    I carry around a chipped and silly Cow cookie jar. It's a cow with a bow in her hair, and you pick up the lid by her tail. My kids love that jar, especially when it has cookies in it. We call it the cookie cow. :)

  • Marla
    Marla
    11/5/2008 7:17 PM

    I've moved five times in the past seven years. Each move my load gets a little lighter. But the one thing I always carefully pack up and bring with me time after time is my daughter's first tiny pink ballet slippers. They remind me what a gift she is in my life.

  • Chris R
    Chris R
    11/5/2008 8:12 PM

    I have an old sign that my Grandfather had in his backyard. It says "Chipmunk Crossing" (picture a miniature road sign that would be placed alongside a path...always made me smile) and now hangs in my garage.

    Unfortunately I never met my Grandfather. However, every time I look at that sign, I smile and think of him.

  • Jane
    Jane
    11/5/2008 8:23 PM

    My grandmother gave me her sewing box when her eyes could no longer manage any fine work. I've had it for 30 years now and I still open it occasionally and marvel at the beautiful threads on old wooden bobbins, pieces of beautiful lace, and gorgeous old buttons in glass jars. In that era clothes were made with love and care, and made to last.

  • Claire
    Claire
    11/6/2008 7:00 AM

    Among "stuff" (I am a packrat) that matters, we brought back from our honeymoon 2 beer bottles with the label "Delirium Tremens" because it caught our fancy. Less planned, but more valuable, was the fact that I had a (very faded) photo of 4 of us friends in a tree in FL at spring break, and all of the letters one of those friends had written me in her first year at college. Sadly she passed away of liver cancer 5 years ago, but at the time, I ransacked my house for the photo, had it blown up, sent it to her with a note (I am told the note was read to her - she wasn't responsive at that point) and reread all those letters (causing lots of tears). It was a way of helping me climb back into history, since we had lived far away for many years.

  • Claire
    Claire
    11/6/2008 7:15 AM

    A book that had meaning to me was "Hollyhocks, Lambs and Other Passions", by Dee Hardie. It is out of print, but available as a used book. It is the story of a mother creating a life and a set of traditions in a small farmhouse in MD. The first step in this process was to tear down the wall dividing the house, as the 2 brothers who lived there didn't speak, and had separate entrances to the house. She details all the traditions they created over the years as her children grew up.

  • Erica M
    Erica M
    11/19/2008 12:02 PM

    I'm loving the book I won! Thanks so much!

  • Dennis
    Dennis
    11/20/2008 12:48 PM

    I read the book and started thinking that I don't really have anything that would qualify as a " can't get rid of". Upon further thought I realised that after my father passed in '99', I had kept my dads well worn favorite shirt. I walked over to my closet where it sat and just stared at it for 5 minutes while tears welled in my eyes. I get it now.

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    1/12/2009 10:44 PM

    @Dennis. Wow. All I can say is wow.

  • Sharon
    Sharon
    8/1/2010 12:31 AM

    Since our first daughter, Eileen, died at the babysitter's at age 3 months due to SIDS(AKA crib death)in 1982, naturally I just had to save some keepsakes which reminded me of her. These items include a cute little two-piece outfit purchased at a clothing thrift shop. It was kind of a deep turquoise color and the top had a drawing of bunny on it, as well as the words "Playmate of the Month" printed on the front in pink & white, I believe. The little knit short pants sported a small "rabbit's tail" on the back! I have a picture of her sitting in a chair wearing that very same outfit, and to this day if I look a little too long at that picture, my eyes start to well up with tears due to fond memories of our first daughter, Eileen.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/1/2010 9:00 AM

    @Sharon - I'm so sorry for your loss, it's nice to have an article of clothing that can help bring back that strong memory. Thank you for sharing!

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

 

Taking Things Seriously

A Collection of Essays

A Celebration of the Stuff that Stays with You

You don’t know how much seemingly trivial possessions mean to you until you move, and someone (usually your spouse) wants to know exactly why you need to bring random-thing-you-never-use along for the ride! And then you try to explain it, and it sounds so silly, and you might even start to cry. Because while it is still hard to justify, random-thing-you-never-use better make it into the box because it’s just that important to you, and you leave it at that…

I know I’m not alone in this, because Joshua Glenn and
Carol Hayes created a nifty collection of essays and photographs entitled Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance. The stories are fascinating: from the beautiful cocktail glass that prompted a trip to Morocco, to the “ugly-pretty” doll one woman brought along to the delivery room (that later became her daughter’s favorite toy). They’re all things their owners won’t part with, with all the not-really-so-silly reasons why.

Over the past two decades, I’ve moved 13 times. I’ve kept, among other things: A cashmere sweater stolen from my dad’s dresser drawer (now somewhat moth-eaten, but still the clothing equivalent of a warm hug). An apothecary jar with words “methyl orange” etched on it that once belonged to my grandfather, a physician. The woefully out-of-date Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary that I got for a summer writing program when I was still in high school (and has the name of my summer crush doodled on the cover).

What possessions have been surprisingly significant to you? What objects will you never part with?
Read More Read Less
No longer available

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • joanne
    joanne

    Every day, we tell you a story about a fresh find we think you'll love. But today, it's your turn to tell us about those seemingly insignificant objects that you find significant -- the shell you found on your last family vacation, the porcelain monkey that has been in your family as long as you can remember, the silver dollar your uncle gave you long ago..

  • Jeff
    Jeff
    11/5/2008 12:02 PM

    As a packrat, this resonates immensely.

    Thanks for sharing. Just came upon your blog via a Tweet. Am now following you and I signed up. Looking for some great products and info I can share with my sister and sisters-in-law.

    Keep it up.

  • Jane - Mom Generations
    Jane - Mom Generations
    11/5/2008 12:03 PM

    The paw print I had made of my beloved dog Bismarck, before I even knew he had cancer. It is a tangible reminder of him. I know I can take it out of its case and hold his paw anytime I want. It doesn't bring him back, of course, but it is a wonderful possession to remind me of him always.

  • Alyssa
    Alyssa
    11/5/2008 12:03 PM

    My favorite keepsake is a binder in which I requested for my 20th birthday to have family members write me a letter telling me what their life was like when they were 20. Now that some have passed away, it's a great memento & very sentimental to me.

  • Christy
    Christy
    11/5/2008 12:04 PM

    I moved a lot so I really had to figure out what I wanted to treasure. I have 2 1/2 years worth of letters from my boyfriend (now husband) that he wrote to me when we were apart. He kept mine as well.

  • zoe lee
    zoe lee
    11/5/2008 12:05 PM

    I still have my little elephant that I carried around with me when i was three, and kept it to give to my first child, holes, and all. I loved that animal and it kept me safe :)

  • My First Kitchen
    My First Kitchen
    11/5/2008 12:05 PM

    My grandmother died when I was three, but I still remember her so well. She was a great seamstress and actually sewed a number of gorgeous outfits for her only grandchild (me!) to wear. I still have those little dresses and the sailor suit and the pink peacoat (yes, for an infant) that I can't wait to dress my own daughter in if I ever have one. Way better than Target and consignment sales.

  • carrielogic (twitter)
    carrielogic (twitter)
    11/5/2008 12:06 PM

    I've moved several times and every time I pare down my "mementos" just a little bit more. I've started taking pictures of things so that I can remember them when I realize I don't need that bulky object, just the memory. Sometimes if it's a collectin of things (like ceramic angels that were on my wall as a kid) I keep a few of my favorites but find good homes for the rest.

  • Jeff
    Jeff
    11/5/2008 12:08 PM

    Only count this as one. I commented above, but I keep so much stuff around the house with significance that I couldn't think of one main thing that means something to me.

    I guess the most important thing to me is a little pink teddy bear that I bought when I was in fifth grade. I won $5 for putting a radio station bumper sticker on my bike. Then I took that $5 to the local pharmacy where I bought the bear for a girl....maybe my first crush.

    She refused it and I still have it.

  • Kim
    Kim
    11/5/2008 12:08 PM

    Like, Jeff, I'm a confirmed pack rat. My tiny studio apartment is packed with an amazing amount of stuff that most people would have thrown out in one of the many moves I've made in the last 6 years. But the one thing that always must stay are my middle school journals. Not only are they hilarious to read, they remind me of just how far I've come as a writer, and as a person.

  • CPA Mom
    CPA Mom
    11/5/2008 12:10 PM

    The question would be, what do I NOT keep. What came to mind when I read this was the sweater I have kept from my late husband who died in 1999. It's the last thing I have of his and I may never part with it. I also have boxes and boxes of childhood memories in the attic. One day, I'll go through it all but probably not ever part with it! Of course I have all my children's memories as well - their first hat, etc. Priceless!

  • Chrissy
    Chrissy
    11/5/2008 12:11 PM

    I too am a pack rat. I have kept letters, articles of clothing, and all sorts of little collectibles. I saved a number of pieces of jewelry from my grandma who recently passed away, even knowing that I am unlikely to wear much of it. But being reminded of her is worth filling my jewelry box with jewelry I don't wear.

  • Erica M
    Erica M
    11/5/2008 12:11 PM

    I don't keep things I don't use, but Hubs on the other hand... ACKK!!! I have labeled 2-3 large boxes "Ryan's Sentimental Stuff" and those boxes have remained closed since our marriage, 3 yrs ago!

  • Susan Lindgren
    Susan Lindgren
    11/5/2008 12:11 PM

    Everthing I am a packrat. I still have a lovenote from when DH asked me out in Highschool:) [email protected]

  • Shannan P
    Shannan P
    11/5/2008 12:12 PM

    We live in a home with limited storage, so keeping lots of mementos is out of the question. We do have some of the babies' first things, wedding mementos and lots of pictures, plus a few choice gifts from my mom that I treasure.

  • laura
    laura
    11/5/2008 12:15 PM

    i still have my little pieces of home from when i grew up in pittsburgh...my 1978 terrible towel, my kdka l.o.a.f. card, my school pin. 30 years later my family thinks im crazy to hang on these but they somehow remind me that i am basically a girl from pgh at heart

  • Patty
    Patty
    11/5/2008 12:17 PM

    I have a love letter that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother before they were married in the 1920's. It is a true treasure.

  • Tom Rice
    Tom Rice
    11/5/2008 12:18 PM

    I still have my class photo from Kindergarden. The picture is 45 years old so it's a little yellow but still shiny and bright. My mom saved all of our school pics and now I have them to pass on to my kids. There's something special about a small group of kids with haircuts, sweater vests and smiles, with their entire life ahead of them. It's a keeper!

  • Lisa
    Lisa
    11/5/2008 12:22 PM

    I had a big, white cotton sweater that was special to me because my my grandmother bought it for my dad for Christmas nearly 20 years ago. After a couple of winters, my brother "stole" it from my dad, and in turn, I "stole" it from my brother. It went back and forth among us a handful of times, and "stealing" it from each other became a fabulous family joke. When it became too ratty, with multiple holes and unraveled seams, it was relegated to a life in the back of my closet. So for Mother's Day this past year, we asked a talented Etsy artist (zerkahloostrah) to transform the ratty old sweater into a pair of sweater slippers for my mom -- extending the life of this "insignificant" object, and a happy family memory.

  • Jennifer Dennis-Smith
    Jennifer Dennis-Smith
    11/5/2008 12:23 PM

    I've kept quite a few things, but some of the more sentimental are the poems my husband wrote me when we were dating, as well as the plastic dinosaurs he gave me to accompany one, the address book that my aunt gave me in hopes I would reach out to my father's family, the bows that we used to decorate my daughter's hair (and distract from the IV in her newborn head), and the ultrasounds for both of my kids.

    I also have the quirky drawing that someone did of me (looking a little like Judy Jetson) when I lived in Los Angeles.

  • Deb
    Deb
    11/5/2008 12:27 PM

    My Danish grandmother gave me a small B&G knicknack of a girl feeding geese. I'll always have it with me.

  • Naomi
    Naomi
    11/5/2008 12:29 PM

    I often keep corks from bottles of wine shared on special occasions with special friends... you can mark the cork with date/occasion.

    For those who keep sweaters etc, I've seen that people make pillow covers with them, by using the area under the arms and stitching it into a rectangle - I think that's a great idea for using the item, and keeping it close.

  • Julie Minevich
    Julie Minevich
    11/5/2008 12:34 PM

    I keep everything, but one not-so-serious memento that comes to mind is an old beer bottle... It was used to play my first (and only?) game of Spin The Bottle! Even as a teenager, I understood its symbolism as a token of a timeless American tradition! :)

  • Carrie
    Carrie
    11/5/2008 12:38 PM

    I have a little suitcase that I used as a kid that is full of notes that we used to (furtively) pass back and forth in class and similar mementos. From maybe 5th grade through 12th. Fun (and sometimes a little scary) to read every once in a while.

  • Lori
    Lori
    11/5/2008 12:58 PM

    This book makes me think that it could be a great jumping off point for student writers. I can see any child writing about something that they own that they can't part with for whatever reason. Good idea for a book, or even a short story.

    My husband kept old concert t-shirts for years. He was sick of the pile of them and brought a large stack to a quilter. She pieced them together and he has a blanket/quilt/wall hanging of his old concert tees.

  • Courtney Velasquez
    Courtney Velasquez
    11/5/2008 12:59 PM

    I have a chair that I continue to move with and have had since before marriage that most of the time sits in the office piled with stacks of this and that. For some reason, i can't part with the chair.

  • Katherine
    Katherine
    11/5/2008 1:49 PM

    I have a ceramic mug from my childhood. It has a bird perched atop the handle that is a whistle and the mug says "whistle for milk". The only time that I was allowed to use the whistle was when I was sick. That was the only time my mom would put up with the noise and the demanding nature of that whistle. Can't part with it! I may still need it!

  • Dennis
    Dennis
    11/5/2008 1:53 PM

    When I was young my sister sewed a makeshift tee shirt on my GI Joe For some reason I still have that doll. At the time it angered me that she touched my toy but now it reminds me of how happy he seemed from that day forward.

  • Wendy at Shopping Gems
    Wendy at Shopping Gems
    11/5/2008 2:20 PM

    I just found you from Twitter. I love how your site looks and the information is great. Who would of thought you could have a blog talking about random "stuff" and so many people would be interested? It is kind of like talking to your friend about the latest thing you bought or showing them something cool you found. Thanks!

    Wendy at Shopping Gems

    Follow me on Twitter

  • Crissy | IndieBizChicks.com
    Crissy | IndieBizChicks.com
    11/5/2008 2:22 PM

    I've across the country a few times - getting rid of my possessions is almost a hobby. ha ha But here are the thinks I keep: a bowl and cup my Grandma gave to me on my 1st birthday, a bell that my mother always displayed at Christmas, and a scratch board drawing that my sister made when she was in high school. Little pieces that remind me of home and my childhood, even if I'm living 4,000 miles away.

  • Jen Kanable
    Jen Kanable
    11/5/2008 2:31 PM

    I definitely can relate to this. The last time we moved ( a year ago), we were moving from a place we had accumulated 6 years of crap. Most of it had to be thrown out, but there are items you just can't toss. One of those being my Dad's guitar that is broken but I cannot bring myself to throw it out. I learned to play on it, and he used to play me Beatles songs every weekend. Another would be photo albums and journals from college, they remind me of the good times and also those times when I was conflicted, but never lost sight of who I was.

  • Virginie
    Virginie
    11/5/2008 2:37 PM

    Every time I have moved I take my small, Quimper faience mugs with me. My mother gave them to me and they are perfect for herbal tea and hot chocolate... Invariably one cracks at each move... only 5 left.

  • Jenni H
    Jenni H
    11/5/2008 2:49 PM

    I found you on Twitter. I moved four times growing up and in the process I have saved only a few items. I have my parents' record albums and my small collection of records and 45s which I love to take out and look at the album artwork. I have an original 1970s weebul, some Smurfs and the original Star Wars board game as tokens of my childhood. The most precious items I have are my Grandmother's rosary beads, my family pictures and my parent's wedding plate with a picture of the church they got married in. It is amazing how every day items can represent something much larger in your life and hold an emotional value. You have a great web site and I look forward to visiting for more neat finds.

  • Maureen C
    Maureen C
    11/5/2008 3:21 PM

    A 30 year old Pampers box holds dear memories of my daughters as babies. My husband once threw it out, but retrieved it so I'd stop grieving.

  • Kristie
    Kristie
    11/5/2008 4:16 PM

    I used to be a competitive figure skater, and my mom sewed almost all of my skating dresses. I still have all of my competition dresses. Some are 20+ years old. I'll never be able to part with them.

  • tuesday
    tuesday
    11/5/2008 4:50 PM

    moving often has made me rethink my "valuables". Now I keep only what I really need or has value to me or my children. I tend to keep everything, but I am learning.

    tuesdayef (at) aol dot com

  • Emily
    Emily
    11/5/2008 5:49 PM

    Great comments and stories! This is so cool (and validating!) to read. Next time my husband grumbles as he carts off another heavy box of trinkets to storage, I'm not going to have that frustrating moment trying to explain my logic. I'm pointing him here. (And it's not like I've ever asked him to toss his Star Wars action figures from 3rd grade. Ahem.)

  • Jules
    Jules
    11/5/2008 6:55 PM

    Oh how I have enjoyed reading these stories....what a wonderful and insightful group of people have been hanging out on Daily Grommet....that Pampers box, the chipped mugs, the Christmas bell, the love letters, the concert t shirts, the goose girl. And I cracked up reading about the boy who was mad that his sister sewed a t-shirt for his GI-Joe...and then realized it was my own brother writing. (I've always been a bit slow on the uptake.) Thanks so much and keep'em, coming!

  • Bridget Pilloud
    Bridget Pilloud
    11/5/2008 7:16 PM

    I carry around a chipped and silly Cow cookie jar. It's a cow with a bow in her hair, and you pick up the lid by her tail. My kids love that jar, especially when it has cookies in it. We call it the cookie cow. :)

  • Marla
    Marla
    11/5/2008 7:17 PM

    I've moved five times in the past seven years. Each move my load gets a little lighter. But the one thing I always carefully pack up and bring with me time after time is my daughter's first tiny pink ballet slippers. They remind me what a gift she is in my life.

  • Chris R
    Chris R
    11/5/2008 8:12 PM

    I have an old sign that my Grandfather had in his backyard. It says "Chipmunk Crossing" (picture a miniature road sign that would be placed alongside a path...always made me smile) and now hangs in my garage.

    Unfortunately I never met my Grandfather. However, every time I look at that sign, I smile and think of him.

  • Jane
    Jane
    11/5/2008 8:23 PM

    My grandmother gave me her sewing box when her eyes could no longer manage any fine work. I've had it for 30 years now and I still open it occasionally and marvel at the beautiful threads on old wooden bobbins, pieces of beautiful lace, and gorgeous old buttons in glass jars. In that era clothes were made with love and care, and made to last.

  • Claire
    Claire
    11/6/2008 7:00 AM

    Among "stuff" (I am a packrat) that matters, we brought back from our honeymoon 2 beer bottles with the label "Delirium Tremens" because it caught our fancy. Less planned, but more valuable, was the fact that I had a (very faded) photo of 4 of us friends in a tree in FL at spring break, and all of the letters one of those friends had written me in her first year at college. Sadly she passed away of liver cancer 5 years ago, but at the time, I ransacked my house for the photo, had it blown up, sent it to her with a note (I am told the note was read to her - she wasn't responsive at that point) and reread all those letters (causing lots of tears). It was a way of helping me climb back into history, since we had lived far away for many years.

  • Claire
    Claire
    11/6/2008 7:15 AM

    A book that had meaning to me was "Hollyhocks, Lambs and Other Passions", by Dee Hardie. It is out of print, but available as a used book. It is the story of a mother creating a life and a set of traditions in a small farmhouse in MD. The first step in this process was to tear down the wall dividing the house, as the 2 brothers who lived there didn't speak, and had separate entrances to the house. She details all the traditions they created over the years as her children grew up.

  • Erica M
    Erica M
    11/19/2008 12:02 PM

    I'm loving the book I won! Thanks so much!

  • Dennis
    Dennis
    11/20/2008 12:48 PM

    I read the book and started thinking that I don't really have anything that would qualify as a " can't get rid of". Upon further thought I realised that after my father passed in '99', I had kept my dads well worn favorite shirt. I walked over to my closet where it sat and just stared at it for 5 minutes while tears welled in my eyes. I get it now.

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    1/12/2009 10:44 PM

    @Dennis. Wow. All I can say is wow.

  • Sharon
    Sharon
    8/1/2010 12:31 AM

    Since our first daughter, Eileen, died at the babysitter's at age 3 months due to SIDS(AKA crib death)in 1982, naturally I just had to save some keepsakes which reminded me of her. These items include a cute little two-piece outfit purchased at a clothing thrift shop. It was kind of a deep turquoise color and the top had a drawing of bunny on it, as well as the words "Playmate of the Month" printed on the front in pink & white, I believe. The little knit short pants sported a small "rabbit's tail" on the back! I have a picture of her sitting in a chair wearing that very same outfit, and to this day if I look a little too long at that picture, my eyes start to well up with tears due to fond memories of our first daughter, Eileen.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/1/2010 9:00 AM

    @Sharon - I'm so sorry for your loss, it's nice to have an article of clothing that can help bring back that strong memory. Thank you for sharing!

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.