The Pieces We Keep

It’s funny the things people keep. I’m not talking about collecting things, like stamps, figurines or motorcycles but other kinds of things.

I can remember my grandma had a tin full of buttons. I’m not really sure why, she didn’t sew, at least not that I knew of. My daughter is having a garage sale soon and my mom and dad are nice enough to give her many things from their house.  An old outdated coffee table that hasn’t been used in 20 years, an old bicycle from the attic that is missing the handle bars; why did they keep it?

Why do any of us keep anything?

I’m not really sure but I think it may have something to do with our need to hold on.  Each one of us is hard wired to need other human beings throughout all of our lives.  We are born into need.  A baby can’t survive if it isn’t first  bound inside his mother, needing everything she has to give.  And once he is born, he cannot survive physically, psychologically or emotionally without the loving care of another.

So it’s natural that we transfer this to stuff.  The stuff means something so we keep it.

My husband has these tiny little glass dogs that he kept when they cleaned out his parents house.  His dad had them in a drawer and my husband can remember fondly playing with them and then making sure they went right back where he found them.  It was like his dad was extending a daily invitation for him to come and play; to remind him that his daddy loved him and wished him joy.  Simple but profound.  Who wouldn’t want to hold on to that?

dogs glass

My sister keeps a jar of sealed pasta sauce above her cabinets. Her husbands’ Italian  grandmother, from the old country, jarred it many years ago.  There are memories of her Italian cooking and how it pulled everyone together, how love was felt in those warm moments.  That jar will never be opened and yet it’s flavor gets tasted by everyone each time they remember.  Healing, grace filled moments to soothe the soul.  Who wouldn’t want to hold on to that?

The pieces we keep help us hold on to one another. Even though it’s just stuff  it teaches us that each one of us leaves an impression, a mark, an influence.

What pieces have you kept?

What pieces do you hope others will keep of you?



  1. Somethings we have valid genuine reasons to keep. I think is healthy to evaluate the validity of our stuff by having a big clean out every now and then. I once was led to do a spiritual clean out (removing anything that may welcome enemies or make God feel unwelcome) during a particularly difficult time in my life. At the time I was shocked at how hard it was for me to throw out items of clothing that I hadn’t worn since my teens, or books and ornaments. All my pretty healing crystals and wizard paintings, dream catchers and pagan art throw rugs etc. It may have been hard but the blessings that came rushing in afterward were well worth it. And you know what? Once I removed the items I never missed them again, even though I felt immense pressure to hang onto them at the time it came to remove them. Weird huh? Blessings to you!

  2. I’m a big fan of getting rid of things that I don’t use or aren’t good for me too! Sometimes little things of a loved one reminds us of the love and goodness shared…those things are worth holding on to…even if the “stuff” is gone! Thanks for stopping by today! Blessings to you too!

  3. I love your perspective here ; ) I have on my kitchen cabinet door a quote from a magazine that reads “this place is a scrapbook of my life” It reminds me that while sometimes that pottery barn room looks so appealing and serene all color matched and balanced, what I really want in my home is stuff that has meaning to me… so I keep the furniture from my great aunt as our bedroom suite, the ceramic dog collection from bobs childhood, our guest room is filled with scandinavian stuff from my days with the Svenska Stuga Butik (even though that dream ended so yucky) I have a can opener that was something my mom gave me when I moved out on my own and though I have a newer/fancier one, I usually pull out the one from mom ; ) I could probably go on and on here and though some stuff I keep probably could be given away, it does, as you say, help me keep a connection to meaningful people or events. Since at this point in my life, I don’t feel overwhelmed by it at all, I keep it ; )

  4. ps… love the banner art and those dogs are SO cute ; ) Bob also has a little ceramic turtle from his gramma that he keeps ; )

  5. Hey Carey, if it’s the people that we connect with, keeping the stuff if cool with me! I agree with your thoughts! The banner art was from Brianne in about 3rd grade. My kids art is something I continue to be inspired by!

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