This Week’s Writing Prompt

A few weeks ago, I went to South Louisiana to clean out my mom and dad’s house, preparing to sell it. My parents built this house themselves on weekends and evenings after work in 1961. I was only five years old at the time, but I remember hammering in a few nails. They lived there for fifty-seven years until they could no longer care for themselves.

In digging through a back closet, I came across an antique mantle clock I’d never seen before. This clock must have been significant to my mom or dad, but without hearing the story, it was just an old clock. When and how did this little clock come into my parent’s possession? I’ll never know.

This situation reminded me once again how important story is. Story is what adds meaning to the everyday items in life, like the beat-up and dented, aluminum colander my mom used to wash vegetables and drain cooked spaghetti. These types of stories connect the past to the present.

What physical object or family heirloom ties together your grandparents or your parents and yourself? Describe this object in great detail and note what it has meant to generations of your family. Tell the story of how it came to be part of your family, if you know it, and where it is now.

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While going through a closet, I found several items that each hold a story. I also found a couple of items, that I have no idea when I got them, or who gave them to me. Now I’m not sure what to do with them. Do I keep them and hope someday I will remember? Or do I give them away? My sister Debbie had a great suggestion. She said, “Take a photo of the item, and then give it away. You can always go back and look at the pictures to see if you can remember the story.” Yet… Read more »

P.S. Great prompt Patricia.

Great idea, Becky. That’s what I did at my parents’ house. There was no way I could bring much back to our condo, so I took photos of everything that meant something to me. Now, I’ll have it forever.

We have a “Grandpa” bowl in our kitchen. It’s a white ironstone bowl that has been handed down through 4 generations now. As a child my grandmother used to give me hot coffee with lots of cream and sugar in it in cold winter mornings. Later on my Dad used the bowl to put my soup in when I wasn’t feeling well. After my Dad passed the bowl became one of the items I held onto. When I am feeling sad or under the weather I use it and feel connected to sweet times in the past. Times when I… Read more »

That’s a great story, Cindie. Thank you for sharing it with us. Your story proves it’s not the item but the experience that makes something so meaningful. I love how each generation has used the bowl for something different, but it’s always retained its significance. Lovely.

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