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Writing 101: The Things We Treasure

Today’s assignmentFor our final assignment, tell the tale of your most-prized possession. If you’re up for a twist, go long — experiment with longform and push yourself to write more than usual.

I can’t believe that Writing 101 is over already!  I feel I still have so much to learn!  If I had to go with a material possession that has some deep meaning it would be three things.  All have zero monetary worth, but are priceless with sentiment.

My newest set of mementos would be my photo albums.  I have a horrendous memory now, and these little frozen moments in time help me to remember a specific moment, day or feeling.  There are snapshots of Jimmy and me in our youth. Energetic smiles beaming up with youthful optimism at the camera.  Each scene displaying a different facet of our blossoming adulthood. From turning 18, to getting married, then turning 21, 30 and 40 (still only 39 for me- sorry honey) and all of the fun and friendships in between.  Each photo proudly showing the path of parenthood for both of our beautiful children. First teeth, steps and a multitude of birthdays and other milestones. The beauty of a landscape, mountain or beach (The beach photos are many, as I am absolutely in love with everything ocean related) snapped in a timeless stationary for limitless perusal.

Secondly, would be the portrait of my Grandmother Bonnie. From when she was 17 and posed for her first and only portrait, all dressed up in her brother’s Army uniform. I wish I had a scan of it to put here, as she was truly a beauty and I miss her.  I am not sure why she wore Uncle Clyde’s uniform, and is saluting for the portrait. But it is a lovely slice of antiquity.  The portrait is very frail and is crumbling in spots, so it stays safe in .  Grams used to watch me when my parents would go out and on one of those occasions, and when I was very little I had asked her if I could have that photo.  When she died a couple of years ago, and it was “willed” to me (I put willed in quotes as she was a very poor woman, so had just left a note. Nothing legal or formal.) I know that it hurt both of her daughters to give up the one and only portrait of their mother.  I did make both my Mom and my Aunt duplicates, but it is not the same.  I used to love to gaze on that portrait and invent a different reality for that young, feisty redhead. Before the Great Depression and life stole that youthful exuberance and innocent glow.

Lastly, was a purse that my Dad’s mother gave me when I was very young. One of my very first memories was with my Grandma Ruby.  She had this long, straight as rain hair.  High slashing cheekbones, and a great big, bawdy laugh.  Looking at her you could actually see our Native American roots.  She had lighter colored hair, with these amazing streaks of blue in it that I found incredibly fascinating. Not grey, but blue.  She said the blue was because she came from two lines of “magic people”. Cherokee and Celtic. She gave me a tiny little leather purse with a chain as a strap.  Then she fell getting onto a bus and hit her head and never (truly) woke up.  I have had that purse since I was 5 years old.

Any one of these things would mean nothing to anyone outside of my little family, but to me they are little tangible pieces of my childhood. A way to reach back and remember days gone by, or people that are no longer here to talk to.

***Wow.  I had not realized how depressing this piece was until I read back through it. Sorry about that folks.

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