Friday, September 28, 2012


KEEPSAKES - Odds and Ends, stuff we hang onto

I have two items that go way back.  Well, maybe 3, one is my leather belt that I had when I was 16 (I am 62 now).  I kept it because I knew one day I would lose this weight that had built up over a few decades; OK, maybe 4 decades and well, it is a well worn simple leather belt with a brass buckle that was once plated with nickel.  The nickel is all gone and the brass is great looking.  And I am wearing that belt today.  Yeah, I lost over 100 pounds and it now fits.  In fact, when worn the buckle prong or whatever its called is on the skinny side of the middle hole.  OK, perhaps in use as the waist got bigger the belt stretched a bit, but still, it fits.  My wife made me a nice hand tooled leather belt that I wear in public like today at work on jeans Friday.  I like the belt she made, it has nice tooled leather designs that she did, nice newness as its still a bit stiff, and it will last me forever.  But when around the house or camping I wear that old belt.  Some old cow a long time ago had its hide made into lots of leather and I am still using it.  Yeah, its still doing its job.

On a sadder note is the "shirt".  Not just any shirt but the shirt I was wearing when I spent three days and nights in the hospital as my daughter slowly passed away, 20 years ago this December.  I still wear that shirt, a long sleeve casual pull over shirt, the kind worn on weekends when not working on the car or painting.  Its well worn, the cuffs are a bit tattered, but as long as its in wearable condition I will keep it.  I dont enshrine it, its not in a plastic garment bag, its worn; a lot.  Its my RV shirt, I wear it when we go camping, about 20 days a year so it gets well used.  And I know one day it will be trashed.  But still, in spite of its slovenly appearance its still around.  I dont even particularly like it, its not my kind of blue, its a light blue, not a vibrant blue, but I think it was a gift to me, I dont remember how I got it back then.  It doesnt get any special treatment.  Toss it the washer, dryer, hang it up.  It stays in the RV cabinet now, ready to go next time we hit the road.  Which will be soon.  Fall camping season is here, time to go and enjoy the outdoors.  I dont really dwell on my daughter when I wear it, its funny, it reminds me of that lost weekend many years ago, and since I am a believer of the linear path of time and not a replay of annual events every 365 days, its a long ways back. 

I think this year at the 20th year away from her death, I may retire the shirt for good.  Then maybe I wont. 
What keepsakes do you have and more importantly, why? 

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