Tuesday, December 2, 2014

End Table

I don't have much news today, so I'm bringing you this photo of our end table to show off (once again) the lilies I bought. I had to throw away the bouquet in the kitchen, but these still look great. Maybe it's a cooler location.

I've had that blue cup for years and years. My friend Sue gave it to me in 1991, when we both lived in the gentrified Hyde Park neighborhood of Tampa and thought we were so cool. The wine glasses that Dave and I most frequently use also came from Sue around that time.

I've often thought I should write a post about the simple, functional objects we all own and keep for decades without even realizing it. I have a metal ruler, for example, that came from my grandfather's old desk in the mid-'80s. My fingernail clippers were a Christmas present from my mom in the early '80s. (We've always been a practical family.) My stapler came from my parents' desk and I've had it since the '70s; my kitchen timer and my egg slicer both came from the Scotty's hardware store where I worked in college. You know what I mean?

No actual thought has gone into keeping these items, but I've never needed to replace them either -- so they've persisted with me through three decades and at least 14 moves. They just tag along. Kind of funny, right?

Actually, I guess I've written that post. Here it is.


  1. There's a wonderful poem about the beauty of familiar objects, but I can't think of right this moment. I'll be back later when I do! I still have a pink Goody comb that I got at the drugstore when I was about ten years old. It became a sort of joke in the house -- I was made fun of by my sisters, who've probably long since forgotten it. It still sits in my little vanity in my bathroom!

  2. Was your end table picture inspired by John Gray's last post?
    And I know exactly the poem that Elizabeth mentioned, but of course can't remember it either.
    Yes, we could all do a catalog of familiar objects -
    I still have the hole puncher I liberated from a job in the summer of '70 and the rock sample that always sat on my grandfather the geologists desk.

  3. Many things like that in my house but the iron skillets come to mind most quickly.

  4. I have pots and pans and dishes from my mother and her mother, some jewelry that I was given as a kid by a step sibling, a sweater of my mother's that was always in her classroom and a shirt that once belonged to my granddad, among other things...I enjoy using and having all of them.

  5. I doubt you could buy anything these days that would last for 30 or 30 years.

  6. I've got an old screwdriver and a hammer that belonged to my dad, who died fifteen years ago. Every time I use them (they are my go-to tools), I think of him.

  7. There is a certain power in taking delight in simple possessions......
    Not tv's or expensive cars
    But a vase, a table and a particular book....

  8. two things: an iron silver colored hairbrush that my mom used on me as a little girl, that my daughter now owns and uses. it brushes hair most divinely.

    the second thing is the lamp that was in my college dorm room sophomore year, that was due to be replaced by the college, so i "rescued" it and it has followed me to five different abodes over the last couple of decades, and it now resides in my son's room.

    i love the idea of this post!

  9. I was just thinking yesterday about how Mike & I just keep on using things that most people would get tired of & get rid of - like towels & our futon. And we both have things that we've had since we were very young. In particular I have a metal nail file that I've had since college. I remember my mom bought it for me. I lost it for a while & was so sad, but then there it was in an old purse :)