When life includes continuous moves, one learns to declutter and to downsize. One learns that it only takes a few things to turn your new place of residence into your home. These things are the ones that have a story behind them. Where ever you take them, where ever you place them, they carry that story with them. I own some of these things.

Like the art hanging off my current walls, which, in its majority, are creations of talented family and friends. Every time I look at them, they spark a memory of these special artists.

Like my very small collections of owls, crosses and miniature chairs, each made up of only three or four. Each unique, like no other, and each one reminding me of all the different places they came from.

Like my blue glass vase, that contains two long-stemmed glass flowers, one red and one yellow, which once belonged to my grandmother. These three glass items, placed together, take me back to her home and all of the memories we created there.

Like my antique birdcage, which is a perfect shade of faded teal blue, bought at an outdoor Mexican antique-market. I can still feel the warm weather of that day.

Then there are new things. Like my new colorful bag from India, made of bright blue fabric embroidered with yellow, red, green and white threads. Minute silver mirrors, placed carefully here and there, surrounding a majestic elephant. My sister gave me this bag as a Christmas gift. Her sister-in-law brought lots of bags from her trip to India. This was one of them. I was lucky enough one day to have lunch with her and listen to her tell the story behind how she got this bag (and the others) on her unforgettable trip to India. Her adventurous spirit and humor brought tears of laughter and a sense of awe. Every time I use this bag, I am complimented. And every time I am complimented, I am so happy to tell the story behind this particular thing.

I am glad my life has included continuous moves, for it has allowed me to surround myself with stories, and not just things.


  1. The memories enclosed are the real value of whatever object reminds us of that moment, such as a rock from the river you went to swim as a kid or a shell from that trip to the sea and so on. The encrypted memoir in the object is the real value that transformed our soul and gave that bodily experience where our senses developed and recorded good or bad feelings of that moment in our life that marked us and made a difference. Save the good ones and always remember them and burn the bad ones to learn the life lesson it was supposed to teach us. Either way we never loose, as we grow with both memoirs. Just let yourself keep the ones that made your soul blaze in fire to make yourself a better person than you were before. The class misses you.

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  2. I love the stories of your “things.” I have lived in my home for 30 years now, and I am at the point of wanting to declutter. As I look at my ‘things,” you have reminded me to look for the stories. Things without stories are things that I can let go of.

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  3. I love that you thought about the memories and people connected to your belongings. I especially loved your description of the blue vase and glass flowers and how it takes you your grandmother’s house.


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