The sun was shining, the porch was warm, I started dusting, and before I knew it I was sidetracked with these trinkets and the memories they hold. I leave them out because the grandbabes love to play with them and never seem to tire of the stories of where each was found. Touching and holding these trinkets made me realize that my inclination is to collect and display items that have significance in my life rather than just buying something that looks good from the store. There are stories that go with most things in my house. Perhaps the item was a gift from dear friend or relative. Perhaps it has a history with a relative who passed on. Perhaps it was from a favorite time or place in my life. Perhaps I just happened upon it as I walked.
From the woods:
From Lake Superior:
From scattered areas:
This particular dish, an ashtray, holds fond memories of my grandfather who was an avid Ham radio operator and a known chain smoker. K8ODS is his handle. My memory sees the ever-present cigarette sitting on the edge of this ashtray, smoke tendrils curling upwards as it smoldered, or, more likely, held over the ashtray between his thick knuckled fingers, nonchalantly flicking gray ash into the tray as he tapped out Morse Code to his buddies.
The radio station was in the cellar behind two big nondescript gray doors held shut by a barn latch. Amazing things were to be seen when my grandfather opened those doors. There were the radios with red and green lights, speakers that made wiry sci-fi sounds when he was tuning them, gauges and dials, and knobs and buttons. Everything came to life when my grandfather sat down in his chair and prepared to talk on the radio.
As a young girl, I would sit for hours on my grandfather’s lap as he 'spoke' to people by tapping this tiny lever. Sometimes he would chuckle when they 'spoke' back, but mostly he had a concentrated look on his face as he listened to their stories and responded in kind. Sometimes he would smile down at me and tell me that he was talking about me. I liked that. He spoke to radio operators from everywhere that he never knew in person, but met over the airwaves. I remember there was someone from Brazil. Today, I liken it to the internet and how I 'speak' to some of you from far away and though we’ve never met, I know you're there, reading, responding, sharing a part of my day as I do yours. I think my grandfather would have liked the internet. I cherish his ashtray.