Small objects, big stories

jewelryboxThe other day, I sorted through my jewelry box. Found lots of costume jewelry I rarely wear anymore. Time to donate to my church’s weekly rummage sale.

Then, a small red silk bag caught my eye. I unsnapped it and found these pendants—ones I had acquired from age eighteen through my mid-forties.

I spread them out on the floor, not sure what I would do with them. But being a writer, I knew there was meaning to explore. This morning, as I ran 5.4 miles (!) home after leaving my car at the repair shop,  I thought about the pendants again. Soon, memories, connections, and stories flooded in. Each piece was an entry point into one of the chapters of my life.

The birthday when I was an exchange student in Knutsford, England. The silly nicknames my sister Beth and I had given our parents, inscribed on the back.

The bent nail from the Habitat for Humanity blitz build during Super Bowl XXXVIII, Houston, Texas, 2004. That crazy morning when my spouse and I had to be at the build site, and one son had a wrestling match and the other had an admissions test at the same time. To top it off, we had just moved ourselves, and that morning I couldn’t find a single darned #2 pencil in the entire house.

As I made the turn for home today, I knew what I wanted to do. I’d write a short essay about each pendant—they would be my prompts, like the ones students use as jumping-off points for their college admissions essays. I’d cradle each pendant in my palm and see where it took me. And like the students I work with, I’d do it in 650 words or less.

This is going to be fun!

 

 

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