Pre-Owned and Pre-Loved

When I know I’m going to have an extra trying day, I like to wear my Nana’s wedding necklace. A simple crystal ball with a band of diamond chips, there’s nothing flashy or extraordinary about it. But, being able to reach up and touch it and feel its simple weight against my skin is so comforting. There’s a story behind it, it has a history all its own.

I love objects that have a history. Some of most prized possessions are ones that were given to me or ones that I found. Sure, I love shiny, new things and I love picking something of my very own, catering to no tastes but mine. But, there’s something special about things that have been passed down. There’s something magical about buying a cookbook at a yard sale or antique fair (I collect old cookbooks) and finding notes and annotations written in some unknown hand. It’s like you get to share a tiny part of someone else’s life, like you get a window into their world.

It’s irresistible.

I’m an only child, so I don’t have anything that was passed down from brothers or sisters, but I have quite a few things that were owned before I got them. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Nana’s wedding necklace: I used to play with it at her house all of the time and, finally, she just told me to keep it.
  • Travelling Elephant
  • My Dad’s copy of The Lord of the Rings: My dad bought them, but my mom used them, too (they have known each other since she was 16). Both of them wrote notes in the margins, sometimes to each other. When they were going through their divorce, I used to sneak down and read the notes. It was comforting to see that, somewhere, they still saw eye-to-eye.
  • The Boston Cooking School Cookbook: One of the people who had this book took serious issue with some of the recipes. Her notes are hilarious. I think we would have been great friends.
  • Shoes from my Aunt Mary: The woman has a serious love of shoes and, when she was younger, her feet were almost as tiny as mine. Though I can mostly fit in her boots (since I can wear socks), she’s given me some great pairs.

And, a hand-me-down that I really want? The jewelry box that my Pappy made for my Grandma when they were in high school. It’s covered with tiny wooden hearts and engraved with her name. The best part? He misspelled her name! Ha. I love it.


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