Saturday, March 3, 2012

Slice Number Four - Memories Greet Me Every Morning

                              I'm a part of the March Slice of Life Challenge with Ruth and Stacey at the Two Writing Teachers Blog, and almost 200 other incredible writers!  WOW!

Sometime in the near future, I know that my husband and I will need to move for various reasons:  to be nearer my daughter and her family, my work, and places in the city that we like to visit (museums, etc.).  It will make parts of our life easier.  And my connection in this post with moving is that I'm beginning to choose what I'll want to keep, and what I will leave behind, so I've begin really looking at what is in my house.   But this story isn’t about moving, this post is about stories written on certain items in my house, the things I believe I must take.  I imagine that you own such items too.
Because it’s Sunday, a slow-coffee morning for us, I thought I’d share some different cups that live in my kitchen cabinet. Each one, when chosen, makes me remember certain people and places with them.

Here's where these memories live.

A cup I kept from my mother's cabinet.  Whenever I visited her, I would choose this cup.  In the final months of her time in her home, she began giving things away, and she gave me this, knowing that it was special to me.

One year, my students created a coffee table top mosaic for our school's auction.  I bought old china from thrift stores so that student could break it up and use the best pieces to make the picture they had designed.  This cup was never chosen, so I took it home to remember that fun time we had breaking dishes, messing with plaster, and creating a masterpiece.



I took long trips with students every year I had a classroom (middle-school aged).  We traveled to Washington state and DC, to Mexico and Costa Rica, on sailing trips in both the Pacific and the Atlantic.  One of the last trips was to New York City.  I bought this cup as a souvenir of that exciting time.

A student's parent brought me this cup from Starbucks one day, filled with cafe mocha.  Once a week she dropped in with more to fill the cup, and to chat about education.  

This is a cup I had made via Snapfish for my husband for an anniversary gift not too long ago, as you can see from the grandchildren's pics on it.  The words around the cup are our song, the one that goes "Oh we ain't got a barrel of money, maybe we're ragged and funny, but we'll travel along, singing our song, side by side!"

This is a cup from a dear aunt, who was like a second mother to me.  She often mailed little gifts to say hello, and this is one of them.


This is from a student recently who knows how much I love to read.  It came with a dry erase pen so I could keep a list of my TBR's

This is a cup from my children's childhood.  Both of them loved it, and now the grandchildren use it, passing it on so that the younger ones can enjoy it, too.  It says:  "Who lives in this cup?"

And here is who lives in the cup.

My mother loved coffee and every year we gave her a cup.  This is an early Starbucks Christmas cup that we found for her, and when she died, we got it back.  So this, like the first one, says mother to me and I remember coffee with her and talk and lots of laughter.

So every morning when I open the cabinet to choose a cup, I imagine all these people and events shouting out at me from the past.  

32 comments:

  1. I think there are two kinds of objects: the throwaway kind, and sacred objects that have value because they have a story or connection attached to them. What a great tribute to small, sacred objects -- souvenirs from the journey! The pictures are fantastic!

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  2. Linda,

    I am in love with this slice! Taking a peek into your cabinets was a lot of fun and reading the history behind each of your coffee cups got me thinking about the cups in my cabinet. Even the most basic things we own and take for granted, have a story to tell us or a memory to remind us about.

    Thank you for sharing! :)

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  3. Linda,

    I am in love with this slice! Taking a peek into your cabinets was a lot of fun and reading the history behind each of your coffee cups got me thinking about the cups in my cabinet. Even the most basic things we own and take for granted, have a story to tell us or a memory to remind us about.

    Thank you for sharing! :)

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  4. What a fun thing to write about and one that everyone can relate to. There are precious stories in the little things in our lives. I loved getting to step into your memories with your coffee cups. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. Who lives in a cup? What memories live in a cup? Thank you for showing the cups connecting you to different people and events in your life.

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  6. Linda,
    OK, I have to have a coffee mug like your "Books to Read..." one! How cute!!! :)
    Thanks for sharing your unique slice!

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  7. A mugged mug scrapbook. I love it. I don't see a point in a mug if it doesn't have a memory. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. I love it! It made me remember a mug from my own childhood. It was like the one with the little bear inside, except it was a frog! I hope my parents still have that mug...

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  9. I love this slice. I have certain items like this - sentimental and even though I have a lot of one item, I can't bear to part with them. Love the trips you took with your students - such fun!

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  10. Linda, you have to take them all with, especially the one you used at your mom's house. xo

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  11. Beautiful. I had tears in my eyes while I read your post. I will look at my mugs with a new eye the next time I get a cup from my cabinet.

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  12. Your beautiful words in all your slices transcends us to a dichotomy of emotions: nostalgia and hope. I am always touched by your slices - absolutely beautiful!

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  13. This is such a lovely post, Linda. The pictures really brought to life the connections between the item and the memory. Your description of the history of each of the cups reminds me that the value of the objects we keep is not in the items themselves so much as the memories that they can inspire. I'm sure it will be hard to part with some of those cups when you move - even though the memories will still be close to heart, the cups are the visual symbols of the events and people of your personal history.

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  14. I know what you mean...we have an assortment of mus-with-memories, too - lots of stories come to mind each time I reach for one. Thanks for this lovely picture walk!

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  15. I love your slice Linda! Thank you for the peek into your memory filled cupboard. I'm inspired to copy your idea next weekend!

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  16. When I helped my parents move out of their home of 22 years, there were 6 wine boxes filled with coffee cups that we gave away and it has nudged me to keep only the few that I really love but I agree, coffee cups, even when empty of our favorite caffinated beverage, can be so filled with memories.

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  17. This is such a touching and inspirational slice. I think this might be a slice I will bookmark and use when adding to our writing territories for poetry. This is a great Quickwrite springboard!

    My students are working on the This I Believe project currently. This post reminds me a bit of our conversation about the essay titled Cutting Our Grandmothers' Saris. Objects hold memories.

    It also reminds me of the way I treasure my Christmas ornaments.

    Oh, and it reminds me of my special mug, and the choices I had to make each time I moved.

    The ideas are endless. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  18. What wonderful cups and memories!! I enjoyed every picture and mini-story. I have a new appreciation of coffee cups. Maybe I'll say to friends and family, "Just buy me a cup!" The nicest part would be, of course, to have a fresh cup of coffee every time they showed up!!! Isn't it great getting all these comments every day!!! With cups in hand, together we write.

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  19. What memories reside in our "stuff." you reminded me of the mug collection I used to have. I would get a mug from every place I visited. I am sad I don't have them anymore, nor do I purchase any. I loved the explanations that went along with each.

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  20. Such beautiful memories! I love the stories that everyday items carry. Sounds like you could've written a whole slice about each cup! Maybe I will write a slice like this about some of my everyday items sometime!

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  21. Oh I love this slice. When my grandma passed all I wanted was her spoons. The spoons she stirred her gravy with. The spoons she served her wonderful meals with. The spoons she taught me about cooking, love, and life with. I might have to slice about this very soon. Thank you for bringing memories of grandma into my day with your awesome slice.
    Tammy

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  22. How fun! I loved the little story with each one.

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  23. Wow what a nice number of comments, Linda. It took me a while to scroll down here. But what a wonderful collection and a great idea for a slice when I'm back home.
    For now I have the sea and sand to fill my photos and smiling pictures of me and Tuvia enjoying.
    Bonnie

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  24. What a great story! There are so many things in our houses that mean things to us in special ways that others could never even imagine. Good luck trying to decide what is a keeper and what you can live without. I don't envy that task! :)

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  25. What a nice visual memory! You know what I love now? Even if you don't decide to keep all of the cups when you move - you have remembered them here and will have them with you.

    When you got to the cup that said Who lives in this cup? I was confused...thinking, um, no idea, who lives in the cup? And then I scrolled down to see the bear. So funny!

    I think the pink one is my favorite. It's simple but it's still unique at the same time. I love that it wasn't used. Kind of reminds me of Corduroy. Glad you have it with you to give it love.

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  26. Linda, I have a cupboard filled with cups that bring memories too. It's amazing where we can find stories. :)

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  27. Fabulous! I too love the Books to Read mug, and while enjoying your slice, was reminded of the day I desperately glued a mug my parents got from a marriage conference back together. In my middle school mind, if the mug broke it was a bad omen for their relationship.

    Thanks for sharing so much and for offering an idea about things to write about in the future as well. On a side note, I'm interested in all the travel you did with your students. It always sounds so intriguing to me, but feels completely impossible.

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    1. Amanda, if you will e-mail me I'll try to give a brief description of how the trips work at my school. Thanks for asking!

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  28. Linda,
    There's something about spending time with someone over coffee. What a delightful collection of memories.

    Cathy

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  29. Thank you everyone for the nice response. I hope you find your own memories in the special things in your own homes.

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  30. As I read through this post, I am reminded of the song "Seasons of Love" from the play RENT - measuring out your years/life in midnights, sunsets, and cups of coffee. :) I love this post too.

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  31. Stories written on them- yes, I have things with those stories and you have given me a great idea. Blessed post. Totally loved your memories.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!