Monday, July 16, 2012

The Things We Carry

Many years ago, our youngest daughter introduced me to one of her favorite books. It's a "bio-fiction", published in the 90's, written by author Tim O'Brien called The Things They Carried.

O'Brien loosely based his work of fiction on his experiences in the Vietnam War. As the title indicates, the story is about objects that the fictional soldiers carried with them during the war.

Lately I've been thinking about this book, and how we ALL seem to have things we carry from place to place. I thought it would be interesting to feature things I, and some of my close relatives, have carried around for years -- even decades -- and I also would love to see things carried by others. If you decide to feature things you carry on your blog, I truly hope you will leave a comment here so we can all hop over and see what you keep close.

Here is my first The Things We Carry feature. It's my mother-in-law's coal oil lamp and the story behind why she cannot part with it.

The lamp was made to sit on a table. It was given as a wedding present to my mother-in-law's parents when they married in 1912. Although it is fragile and glass, it has lasted for over 100 years in our family. My mother-in-law's friend made her the wooden shelf, which is designed with a slot to hold the lamp, so it could hang on a wall and be a little more protected.

Mother-in-law's parents had few belongings in the early years of their marriage. The lamp was used daily to provide light in their room in a cabin in Oklashoma that they shared with a brother and sister-in-law. Subsequently they carried it to each new home -- and used it daily -- as their family grew to 10 daughters and 2 sons.

Please leave a comment and let us know what you cannot part with and have carried for years. I'd love to hear your stories.

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