girl scout pin, 4-h pin, pocket knife, two bracelets, polished stone

Saved items from the past

Welcome to Day 5 of Writing Our Stories (How to Become a Writer Without Really Trying)

Today, think about or search for items around your house that are pieces of your past. 

Pick up one or two items and spend some time looking at each one, holding each one in your hand. 

What meaning does this item have for you? What does it connect you to?

  • A specific location? 
  • A period of time in your life?
  • Does it connect you to a specific person or persons?
  • What feelings does it bring up in you? 
  • Why did you keep it? 

I recently found a jar packed with all kinds of childhood treasures/memories. Each of these items has stories or explanations that tag along with it.

The silver chain around all of them was a belt I wore with my hiphugger elephant bellbottoms in 8th grade. 

There’s a Girl Scout pin and I could write about Mary, our troop leader, and the meetings in the basement of the Methodist Church, going to Girl Scout Day Camp, hanging out with my friends. 

A 4-H pin, too. My dad was a 4-H leader, my mom a project leader. 

There’s a smooth stone from the time that my dad ran a rock tumbler in the basement. That machine would be grinding away, day and night for a week, but it produced smooth and shiny rocks. I’ve kept several of them. 

With the pen knife from Pawnee Service, I could write about stepping into the gas station that always had high school boys standing around inside, drinking pop, and feeling intimidated by them, but going in anyway. There are a dozen stories or essays I could write about this or any one of the businesses in my hometown. 

One memory leads to another. And we write them down. 

What are your items? What are your stories? 

That’s it for today. Go get ‘em!

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