Personal Inventory: Why Blue Willow China Matters to Me

Personal Inventory: Why Blue Willow China Matters to Me

Janel Laban
May 17, 2007

(Welcome again to Sarah, one of the finalists for a contributor position here at AT:Chicago. This is her second post...her first one is here. Comment away!)

My friend Genie is moving into my neighborhood (yay!) and as she lugs her stuff across town, we've been talking about the benefits of "personal inventory"—that process of packing up and moving on that happens when you relocate.

Forced to edit your possessions, you take stock of what you own and why.

With this in mind, I've been editing down and prioritizing things this week. I've realized that the things that matter most are the objects that connect me with other people. My grandma passed away last year and I'm grateful for the few things of hers that I kept.

I love her Blue Willow china, the same pattern that lined Maureen O'Hara's cabinets in grandma's favorite movie, "The Quiet Man." Every once in a while, I even use it to carry on the Irish tradition of teatime—loaded with cookies, of course!

I also saved some of her books. My grandma was a librarian and a voracious reader, so she kept a large collection. Whenever I read one of her copies, I find little notes scrawled on the page. She would underline words she didn't know, look them up, and write their definitions in the margins.

AT Readers: What are the things you'll keep lugging with you no matter how many times you move, and why do they mean so much to you?


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