A few of my favorite things…?

Maybe I’ve caught bits of The Sound of Music a little too often (she says, loving it every time).
Maybe it’s the frequent fire sirens lately.
Or maybe I was inspired by a writer friend, who wrote eloquently about possessions and the hold they can have on us, as well as the delicious release when we let them go.

So I’m wondering: what are your three most treasured possessions? And here’s a challenge: you can’t say family photos, diaries or books! Here goes:

I have a parasol which I love. I use it every day for sun protection and it makes me smile, the way it harks back to a different time. Its hand-sewn lace border and carved wooden handle conjures a trace element of Downton Abbey. Besides, hats can give us helmet head!

My hands – I loathed them for years and called them my “waitress hands” – which is exactly why I eventually grew to appreciate them. They have carried thousands of dishes and been plunged into hot soapy water repeatedly. Along the way, they helped carve my independence.

A framed black & white photo of the ANZACs (Australia-New Zealand Army Corps.): 800+ young soldiers gathered on the Pyramids in 1915. They look so full of hope, yet most gave their lives for their country’s freedom, and all of them made sacrifices.

How about you?

Comments

  1. My three most treasured possessions! Of course, family and experiences come to mind – but these being excluded is also a good reminder that loved ones are not ‘possessions’! So, on to thinking beyond and facing what I hold and guard closely: I say, ”guard” because on one (and only dared once!), my dear beloved John embarked on a mission to clear out our kitchen cupboards, upon where he pulled out my trusty spaghetti colander with roughly soldered legs. This was my mother’s from the 1950’s and my father had soldered its wobbly legs back on – soldering was not his trade, but there’s nothing that my father wouldn’t put his mind and hands to fix!
    Every time I use the colander, I not only think of my father working away in his shed, but also my great aunt Margherita who when first went shopping with her newly arrived ”English” in her hometown in LA in the 1920’s desperate and determined to buy a colander. Not knowing the name, so the story goes, she explained to the shop assistant “spaghetti stay, water come out”!
    My other precious possession is my Academic gown – it reminds me of the hard manual labor, my grandparents and parents endured so that life for their children wouldn’t be so hard and makes my academic achievements all the more worthy.
    And then there’s my home that I share with my beloved John and son Elliott. John is out there doing some early morning gardening, washing machine is churning in the background as I sit here typing away and Elliott is doing his teenage stuff of music, fb, iphone texting all on the way to getting in the shower!
    These and other wonderful things are precious to making up the thread of life.

  2. I love this post as I love all of your posts! They serve to remind me of how much fun it is to be a woman! Thanks for the reminder:)

  3. Alicia!
    I’ve given so much away in the last year since I decided to move. I think my art, which i have collected from various countries are my most prized possessions. They are currently being curated in friends’ living rooms until I return. 2nd to them are my collection of my published works. Finally, I would have to say, my third is my collection of tea cups from all over the world. A friend is housing these as well.

    • Alicia Young says:

      Hey Kuukua, great to hear from you! I know what you mean… we might be moving later this year, and I’m already mentally sorting what will go and what will stay. But I appreciate there some things you just can’t farewell.
      A lovely idea to have your friends mind your art… they benefit from the both the beauty and the link to you. And kudos to you for your bank of published stuff!
      Alicia

  4. I think over time I have become less concerned about material things, probably because of going through a patch where affording lots (or even not lots) of ‘things’ wasn’t possible, which made me change my habits and what a blessing it is sometimes to have less disposable income – it focuses the mind on what’s really important. There are loads of ‘favourite things’ that come to mind even as I look around my lounge as I’m sitting herer on my ipad (no that’s not one of them, although I do love it!!). First of all, I love my green and vibrant plants…. Part of the outside, inside! Secondly I absolutely love my Buddha statue that holds a tealight candle – it sits under a large palm tree in my lounge and always reminds me of when we were travelling and visited Bodh Gaya and saw the tree of enlightenment….. Very special place! I think I would say the third of my favourite things is my bookshelves, which hold so much knowledge, some of which for me has been life changing – I have one particular shelf where I store the books that have had the most impact on my life….. Sometimes I pull up a chair and just flick through them, which reminds me of my own ‘story’. Well that’s my starter for 3! X

    • Alicia Young says:

      Hello Debi,
      I love the images of your favourite things and even more, so the impact they have on your life …from vibrant plants, to enlightenment and a bookshelf groaning with knowledge.
      As you say, our books reflect our journey so far, and I like to flick through mine for the same reason.
      So good to ‘see” you!
      Alicia xx

  5. The thought of my possessions sometimes stress me – I get little panic attacks and want to rid myself of all my “stuff”. I really hope that one day I will manage to de clutter and live more simply. It is always in the back of my mind. The trouble is, I am a “chucker” and my husband is a hoarder. Makes for some challenging discussions. I have a rule about possessions – if I haven’t used/admired it/been grateful for it it in 12 months, it is out the door. And by “chucking”, I mean giving away to someone who needs it more than me.
    I do have a few treasures –

    my pearl drop earrings that I have had for ~4 years. I bought them at some markets in Broome with a girlfriend, and I wore them to my wedding, and I wear them most days. I feel like they are almost a part of me.

    Our wedding video – it is a 5 minute summary of the whole day. I love to see everyone smiling. And my smile – wow…it really was the happiest day of our lives – and we are so thankful we can relive the memories. There are images of all our friends and family as well – I am sure we will treasure it for years to come.

    My bike – after a trip to Amsterdam, I felt inspired to buy a “dutch bike”. The sort with a basket on the front, and the sort you can ride to work fully dressed, as I do. Sitting more upright allows you to see the world. This morning I rode to work, along the river, just before the sun came up – I just stared at the sky the whole way, breathing in deeply the smell of a fresh morning. Beautiful!

    • Alicia Young says:

      Hello Jill – so lovely to see your name in my inbox!
      You capture the sentiments of a lot of us when you note that our possessions can spark stress. There really is a tipping point.
      And I have to smile, because it *does* make for interesting conversations (very diplomatically put!) when our partners have a different idea of what/how much constitutes hoarding! “What do you mean, my collection of the New York Times magazines (dating back 3 years) is taking up room?!”
      You paint a beautiful picture of your things and what they evoke! Especially the bike – it could be a scene in a movie!
      Thanks for sharing,
      Alicia

  6. My earrings that I never take off (almost left them on for my wedding!) are a beloved treasure from my aunt. And my class ring that a received as a graduation present from my parents when I finished my first university degree will never leave my finger :)

    Hope you are doing well!

    • Alicia Young says:

      Hello Elisse- greatto hear from you!
      They sound like lovely pieces, imbued with equally lovely memories connected to family… that’s a good combination!
      Thanks,
      Alicia

  7. Christina says:

    It’s funny, but as I’m getting older I am wanting to get rid of many possessions I once wouldn’t have dreamed of. And when deciding on what needs to go, there were a few things I realised that I just can’t do without.

    Firstly, my Nespresso coffee machine. Cannot function without that first double expresso every morning!

    Secondly, an award winning painting that my now 23 year old daughter did when she was 11. I had it professionally framed and it hangs in my bedroom where I can see it every day.

    Thirdly, my trusty, handy dandy lasagne dish, which sadly met an untimely end a few weeks ago smashing into a million pieces on my kitchen floor. I had it for over 15 years and it had been an absolute staple in my kitchen and fed many over the years. Once the mourning period is over, I’ll be on the hunt to find a worthy replacement.

    • Alicia Young says:

      Hey Chris, good point on the things we shed at different ages and stages… things that once were indispensable, one day reach their shelf life.
      I love to see children’s art framed,and I’m your she’s chuffed with that.
      As for that lasagne dish, I know what you mean, it had a good and full life…! And left the rest of us full, too. Rest in peace (or pieces).
      Thanks!
      Alicia

      • I agree with Christina: There comes a point when we need no more possessions other than the “things” that mean the most to us: our relationships.

  8. The great thing about things is that they can be almost anything! I have had various favorite things in my life, including items that held treasured memories of people who gave them to me: a soft silver charm of a senorita brought by my grandmother from her trip to Mexico; the pearl necklace my aunt gave me upon my confirmation; the favorite recipes my mother made now treasured as a taste of her. But favorite things can also be sensations: the sight of a waterfall cascading down a mountain into fjords in Norway; the sound of chanting inside the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Giza; the view of the sunset off Cape Cod. Favorite things can be pets, including beloved ones now passed on over that Rainbow Bridge. People. Breathing. Trees. Petals opening on a flower. Wow. There are so many favorite things that it’s hard to have a favorite!

    • Alicia Young says:

      Hi Deb, you paint some lovely images. I almost felt the invigorating waterfall you describe! Good point that favorite things can also be sensations – sights and sounds can register just as strongly.
      Though I don’t think of it often, a favorite sound from my teens was the burst of music at my first pop concert at 13; the sound was heavenly, deafening (!), but somehow, also represented green shoots of independence.
      Always good to see your name pop up!
      Thanks,
      Alicia

  9. Jean Grigsby says:

    Thanks so much for yet another entertaining and thought-provoking post! All too often we’re told to de-clutter and detach from possessions. But meaningful possessions are mementos of what we hold most dear. A few of my most treasured possessions are:

    A beaded pony-tail holder my niece made for me. I was visiting and didn’t have one, so she made it for me on the spot! I delight in my niece AND spontaneous gifts from unexpected sources.

    My Mainzer cat vintage postcards. One is an illustration of bikini-clad cartoon cats having a fashion show and getting into all sorts of trouble. The other is of electric-guitar-playing cats on stage as a brawl by cats in the audience breaks out. These postcards make me laugh every time I look at them; they are clever, vibrant, and rich in detail. I set great store by the fact that the little–and quite inexpensive at 25 cents apiece–things in life can bring great joy and inspiration.

    A pair of gray freshwater pearl earrings that belonged to my great aunt Kate. The earrings are both traditional (clasp) and nontraditional (not white or uniformly round); they remind me of how I suspect she was that way, too, although I know very little about my beloved grandmother’s sister. Our ancestors have a great deal to teach us, if we’ll only take the time to find out about them.

    • Alicia Young says:

      Hey Jean, thanks for sharing these.
      Bikini-clad cartoon cats & other felines brawling at a concert – who even dreams these up?! :-) Sounds like you get joyous returns on a twenty-five cent investment – good on you!
      Possessions with family history always have a special place, as they’re naturally imbued with memory – and I like the balance between that and the cheerfully-spontaneous bracelet from your niece.
      Cheers!
      Alicia

  10. A few of my favourite things are, my fave pair of jeans, not a lot more to say really! My iPod with all of my music on it from when I was 2, yes, I was a groover then too! My comfy slippers, again not much more to say.

    Love your blog!
    xoxo

    • Alicia Young says:

      Andrea, it’s made my day to see your name pop up!
      And I’m with you on the jeans; my old, beloved pair are so worn and soft, they feel like butter sliding on.
      Have to say – intrigued with the playlist from when you were two…?! You must have been one ahead-of-her-time toddler.
      All I can recall is a vague rendition of, “The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round…”.
      Thanks for your encouragement, and for stopping by.
      Alicia xx

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