Things We Keep

There are many items we have inside and outside our home that have special memories attached to them, and as such we keep them no matter where we reside. The following photos I made of two such objects displayed on our front porch are perfect examples.

The first, the faded metal water can, we obtained while assigned with the Army in West Germany in the 1980s. It’s unique more in how we obtained it than the fact it’s fairly old. When we were living in Germany, one aspect of German life that was especially interesting to many Americans, involved the manner in which local people discarded many of their household goods they no longer wanted to keep, by placing them at curbside for pick-up by trash collectors. Some of the items we Americans observed sitting outside German homes as we drove by did not appear at all to be worthy of disposal. For example, there often were items of wooden furniture that looked more than usable to us, with some repair, and given the fact that the item was “foreign” we saw it as a potential treasure, and certainly an antique we desired. So, there developed a popular trend in the American community to go “junking” (at night) to see how many things we could find for free! In our case the faded metal water can was one such item, plus we have two bedside tables with marble tops that were obtained this way. Much, much more might I list but you get my point. We Americans and our “yard sale” mentality fit perfectly into what we saw as a yard sale where everything was free.

The second photo of “Uncle Sam” was a gift from a close military family of ours who brought it to the new home we moved into just after we retired from active service in 1992. It was well appreciated by us, and since that first day we placed it by the front door at our first retirement home and the three others that followed, it’s been greeting visitors and passers-by. Now that we are permanently settled in one place, Uncle Sam stands guard on the front porch, with flag in hand, except during the Christmas holiday season when he is temporary replaced by two wooden-post snowmen.

So you see, there are many things each of us keep all our lives, mainly because there are valued memories attached that make us smile.

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