nostalgia, not knickknacks

Knickknacks are not allowed in my home.  Why people collect objects that contribute nothing but another dust-collecting surface I will probably never understand.
I have to admit sometimes I think the little bothers are cute.  Crate and Barrel recently featured some white bird statues I found winsome and wonderful…but did I buy them?  No, sirree.  That may be some people’s cup o’ tea but it ain’t mine.
That said, I own a few random objects.  Their purpose may seem to be purely aesthetic but for me these carefully-chosen items evoke fond memories as well.  The prime example is…
 …my train spring.  Yes, a spring.  From a train.  I would hate to have been standing nearby when this monstrosity sprung loose and launched away from the train.  Thankfully I came by later and salvaged it in safety.
I found it when my husband and I went walking on my late grandpa’s property, which is still in the family.  My childhood memories of Grandma and Grandpa’s are tightly bound to memories of trains, as a track runs all along one edge of their place.  Back then there was still a caboose at the end of each train that passed.  If Grandma and I happened to be outside when we heard a train coming, we’d wait til the end, which–at least in my memory–could sometimes take a long time, and our reward would be a friendly wave from the guy in the last car.
I have cousins who hopped on the trains, those daredevils!  My mom tells me she used to position pennies for the trains to flatten as they rolled by.  So when I saw this spring lying there I couldn’t leave it behind.  Not only does it look cool, it reminds me of a place and people who make me happy.

So to me it’s no knickknack.  It’s become a conversation piece at our place, actually.  When I brought it in I didn’t think it was peculiar, but then I knew its significance.  For most of our guests, on the other hand, this is the biggest spring they’ve ever seen.  They’re keen to discover its history, and I enjoy telling the story.  How about you?  Do you have any beloved objects–dustcatchers or otherwise–that invite interest from people who visit your space?  How does your knickknack justify its presence in your home?

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  1. perfectly imperfect « wellcrafted

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