Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I have never really thought of myself as a traditional person. Lately, I have come to the conclusion that I am more driven by tradition than I thought. I think that the holidays are bringing this to light. I have my little things that I like to do every year. Especially at certain holidays. There are specific things I like to eat, prayers I recite, decorations I use, activities that I pursue. Because that is what I have always done. And I tend to be pack rat when it comes to family things. I have my grandfather's LaZBoy and my grandmother's bedroom furniture. I have the rocking chair that my parents rocked me in. Quilts that my great-grandmother made. The fireplace tools that my great-grandfather made. Gary thinks my attachment to "stuff" is ridiculous. But those things help me feel connected to the past. I sit in my grandfather's chair and it reminds me of all of the times he sat in it. Every time I use the fireplace tools, I amazed to think that my great-grandfather used them for the same purpose. These things connect me to the past. It's sort of a more personal version of a museum. It's amazing to go into a museum and look at ancient combs from Egypt and think about the people that used them. It's even more amazing to look at something and think about your own family using it. Of course it is true that each of us has our memories of the people we have lost. But, sometimes, a particular item can recall memories that you may have forgotten. Especially smells. I am always tempted by the bold packaging on boxes of Coty face powder at the drugstore. My grandmother used that powder and every time I smell it, it brings her back to me. I guess I'm just sentimental that way.

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