If you look around at what you have, you may find yourself amused by what you keep with you. What gives the most pleasure may be something simple because of the memories attached to the item. An item of that sort of sentimentality may be worthless otherwise, but you have a life enriched by having them.
Of all of the things we collected in our life, I found myself looking at this scrap of cloth, deeply worn by use, and smiling. The improbability that what is now a rag would have made it this far over the decades is something quite surprising. More surprising is that I had given it this much thought.
We had boxed everything we wanted to save. The basement of our almost 2000 square foot house on top of the hill in the Greene Countrye Towne of William Penn was full. It became our Box Farm. First we emptied the basement. Then we cleaned it for the first time in years, properly. Raising so much debris that we had had to put an exhaust fan on full blast to draw the air out of it, we swept, vacuumed, and dusted.
The North side of the basement filled. Boxes collected there and under the stairs, as well as finally on the South side. More than 200 boxes to be moved to Florida.
Somehow this scrap of cloth made it.
It is half of a towel that we kept for the holidays. A dish towel in reality, it was never really notable, but it gave me a smile. A gift from my sister, she knew that I'd be amused by it. My attraction to Moose was always a source of amusement to me and my friends, despite never having actually met one. I'm given figurines, statues, plush animals, and this towel.
It got a tear in it along the way and at some point it ended up getting sliced in two. I may actually have that other piece somewhere, wadded up in a ball most likely.
Who knows? But there it was that laundry day. Sorted out from the socks and towels and sheets on the Hot Wash Load, I separated it out and left it on the big green chair. Taking the rest of the load up in my hands, I looked back at it and smoothed it out on the chair.
Stopping and staring at it, I thought of my sister, her family - husband and son, still in their home in New Jersey, living their own suburban life. The green prairies of South Jersey are carved up into small plots with their Wonder Years homes, neat and tidy, in the land of Nice White People, 2.3 kids, and two cars. Warm and comforting life in one of the ten best cities of the country to live in, and it always has been for as long as anyone can remember, Cherry Hill, New Jersey. When the survey said you could pick it or any of the neighboring towns as number one, I understood why.
It made it all the way here, improbably, to my chair in the little house, on the quirky little island, in the Florida sun, to remind me of the journey and that all that wander are not lost.
We all have our own collections. Things that make us happy. Things that make others scratch their heads and wonder why. Usually they are quite worthless, perhaps worn down or worn out. They'll be tossed away by someone with the detritus of life when the time comes. They are the definition of ephemera, something that is designed to fade away with time.
But for now, enjoy what they mean to you, and enjoy the secret smile that comes from having a life worth remembering.