When Craig asked if I’d contribute something to his favorite things series, the wheels in my brains started turning. I have spent more time thinking about my possessions over the past few years than I ever have before in my life. Every time I sorted through a box or a drawer, every time I held a shirt or a mug or a photograph in my hands, I had to ask myself, “Why do I have this?” and “Is it worth keeping?”
Now that my life is clutter-free – well, as clutter-free as anyone’s constantly changing existence can be – I’ve realized something: What I share my home with matters to me, especially memorabilia. My first teddy bear, the one that’s so old that I can’t remember the first time my mother placed him gently in my crib. The espresso maker that feeds caffeine into my bloodstream every morning (thank you, Gimme Coffee). A fuzzy pink bathrobe the color of Pepto-Bismol and warm enough to shield me from the wickedly cold wind that blows into my house in mid-January.
Most things are replaceable. I know that. If my French press breaks, I can buy a new one. And if a fire destroyed the stuff that really isn’t replaceable, like the letters I’ve saved from loved ones who are no longer here, I’ll survive (my husband did). But as happy as I am to have less stuff, I value what I chose to keep – more, maybe, than I did before I began moving toward minimalism.
Since I’m a sentimental person, I decided to send Craig a photo of two of my favorite children’s books, because without them, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be alive, I hope, but I wouldn’t be the Naomi who learned about God from “The Chronicles of Narnia” and will always see him as Aslan. Everything I’ve learned about life – how and why and who to love, why bad things happen to good people, what’s worth fighting for – came first from children’s books like “The Hobbit” and “Where the Red Fern Grows.”
The two books in this picture have no value to a lot of people, but they mean a lot to me.
My stepfather read Russian fairy tales to me and my sister almost every night when we were little. We would snuggle up on the couch and listen, wide-eyed, as he read. It was one of the ways he bonded with us and became our father. I also learned that a pike is a fish, and a czar is a king, and you should never trust a witch who lives in a house built on chicken’s legs.
I’ve written about the other book, “Watership Down,” on my own blog before. My fourth-grade teacher gave it to me at the end of the school year, and it was by far the thickest of all of the books she gave to her students because I was the biggest bookworm. I read it in two or three days, and even though I was too young to understand it all, I was captivated. And then I re-read it, so often that I eventually had to use duct tape to hold the binding together.
And maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll be able to read them to my own children someday.
The next Favorite Things post will be from Beverly Williams of PoMo Golightly.
Previous posts in the Favorite Things series:
- Sharpie Pen by Craig Keirstead of Simple Black Coffee
- Clothing by Joshua Millburn of The Minimalists
- TUL Pen by Kevin Lemere of Ground Up Life
- Evernote by David Damron of Life Excursion
- Nothing by Dusti Arab of Minimalist Adventures
- Chrome Shoes by Seth Werkheiser of The Bike Nerd
- Work Boots by Andrew Odom of Tiny r(E)volution
- Safety Razor by Bernie Mack of Get Off This Wheel
- iPod Touch (+4 more) by Serena of The Everyday Minimalist
- Kitchen Tools by Cheryl Breuer of Peculiar Girl
- Headlamp by Jennifer Miller