I went to the thrift store the other day and I left with tears in my eyes.

We’ll get back to that.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned that we move a lot and in our last move we purged ourselves of anything that wasn’t meaningful or useful. And by meaningful, I mean it has real meaning, like marriage certificates and pictures and family recipes.

By the way, I never changed my last name with Social Security. So as far as the government is concerned, I’m still Julie Walters.

It’s a moving around a lot thing. You wouldn’t understand.

So anyway, I kept about 7 things that I could not live without.

Besides the kids and the dog and my spouse.

Is he still my spouse if I never told the government?

Oh well. I kept the father of my children.

Each of these things has significant meaning to me. Each of these things has a connection to my childhood. And then, I suppose, to my parents and my grandparents and probably their parents.

One of them you already know about because I told you about it here. It’s never leaving my possession. I’m taking it to Heaven with me.

Another is this chicken.Frankly, I have no real recollection of seeing one of these in my grandma’s house while growing up, but when I saw it I knew I had seen it before, and  I was with my Mom and my sister and my sister -in-law, and we all bought one, so if nothing else, it’s a new bond with an old twist. I fill mine with chocolate eggs through the Spring and candy corn during the Fall.

Get it?

The next one is my cabbage bowl. My Walters grandparents always had one of these filled with candy at their house. Except for that one time when I came home from college and it was filled with receipts.

I solemnly swear to never do that to another human being.

Beside her is a picture of my super cute and sassy Grandma King. She’s 90 or so. And if  you look really closely, she’s standing next to a cabbage that looks like it’s from the Promised Land.

Different grandma, same cabbage thing.

I don’t plan these things, people. They just happen.

And now just look at this guy.

I mean really.

He belonged to Edna when Brad was a little dude. She gave it to her sister to keep in Tulsa, and then I went to visit one day a few years ago and I saw him and I told Edna if she ever went back to Tulsa and came home without him, she wasn’t to speak to me.

She went to Tulsa and brought him back to me in a large insulated freezer bag.

I will never let him go.

And now I need to show you what I found at the Thrift Store.

These.

I know. Who cares?

I do.

They’re old. They nest. And they remind me of home.

My mom’s were a faded turquoise color with a different pattern, but they have the same texture and handles and make me weep.

So I brought them home with me to live forever, unless Jesus needs me to mix batter.

I know that’s only 6.

That’s because the last one is waiting for another day, where she can shine.

Now it’s time for me to take the brownies out of the oven. My sister- in- law talked me into making them only with black beans. I think they smell a little funny, but they taste magnificent.

Go figure.

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