What do the objects we keep say about us? Which things, if any, are the ones we wouldn't want to live without?
In December, for our ongoing community "Public Square" photo project with KPCC, we asked you to photograph and share some of your favorite things — and tag them #PSMyFavoriteThings.
Surprisingly (or maybe not) there's only one iPhone in the batch. (Thank you @phatkatblues for your honesty!) For the most part, you love your photos, family heirlooms, artifacts that jog the memory, and little things you've been gifted.
Here are some of your photos. (Captions have been slightly revised for readability).
@demonttl: 1. This coffee table was given to me by my mother for Christmas. It's a new favorite. 2. The heart was drawn by my 9-year-old. He takes doodling to an amazing level. 3. I love doms. ... I learned by watching my dad, aunts, uncles, and grandparents play. 4. The Eiffel Tower photo was taken and developed by my husband (boyfriend at the time) when he was studying architecture for a semester in France. He composed the poem for me that is written on top of the image. 5. This is my high school copy of The Great Gatsby that includes my handwritten notes in the margins. Love this book. 6. These letters were individually written to me by each of my parents when I was at my high school retreat. They include everything that I already knew but my parents just couldn't say out loud. I will cherish these forever. 7. My 5-year-old, with the help of my friend, made this bowl. It's perfect. 8. The Origrami box contains dozens of Instagram photos (taken by me) that my husband had printed. He surprised me.
@erinleight: 1. A drawing I did several years ago that signifies a turning point in the way I see creativity. I realized I needed to stop trying to emulate other's work and just allow myself to be me. 2. The skeleton key and ruler are bits of history I found in the basement when I moved into my home. ... 3. My great grandmother's watch. I never met her but I love knowing she wore this on her wrist everyday 4. My grandmother's bee pin. I inherited this when my favorite aunt died of lung cancer seven years ago. I think of both of them every time I see this pin and I smile. 5. The pin my father wore in World War II. He quit school at 17 to join the Marines and always joked that the war would have ended much sooner if he had gotten there earlier. I lost my father a year and a half ago to lung cancer and I miss him, his humor and his strength everyday.
@jonathandavid5: 1. Probably my most prized possession, The Beatles White Album on vinyl. One of my best friends @awelte79's father passed away while we were in college. He was a pastry chef, culturally intellectual and just an all around cool guy. Several years after his passing, Anna gave this record to me for my birthday. It was from her fathers collection. I wish I could've gotten to know him better. 2. Not only am I obsessively in love with coffee but I also love vintage things from the 1960's. ... 3. East of Eden is absolutely my favorite novel of all time. ... 4. My dad is not a photographer by any means but he took this photo and a few others in Pittsburg a while back. ... I love having them in my home and proudly telling people that my father took them. 5. 1940s-era National Geographic. ... I found them quite a few years ago at a Goodwill and I love reading the old articles, but my favorite part is the vintage ads, one of which I tore out and framed.
@leedlepanda: 1. Platanos, 4 for $1. 2. My grandmother, my hero. 2. Small gifts from chosen family. 3. Smooth girl [stuff].
@gretchenlarsen: 1.A picture of my great aunt in World War II reminds me that we are all stronger than we think. 2. A miniature Navajo wedding basket represents my childhood on the reservation. 3. A small doll iron makes me smile because who irons doll clothes? 4. A blue hen box was a gift from my aunt and is reminiscent of my southern roots. 5. The gnome, who lives in a houseplant on my windowsill, represents the magic of believing in something. 6. The crane was a gift from someone who had no money or means to give a gift, and it illustrates the idea that the best gifts cannot be bought. 7. A Dia de los Muertos figurine is a souvenir from a beloved beach in Mexico. 8. The strawberry jar is an inheritance from a grandmother who died before I was born. These are the things I treasure.
@kcfunshine: 1. Down By Law. I discovered the film while working at Waterloo Video in Austin, Texas and took this copy with me when the store closed. ... 2. A picture of my earliest memory: The moment I first met my baby brother. My dad was telling me to stop biting my nails. 3. Ticket stub from the first time I saw Of Montreal. I'd never heard of them, @sergionoanoa gave me the ticket, and I've never had more fun at a concert. 4. Venus salt and pepper shakers I bought at an antique shop in St. Louis for $13 and later saw online for $80. They make me proud. 5. A Patrizia Daliana necklace I bought in Naples with the bonus I received from teaching in northern Italy. It's the most expensive thing I've ever bought and I've never worn it. 6. A collection of excerpts from the works of Frederick Buechner. His words have had a profound impact on my life, the book goes with me everywhere.
@lkberke: 1. Photo of me and my mom circa 1982. 2. Photo keychain of grandparents from upstate New York resort. 3. My sketchbook. 4. My travel watercolors. 5. The Alien Diaries by Maris Bishofs. 6. Mail art matchbook letter by Molly Goldberg. 7. Toni Morrison's senior yearbook photo, 8. Pink monster finger puppet.
@phatkatblues: 1. The Metamorphosis: First short story I fell in love with. Mostly responsible for the amorous relationship I have with reading and writing. 2. Buttermints: The taste, texture, and smell that reminds me of the holidays when I grew up in the '70s. 3. Ceramic frog: A souvenir from my son after a trip to Disneyworld with his grandmother. He bought himself nothing. 4. 2005: A year of great change for me. Also the last year my father would ever see me graduate. I believe he held on for this moment. 5. Teeth: A small plastic baggy of the teeth of my children-collected by the tooth fairy and later myself over the years. 6. Knit hat: Best find ever in the $3 bin of a big box store. I've been wearing it during Ohio's cold and rainy seasons for the past 7 years. 7. Ceramic plate: This plate is significant because I made it during a period of time when I was considering leaving the workforce to pursue an art career. This plate saved my job. 8. iPhone.
@thedrewn: 1. A plastic Easter egg full of silver quarters my grandpa gave me over 20 years ago. Inside it says, "Keep me and never go broke. Good luck Kate." 2. A camera my dad gave me so he could teach me about photography 3. A necklace with a tiny leather-bound book on it from my boyfriend. 3. The music component from a jewelry box my neighbor gave me when I was a kid. She was more like another grandmother to me than just a neighbor. She died when I was 13 and I still miss her all the time. 4. A wood inlay box from my grandma. I've had it on my dresser every place I've lived as long as I can remember. 6. Fabric scissors that were a birthday gift from my mom. She taught me how to sew. Each thing is a reminder of people I love and their support for me (and often my art making).
@_michellegriffin: #solitude is one of #psmyfavoritethings